In 2016, Islamic preacher Ibrahim Malam Dicko created Burkina Faso, a jihadist organization which is part of the armed terrorist groups (GAT) that is very active in Sahel. Until recently, in military circles, the terrorist group was considered to be not affiliated with the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM) despite the close connections of its leadership to Amadou Koufa, the head of the katiba “Macina”.

Shortly after its creation, Ansarul Islam came to the attention of the French special forces as well as that of the local armies which operate in the Foulsaré forest, located on the border separating Mali from Burkina Faso.

Following a joint-operations between the two, Ibrahim Malam Dicko was eliminated. He is likely to be replaced by his younger brother, Jafar Dicko who also goes by the alias Amadou Boucary Dicko.

The Islamic Jihadist terror group has been weakened by defections.

On October 30, 2020, the terror group was targeted in a joint operations led by French special forces “Saber” and Barkhane in Boulikessi, Mali, region.

The special operations team intercepted and eliminated around fifty Ansarul Islam terrorists as they prepared to attack a garrison of the Malian Armed Forces [FAMa].

“This opportune action deals a significant blow to a terrorist group affiliated with al-Qaeda, a katiba of Ansarul Islam, operating in the Boulikessi region, near the border with Burkina Faso”, said Florence Parly, the Minister of the Armed Forces.

While Ansarul Islam has been weakened by such repeated strikes, it continued to remain active in the Hombori region of Mali.

On October 7, in a coordinated joint operations with US special forces and in coordination with FAMa, French special forces eliminated one of the terrorist group’s highly trained IED specialist Oumarou Mobo Modhi.

Barkhane describes Oumarou Mobo Modhi as being “an important group leader within Ansaroul Islam. Directly subordinate to Jafar Dicko, emir of the group.”

“He operated in the region of the RN16 [national road 16] between Gossi and Gao and supervised in particular the installation of IED”.

A day before the operations, Modhi’s group had been spotted southeast of Hombori. Following a confirmation of is identity, commandoes from Barkhane engaged in a ground pursuit and was supported by a patrol of Mirage 2000, which carried out two strikes. The elimination of yet another top terrorist from Ansarul Islam comes just three weeks after an announcement that Adnan Abou Walid al-Sahraoui, the Islamic State’s head in the great Sahara, succumbed to his injuries following a French air strike in August 2021.