Adnan Abu Walid-al Sahrawi born February 1973 was a Sahrawi Islamic terrorist and leader of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara which he formed in 2015. The group is blamed for most attacks in the region, including the target killing of French aid workers in 2020.
Sahrawi was killed by the French forces in the Sahel, in a drone strike in mid-August while his death was announced by French President, Emmanuel Macron on 15 September.
However, the president did not disclose the location or any details of the operation, rather he calls Sahrawi’s death “another major success in our fights against terrorist groups in the Sahel.”
According to the French Defence Minister Florence Parly, Sahrawi died after an air strike by France’s Operation Barkhane force, which fights Islamist militants in the sahel, mostly in Mali, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso.
Sahrawi who was born in Western Sahara, had been a member of Polisario Front which is fighting independence from Morocco but demobilised amid promise of the United Nation referendum on the status of Western Sahara.
He studied Social Sciences at Mentouri University of Constantine and graduated in 1997. A year later he joined Sahrawi Youth Union. In 2010, he joined the Katiba Tarik ibn Zayd, a unit of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and co-led Mujao, a Malian Islamist group responsible for kidnapping Spanish aid workers in Algeria and a group of Algerian diplomats in Mali in 2012.
Also in 2017, the group was said to have been behind a deadly attack on US troops in Niger, in which four U.S. Special Forces soldiers and four Nigeriens were killed in an ambush in Tongo Tongo, near Mali in southwestern Niger.
Moreover in August 2020, Sahrawi personally ordered the killing of six French humanitarian workers and their Nigerien guide and driver.