Market Watch 27 November 2016
Airstrike targeted Mokhtar Belmokhtar in southern Libya
AMBOULI, Djibouti — French aircraft struck and likely killed one of the most wanted senior al Qaeda operatives in southern Libya earlier this month, marking a new level of cooperation between France and the U.S. on targeting militants, U.S. officials said.
This wouldn’t be the first time the U.S. thought that a strike killed Mokhtar Belmokhtar, an elusive insurgent leader known as the “one-eyed terrorist” because of an accident years ago that left him disfigured.
But based on what they described as the caliber of the intelligence, U.S. officials expressed greater confidence that the latest strike, conducted by French aircraft in southern Libya based in part on intelligence feeds from the U.S. earlier this month, likely was successful. Efforts are under way to determine its outcome, officials said. Officials at the White House and the Pentagon declined to comment on the strike. A spokesman for the French Ministry of Defense declined to comment.
Belmokhtar has raised tens of millions of dollars for al Qaeda affiliates taking European hostages and selling illicit goods, and is considered directly responsible for the deaths of at least three Americans, according to U.S. officials.