In accordance with paragraph 36 of resolution 2161 (2014) , the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee makes accessible a narrative summary of reasons for the listing for individuals, groups, undertakings and entities included in the Al-Qaida Sanctions List.
Iyad ag Ghali was listed on 25 February 2013 pursuant to paragraphs 2 and 3 of resolution 2083 (2012) as being associated with Al-Qaida for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf of, or in support of”, “supplying, selling or transferring arms and related materiel to”, and “recruiting for; or otherwise supporting acts or activities of” the Organization of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) (QDe.014) and the Mouvement pour l’Unification et le Jihad en Afrique de l’Ouest (MUJAO) (QDe.134).
Iyad ag Ghali served as an intermediary, in 1999 and again in 2003, in the release of Western hostages held by the Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC), listed as the Organization of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) (QDe.014), and has since then maintained close ties with AQIM leaders.
Iyad ag Ghali is now the leader of Ansar Eddine (QDe.135) (“defenders of the faith”), which he established in December 2011. This individual and this entity are both linked to AQIM.
Since its establishment, Ansar Eddine and its leader, Iyad ag Ghali, have enjoyed AQIM’s continual support:
- Financial support: Iyad ag Ghali received a payment of 400,000 euros from one of the leaders of an AQIM brigade in the Sahel, the Tariq ibn Ziyad Brigade.
- Logistical support: originally comprising some 50 men close to Iyad ag Ghali, Ansar Eddine has welcomed numerous AQIM fighters.
The ties between Ansar Eddine and AQIM have grown stronger since November 2012:
- November 2012: offices were established north of Gao by a mission combining Ansar Eddine, the Mouvement pour l’Unification et le Jihad en Afrique de l’Ouest (MUJAO) (QDe.134), and AQIM.
- November 2012: an alliance was concluded between Ansar Eddine, MUJAO and AQIM and a common strategy was defined.
Iyad ag Ghali has explicitly and publicly stated his support for the ideology championed by AQIM, stressing that his views perfectly match those of the Algerian terrorist organization.
Since the start of Operation Serval in January 2013, Iyad ag Ghali has aligned himself with brigades of AQIM and MUJAO that are fighting the French and Malian armed forces. Iyad ag Ghali has received backing from AQIM in Ansar Eddine’s fight against the Malian Armed Forces, notably in the capture of the towns of Aguelhok on 24 January 2012, Tessalit on 10 March 2012, Kidal on 30 March 2012, Gao on 30 March 2012, and Timbuktu on 1 April 2012. Fighters under the command of Iyad ag Ghali attacked students and teachers at the IFM (Institut de Formation des Maîtres – a teacher-training institute) during the attack on Aguelhok.