Jihadist group calls for French leader assassination
WASHINGTON - A jihadist group repeated its calls for French president Francois Hollande's assassination in revenge for the European nation's recent interventions in Africa, terrorist monitoring group SITE said Sunday.
The al-Minbar Jihadi Media Network, a militant Islamist web site with ties to Al-Qaeda, says it wants Muslims to stage attacks in France and on French interests elsewhere in support of Muslims in Central African Republic and Mali.
"Supporting them is an easy matter for every honest and loyal person, because the embassies of France fill the lands of the Muslims, not to mention the lions of our Ummah who live in the West," it said in a message introducing the latest campaign, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.
On its online forum, it posted 22 posters, a video, an article, and a poem, adding to the campaign it began earlier this month urging terror attacks in France and for Hollande's killing.
"To our lone wolves in France, assassinate the president of disbelief and criminality, terrify his cursed government, and bomb them and scare them as a support to the vulnerable in the Central African Republic," the March 9 message read.
"Neither Hollande, nor his soldiers will know peace in France as long as the Muslims of Mali and the Central African Republic cannot live properly in their country," it said.
Hollande responded at the time, saying "this is not the first time that there have been threats," and "we are extremely vigilant."
France sent in troops to Mali in January last year to drive out Islamist militants and Tuareg rebels who had taken control of the desert north.
Although their onslaught on the south, where the capital Bamako is located, was halted, fighters loyal to Islamist groups still operate there and stage periodic attacks.
France has also sent around 2,000 troops to the Central African Republic in support of a 6,000-strong African Union peacekeeping mission following a wave of Muslim-Christian bloodletting in the aftermath of a coup.