French President Emanuel Macron announced the death of the leader of the Islamic State in the Sahara, following the French military’s covert mission to kill Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi.
According to the Associated Press, Macron tweeted that al-Sahrawi “was neutralized by French forces” but would not go into further details about the mission.
It is not clear where the terrorist group’s leader was killed, but al-Sahrawi’s faction operates within Mali and Niger.
“The nation is thinking tonight of all its heroes who died for France in the Sahel in the Serval and Barkhane operations, of the bereaved families, of all of its wounded," Macron tweeted. “Their sacrifice is not in vain.”
Al-Sahrawi was responsible for a terror attack in 2017 in Niger that killed four U.S. military members.
His group has also abducted numerous foreigners and is believed to still be holding American Jeffrey Woodke, who was abducted from his home in 2016.
The news of al-Sahrawi’s death comes as a trial is under in Paris for one of the ISIS defendants alleged to be responsible for the 2015 deadly terror attack on France’s capital that killed 130 people.
During a court hearing on Wednesday, the defendant told the judge the reason he killed over 100 innocent people was because of France’s military strikes against ISIS, and that the killings were “nothing personal.”