Mali - the militant threat following the Bamako attack

Published Thursday, December 17, 2015

The security situation in Mali is fluid and the potential for attack remains present.

undefinedAt 7:00 on 20 November, at least two gunmen attacked the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, taking 170 hostages and eventually killing 19 people. The gunmen reportedly gained access to the hotel by entering the area in a car that had diplomatic number plates, breaking into the compound by shooting the guard and forcing their way through the gate.

By 10:00, several hostages who were able to recite passages from the Quran had been released. The gunmen dug in on the seventh floor and held out against security forces in a standoff that lasted approximately seven hours before being killed by Malian and French military personnel.

This incident bears a resemblance to an earlier siege and hostage taking on 7th August in Sévaré, in which 12 people were killed. This was claimed by the Al-Mourabitoun militant group, who had also claimed responsibility for an attack in Bamako on 7 March, in which a gunman opened fire inside the La Terrasse restaurant.

  • Insecurity in the north of Mali directly affects the security environment throughout the rest of the country.
  • The widespread militancy and discontent across the northern regions is spreading south and an improvement in the security environment is highly unlikely.
  • Hostage taking and periodic militant attacks remains the foremost security concern.
  • Travel to parts of Mali, including Bamako, is possible but requires rigorous precautions.


Click here to read our latest Security Briefing on Mali following the Bamako attack

Back to News list