Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi (Abu Walid) is the leader of the designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) ISIS in the Greater Sahara (also known as ISIS-GS). ISIS-GS emerged when Abu Walid and his followers split from al-Qa’ida splinter group Al-Mourabitoun.
Abu Walid first proclaimed his group’s allegiance to ISIS in May 2015, and, in October 2016, ISIS acknowledged his pledge. Based primarily in Mali along the Mali-Niger border, ISIS-GS has claimed responsibility for several attacks under Abu Walid’s leadership, including the October 4, 2017 attack on a joint U.S.-Nigerien patrol in the region of Tongo Tongo, Niger close to the Malian border, which resulted in the deaths of four U.S. soldiers and four Nigerien soldiers.
The U.S. Department of State designated Abu Walid a Specially Designated Global Terrorist pursuant to Executive Order 13224 and ISIS-GS as a FTO under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act on May 16, 2018.