CNN's Erin Burnett reports on Mali offering the French president a camel that later became someone's dinner.
U.S. officials say Monday they're not entirely sure whether a key leader of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb is dead or alive, two days after the Chad military reported that they had killed Mokhtar Belmokhtar in Mali.
Belmokhtar had claimed responsibility for the January attack on Algerian gas facility that left at least 37 foreign hostages dead.
OutFront tonight: CNN's Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr, Seth Jones, Author of Hunting in the Shadows: The Pursuit of al Qa'ida after 9/11. He's also with the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the RAND Corporation. And Peter Brookes, Former Deputy assistant secretary of Defense Under President George W. Bush.
U.S. officials confirmed Friday the death of a key member of al Qaeda. According to French military sources, Abdelhamid Abou Zeid was killed in an airstrike in Mali in February.
Abou Zeid was a deputy leader of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and his fighter were in northern Mali. Abu Zeid had a reputation of brutality.
Outfront tonight: Peter Brookes is a former deputy assistant secretary of defense under the Bush administration and retired general Wesley Clarke is a former NATO commander.
One of the most feared jihadists in North Africa has been hunting Americans. Erin first heard about Algeria-born Mokhtar BelMokhtar while traveling on the Mali border last summer.
A Tuareg tribesman who accompanied Erin received a warning call, telling him he was in the area.
Now we are learning the United States had the chance to kill Mokhtar Bel Mokhtar a decade ago but missed the opportunity.
OutFront tonight: CNN's Chris Lawrence has the story.
United States officials are now telling CNN they are zeroing in on al Qaeda operatives based out of northern Mali as the prime suspects behind last week's terror attack and hostage crisis at a gas plant in Algeria.
The attack left three Americans dead - seven survived.
CNN'S Barbara Starr says U.S. officials are cobbling information together because Algerians are not cooperating. But all signs point to AQIM and Moktar.
Erin Burnett reported about this connections last week, hours after the siege began, when she spoke on the phone with Omar Hamaha, a military leader in the islamist group Ansar Dine, which has taken over and terrorized Northern Mali.
He told Burnett that he was working with one of al Qaeda's most senior leaders in Africa, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who claimed responsibility for the January 13th attack.
OutFront tonight: Retired General Wesley Clark is the former NATO commander and Retired Air Force Colonel Cedric Leighton is a former intelligence officer.