Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement on the reported killing of Mokhtar Belmokhtar, one of North Africa’s most successful warlords:


Royce said:  “One of the most elusive and deadly terrorists in North Africa has been reportedly killed.  This would be a hard blow to the collection of jihadists operating across the region that are targeting American diplomats and energy workers.  French and African forces are helping Malians shed militant Islamist rule.”


Mokhtar Belmokhtar is considered one of North Africa’s most successful warlords.  The State Department estimates that Belmokhtar has raised approximately $50 million from kidnapping ransoms.  He most recently claimed responsibility for the Algerian gas plant seizure in January, which killed 3 Americans.  Belmokhtar has been tracked by the Central Intelligence Agency since the early 1990s.

On February 14, Chairman Royce convened a hearing to examine the ongoing crisis is Mali