Incident Summary:

08/08/2009: On Saturday evening, a suicide attacker, identified Abu Obeida Musa al-Basri, detonated a bomb near the French embassy in the Mauritanian capital of Nouakchott. The bomb detonated about 100 meters from the French embassy. The man was killed in the incident and three others were wounded, including two guards from the French embassy and a local woman. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility. This operation came in reaction to the hostility of the Crusaders, led by France, and their apostate agents against Islam and its people, AQIM said in a statement.




Sub-Saharan Africa

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Government (Diplomatic)
Name of Entity French Embassy
Specific Description The French embassy
Nationality of Target France
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Unknown
Extent of Property Damage Unknown
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives/Bombs/Dynamite Suicide (carried bodily by human being)
Weapon Details
A suicide bomber detonated an improvised explosive device in the attack.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?Yes
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Unknown)
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 1
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 1 Fatalities / 3 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 1
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 1
Total Number of Injured 3
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
Raissa Kasolowsky, "Al Qaeda Claim French Embassy Bombing in Mauritania," (August 18, 2009).
Xie Meihua, "First Suicide Bomb Attack Hits Mauritania, Highlighting Challenge in Fighting Terrorism," Xinhua News Agency, (August 9, 2009).
Jane's Intelligence, "Suspected AQIM Suicide Bomber Targets French Embassy in Mauritanian Capital," Terrorism Watch Report, August 10, 2009.