Incident Summary:

02/15/2019: Assailants abducted Antonio Cesar Fernandez and two others near the border with Togo in Est, Burkina Faso. Fernandez, a Spanish priest, was killed shortly after the abduction while the other two hostages were released. This was one of two similar attacks in the same area on the same day. No group claimed responsibility; however, sources attributed the attack to Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM), Ansar al-Islam (Burkina Faso). Sources also suspected the involvement of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS).



Burkina Faso

Sub-Saharan Africa

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Hostage Taking (Kidnapping)
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Religious Figures/Institutions
Name of Entity Unknown
Specific Description Priest: Antonio Cesar Fernandez
Nationality of Target Spain
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages 2
US Hostages 0
Outcome Combination
Ransom No
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Unknown Gun Type
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?Yes
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Ansar al-Islam (Burkina Faso) No
Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) (suspected) No
Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM) No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 1 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 1
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Spanish missionary killed in attack in Burkina Faso," Deutsche Presse-Agentur, February 16, 2019.
"Spanish Priest, Customs Officers Die In Burkina Attack," AFP (World Service), February 16, 2019.
"Spanish priest, customs officers killed in Burkina Faso," News24, February 17, 2019.