Algerian terrorist Mokhtar Belmokhtar (aka "Laaouar") recently withdrew from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), AFP quoted a Malian security source as saying on Monday (December 3rd).
Belmokhtar (real name Khaled Abou El Abass) reportedly quit the terror group after being fired as one of its two top commanders in northern Mali.
"Belmokhtar couldn't stand being dismissed. He sent a letter to his superiors announcing he was no longer a member of AQIM," the source said.
The former head of the El Moulethemine brigade had reportedly acquired a reputation as a smuggling baron in the region, leading some AQIM members to question his commitment to Sharia.