This summer's coup in Niger, the most active jihadist hot spot in the world, sent the American ability to counter the renewed terror threat from al-Qaida and ISIS into a tailspin – and provided Russia with a significant strategic victory.
The July 26 coup by the head of the country's presidential guard, Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani, was engineered with the backing of Russia's infamous mercenary Wagner Group. Tchiani suspended the country's constitution and proclaimed himself Niger's head of state, saying he had become "president of the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland."
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