International Criminal Court tries a man for wrecking cultural heritage site

First in history: The International Criminal Court (ICC) puts Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi, also known as Abou Tourab – a member of the al Qaeda-affiliated Ansar Dine in Mali, on trial for directing the destruction of Timbuktu monuments in 2012. The ransacked city is declared as UNESCO World Heritage site.

Like ISIS in the Middle East, Ansar Dine in the north of Mali declared it would establish an Islamist state and enforce strict sharia. And like ISIS, it had little room for cultural or religious coexistence. This included ancient historic monuments and religious shrines.

So, the group turned some into rubble, including the tombs of historic religious figures. It also went after institutions housing documents from the Middle Ages in Timbuktu, which was founded in the 5th century.



Image Source: War crimes charges for destroying Timbuktu monuments –

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