A hostage freed by special forces at the Radisson Blu in Bamako, Mali today said her captors spoke in English.
It is assumed the terrorists who stormed the hotel and killed at least three people and took another 100 hostage are African or possibly Arab jihadists.
They reportedly shouted “Allah Akbar” before opening fire on guards.
Guests at the hotel said the terrorists freed those who could recite from the Koran.
It is not clear why terrorists in a former French colony in Africa would speak English.
There are several Islamist groups in Mali, including Ansar Dine, Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Signed-in-Blood Battalion and the Islamic Movement for Azawad.
AQIM has reportedly trained the Nigerian terror group Boko Haram.