May 24, 2022

CNN: “In Historic First, International Criminal Court Has Classified Destroying Cultural Artifacts as a War Crime”

From CNN:

In a historic first, the International Criminal Court has classified destroying cultural artifacts as a war crime.

It follows the trial of jihadist Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi, who pleaded guilty Monday to destroying religious monuments in the ancient city of Timbuktu in Mali.


Mahdi, also known as “Abou Tourab,” was charged in March in the attacks between June and July 2012. He is believed to be a member of the al Qaeda-affiliated Ansar Dine in Mali, which oversaw the ransacking of the city, a UNESCO World Heritage site.


Using pickaxes and iron bars, Ansar Dine destroyed tombs of historic religious figures as well as institutions housing documents from the Middle Ages in Timbuktu.

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Additional Resources (via International Criminal Court)

Al Mahdi Case: Accused Makes an Admission of Guilt at Trial Opening

Statement of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, at the Ppening of Trial in the case Against Mr Ahmad Al-Faqi Al Mahdi

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.