A forum devoted to current political, economic trends, and news of the Maghreb region.

Friday, July 10, 2009

al-Qaeda in North Africa

A growing and important threat to the Maghreb, the Sahel region and the rest of the Middle East, as a resurgent affiliate of al-Qaeda will only embolden other Jihadist groups in the region to seek a second wave of attacks against both foreign nationals and local societies. These groups, including AQIM, are not gangs of criminals devoid of any ideological political goals.


Unknown said...

My take on all this is that it's still too early to assess whether the recent succesfull attacks against army convoys (in Northern Algeria) are the result of the return of Iraqi veterans. I think that part of the article can be traced back to a recent Stratfor article that talked about just that hypothesis. Let's not forget that it's only two such attacks that happened. In the past, we've seen jihadi's succeed in doing multiple and sophisticated attacks against the Algerian army.

Whether AQIM is trying to expand it's sphere of influence. Most definitly on the 'virtual' battlefield. Yet, there's still a very long way to go before they can rigthously call themselves the AQ of the whole of the Maghreb. That being said, I've seen more and more reports in the Algerian press (for what that's worth) mentionning the involvement of foreign (Maghrebi) figthers in the Kabylie area. So, to a certain extent, their propaganda seems to have some traction. Of course, it could be possible that Algerian authorities have a higher succes rate in dismanteling the networks. Of what I've seen, over 200 jihadi's have been eliminated in the first six months of 2009.

Mohamed Daadaoui said...

I agree it is a bit too early to assess the potential threat of AQIM, but it is of growing concern to the states in the region. Algeria has been relatively successful in combating Jihadis off its territory, forcing them to shift their operations to the border regions with Niger, Mali and Mauritania. As I opined, these attacks, including the one in Eastern Algeria in late June, will only serve to embolden more attacks in the region.