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Al Qaeda in Maghreb

September 23, 2011
Image courtesy bbc.co.uk

Al Qaeda seems like that one racoon you can’t seem to get out from under your porch, or like moles:  you think they’re gone and then, all of a sudden, they pop up somewhere else.  Al Qaeda in Maghreb has popped up , and they are propagandizing…and growing.

While outside AQ personnel have entered the area, they have leveraged local, likeminded people.

…a nationalist movement bent on establishing an Islamic state in Algeria. That movement, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, known by its French acronym GSPC, was then focused primarily on fighting Algerian government forces.

Even before the group formally became an al-Qaida affiliate, the GSPC had a close working relationship with al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI) leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The Algerian group sent militants to fight against American forces in Iraq.

GSPC issued a communiqué on the second anniversary of the September 11 attacks, supporting al-Qaida in its “jihad against the heretic America.” In 2006, on the fifth anniversary of 9/11, the GSPC became an official al-Qaida branch.

Al-Zawahiri, not bin Laden, organized the al-Qaida merger. “Our brothers will be a thorn in the necks of the American and French crusaders and their allies, and a dagger in the hearts of the French traitors and apostates,” said al-Zawahiri.

The following year, the GSPC changed its name, and AQIM was born.

It is important to note that many of the groups perpetrating the ‘Arab Spring’ in Tunisia, Libya, as well as Algeria to some extent, are Salafist.  So, we have Salafists fomenting revolution in Libya and Tunisia (a significant bloc of the Maghreb), and there is a Salafist/Al Qaeda group growing in Mali and Algeria (another large bloc of the Maghreb). 

Read the whole report here.

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