Archive for the ‘AQIM’ Category

Office Space

Posted: 31st May 2013 by Will McCants in AQ Leadership, AQIM, Zawahiri

Earlier this week, the AP’s Rukmini Callimachi revealed one of the memos she discovered in the sixth trashbag full of AQIM documents she collected in the aftermath of the French attack on jihadis in Timbuktu in January. The memo, dated October 2012, is from the shura council of AQIM to the shura council of the Masked [...]

The Movement for Tawhid and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO, in French) is an AQIM splinter group that publicly appeared in December 2011, when they claimed the kidnapping of three European aid workers in Tindouf, Algeria. Led by the Mauritanian Hamada Ould Kheiru*, an explosives expert, preacher, and longtime GSPC/AQIM member close to Belmokhtar, the [...]

When longtime Algerian jihadist and recently-removed AQIM commander Mokhtar Belmokhtar announced in December the creation of a new combat unit, al-Mouwakoune Bi-Dima (“Those Who Sign with Blood”), much of the media coverage focused on what Belmokhtar said about the new group’s role. As part of Belmokhtar’s Katibat al-Moulathimin, the new group would, in his words, attack [...]

The man allegedly behind the gas facility attack, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, had, until recently, run AQIM’s Katibat al-Moulathimin (“The Veiled Brigade”), a reference to the practice of male veiling common in parts of the Sahel.  In October 2012 AQIM stated that Belmokhtar had been “suspended” from the command of the group, owing to Belmokhtar’s supposed deviations [...]

Primer on Jihadi Players in Algeria and Mali, Pt. 1: AQIM

Posted: 19th January 2013 by Andrew Lebovich in AQIM, Mauritania

[Editor's Note: Jihadica is thrilled to welcome Andrew Lebovich, one of the very few people who specializes in North African jihadis. This is the first of a four part series on the jihadi chess pieces at play in the current Mali/Algerian crisis. Tomorrow's post will be on the splinter group founded by the mysterious Mokhtar Belmokhtar, [...]

Attacking Oil Installations

Posted: 18th January 2013 by Will McCants in Algeria, AQIM

To give some ideological context for the jihadi hostage-taking at the Algerian gas facility, readers might be interested in two jihadi documents on the permissibility and advisability of attacking oil installations. Such attacks are not universally popular in jihadi circles–even Bin Laden vacillated on this point–because they harm the local economy, which alienates the Muslim public. [...]

Al-Qaida advises the Arab Spring: Libya

Posted: 9th January 2012 by Joas Wagemakers in AQ Leadership, AQIM, North Africa

Unlike the Arab uprising in Syria, which was the subject of my previous post, the one in Libya seems to have reached its end. The regime has been overthrown and Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi and some of his sons are dead. Although it is by no means certain that Libya is on its way to becoming a [...]

What’s AQIM’s Strategy?

Posted: 20th July 2011 by Will McCants in Algeria, AQIM, North Africa, Strategy

“What is the brothers’ plan in the Islamic Magreb?”  That’s the question raised today by Shmukh member Abu Safiyya.  He thinks it’s perfectly legitimate to kill troops but it’s getting Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb (AQIM) nowhere.  AQIM should be going after the leadership of the militaries in the region. Some readers are sympathetic but [...]

New AQIM Reports

Posted: 12th June 2010 by Thomas Hegghammer in Algeria, AQIM, North Africa

Two of the world’s foremost experts on al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb have published new reports on the group. Al-Hayat journalist Camille Tawil has written a report for Jamestown, and Sciences-Po professor (and Jihadica alumnus) Jean-Pierre Filiu has written another report for Carnegie. Needless to say they are both excellent and worth anyone’s time.

Will AQIM Aim North or South?

Posted: 30th September 2009 by Jean-Pierre Filiu in Algeria, AQIM, France, Uncategorized

It appears that this year’s Ramadan was one of the least violent in the nearly two decades of jihadi activism in Algeria. While this period is hailed by militants and their leaders as the most propitious one for jihadi attacks, Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) was not able to wage a major operation. The [...]