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Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Al Murabitoun – IF10172

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Al Murabitoun – IF10172 published on

AQIM was formed when the Algerian Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) “united” with Al Qaeda in 2006 and renamed itself in 2007. AQIM has conducted bombings against Algerian state targets, attacks on security forces in Algeria and the Sahel region of West Africa

(Mauritania to Niger), and kidnappings, including of Westerners, across the region. AQIM has also reportedly provided support to other Africa-based violent extremist groups. U.S. officials have assessed AQIM to be focused on local and Western targets in North and West Africa, potentially including U.S. interests and personnel.  Al Murabitoun was formed in 2013 through the merger of two AQIM splinter factions: Al Mulathamun Battalion (the Masked Ones, also known as the Battalion of Those Who Sign in Blood) and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJWA or MUJAO after its French acronym). In 2014, the State Department described Al Murabitoun as “the greatest near-term threat to U.S. and international interests in the Sahel,” citing its “stated intent to attack Westerners and proven ability to organize complex attacks.”  Both groups have leveraged instability in North and West Africa to expand their scope of operations. In 2012, AQIM and MUJAO claimed control over parts of northern Mali. French military operations in Mali and the wider Sahel, launched in 2013, have killed or captured several AQIM commanders and disrupted their logistical networks. However, both groups appear to have retained the capacity to move through the region and commit attacks.

Date of Report: April 3, 2015
Pages: 2
Order Number: IF10172
Price: $5.95



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