THE ORGANIZATION OF AL-QAIDA IN THE ISLAMIC MAGHREB

QDe.014
THE ORGANIZATION OF AL-QAIDA IN THE ISLAMIC MAGHREB
Date on which the narrative summary became available on the Committee's website: 
28 March 2011
Date(s) on which the narrative summary was updated: 
7 November 2013
27 November 2013
16 December 2013
27 December 2013
9 September 2014
3 February 2016
18 January 2018
19 July 2019
Reason for listing: 

The Organization of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb was originally listed under the name of the Salafist Group for Call and Combat on 6 October 2001 pursuant to paragraph 8 (c) of resolution 1333 (2000) as being associated with Al-Qaida, Usama bin Laden or the Taliban for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf or in support of” Al-Qaida (QDe.004).

Additional information: 

The Organization of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) was created in Algeria in 1998 by Hassan Hattab as the Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC). GSPC was a splinter entity of the Armed Islamic Group (QDe.006), which was the largest and most extreme terrorist group in Algeria at the time. GSPC was renamed AQIM in January 2007 following the group’s union with Al-Qaida (QDe.004), which was announced by Al-Qaida leader Aiman Muhammed Rabi al-Zawahiri (QDi.006) on 11 September 2006.

AQIM has conducted numerous attacks against Algerian security and law enforcement bodies and facilities in connection with its stated objective of overthrowing the Algerian Government and establishing an Islamic caliphate. Following its formal alliance with Al-Qaida, AQIM expanded its aims and declared its intention to attack Western targets. In late 2006 and early 2007, it conducted several attacks against convoys of foreign nationals in Algeria. In December 2007, AQIM attacked the United Nations office in Algiers, killing 17, at the same time as it attacked the Algerian Constitutional Council.

GSPC, and then as AQIM, has abducted numerous foreigners for ransom, starting in February 2003 with 32 tourists in the south of Algeria, then others in Tunisia, Niger, Mali and Mauritania.

AQIM’s leader is Abdelmalek Droukdel (QDi.232). The group operates primarily in the northern coastal areas of Algeria and in parts of the desert regions of southern Algeria, northern Mali, eastern Mauritania and western Niger. Its sources of funding include financial support from cells in Europe, extortion and kidnapping.

The Mouvement pour l’Unification et le Jihad en Afrique de l’Ouest (MUJAO) (QDe.134) is a splinter group of AQIM.

In October 2011, AQIM’s leader, Abdelmalek Droukdel (QDi.232), wanted cover to expand the agenda of his terrorist organization into the Sahel and increase its territorial control over northern Mali.

AQIM wanted to create an ostensibly independent movement that would hide its true roots by abandoning the name “Al-Qaida”. AQIM suggested that the new group be led by Iyad ag Ghali (QDi.316). Since its establishment, Ansar Eddine (QDe.135) and its leader, Iyad ag Ghali, have enjoyed AQIM’s continual support:

  • Military support: from the battle at Aguelhok on 24 January 2012 to the offensive in early January 2013 against southern Mali, Ansar Eddine received backing from AQIM in its fight against the Malian Armed Forces, notably in the capture of the towns of Aguelhok on 24 January 2012; Tessalit on 10 March 2012; Kidal on 30 March 2012; Gao on 30 March 2012; and Timbuktu on 1 April 2012.
  • Financial support: Iyad ag Ghali received a payment of 400,000 euros from one of the leaders of an AQIM brigade in the Sahel, the Tariq ibn Ziyad Brigade.
  • Logistical support: originally comprising some 50 men close to Iyad ag Ghali, Ansar Eddine has welcomed numerous AQIM fighters.

The ties between Ansar Eddine and AQIM have grown stronger since November 2012.

  • November 2012: offices were established north of Gao by a mission combining Ansar Eddine, MUJAO and AQIM.
  • November 2012: an alliance was concluded between Ansar Eddine, MUJAO and AQIM and a common strategy was defined.
  • 25 November 2012: Iyad ag Ghali expressed his support for AQIM’s ideology.

Since the start of Operation Serval, Iyad ag Ghali has aligned himself with AQIM and MUJAO brigades that are fighting the French and Malian armed forces.