The recent international intervention in Mali, led by France, was intended to thwart the al-Qaeda franchise, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and its allies. This intervention, coupled with the recent terrorist attack on a gas facility (Amenas) in Algeria, has cast the previously under-played Salafi-Jihadist insurgency in the Sahel-Saharan region of North Africa into the international spotlight.

Quilliam ’s latest policy briefing, ‘It’s a Salafi-Jihadist Insurgency, Stupid’ sheds light on this developing situation by revealing exclusive insights into AQIM and its allies, and providing key strategic recommendations for achieving operational success in countering their Salafi-Jihadist insurgency.

Some of the exclusive information contained in this report reveals that:

  • In 2007 the AQIM leader, Abdelmalek Droudkal, personally authorised the assasination of Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the previous leader of AQIM’s Saharan emirate
  • On October 17th 2007, Mohammad Lamine Boucheneb, leader of MSJI, launched a low-level offensive assault on a hydrocarbon facility in southern Algeria. For legal reasons, we are unable to reveal the name of this facility and we cannot comment any further on this attack

Noman Benotman, President of Quilliam, said:

“This briefing presents an in-depth analysis of the Salafi-Jihadist insurgency and its ideological aims. The increasingly critical Salafi-Jihadist hold around the Sahel-Saharan region of North Africa should serve as a stark warning to certain Western government officials who sought to deliberately downplay the significance and longevity of al-Qaida after the assassination of Bin-Laden”.

Maajid Nawaz, Co-Founder and Chairman of Quilliam, said:

“Cameron has rightly said that efforts to undermine al-Qaida in the Sahel-Saharan region will take decades. The nature of this struggle must not be restricted to military measures. Without governments in the region taking a more holistic civil-society approach, not restricted to mere military responses, these efforts will be in danger of breeding more militants than they neutralise”.

Download full report here