Al-Qaeda in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb
Journal of Strategic Security
This paper is organized into four chapters that focus on the terrorist group Al Qaeda in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). The four chapters examine different facets of the collective environment that have allowed AQIM to succeed and even thrive at times. The first chapter begins with Algeria’s war of independence with the French. The second chapter focuses on the nomadic Tuareg people. It seeks to show how the Tuaregs were deprived by French occupiers and how European colonization cost the Tuaregs access to vital trade routes used for centuries. The third chapter will very briefly examine Algeria’s civil war and the emergence of modern terrorist groups. The fourth chapter will discuss the post-9/11 world in terms of “shaping operations” for the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) and how this caused an evolution in terrorism as a reaction to actual or perceived American hegemonic ambitions.This paper is not a compendium of every event or in any way a complete history of the region. It is intended to reinforce the author’s notion of outlying antecedents that normally coalesce around a central issue and how the addition of a political agenda can lead these antecedents toward a fusion point. When the fusion point is met, ethno-nationalist ambitions are catapulted down the road of terrorism and the fundamental message is lost in the debris of another attack. Such is the story of AQIM…