Τετάρτη, 13 Ιουλίου 2016

Η Al-Qaeda της Αφρικής (Al-Qaeda Islamic Maghreb) και η Al-Qaeda του Πακιστάν

Έχω βάλει πολλά για την Al-Qaeda, αλλά ξέχασα να βάλω και αυτό το πολύ ωραίο άρθρο του Rand Corporation. Σύμφωνα με το Rand Corporation η Al-Qaeda της Αφρικής (AQIM) είναι κάτι διαφορετικό από την ισχυρή Al-Qaeda του Πακιστάν, και πρόκειται απλά για ένα προξενιό.

Η Al-Qaeda της Αφρικής έχει πρόβλημα με την Γαλλία κυρίως, ενώ η Al-Qaeda του Πακιστάν με τις ΗΠΑ. Πολύ λογικό αφού η Γαλλία είναι κυρίαρχη στην Αφρική, και τα μέλη της ΑQIM είναι Αφρικανοί, ενώ οι ΗΠΑ προσπαθούν να κατεβάσουν το αέριο και το πετρέλαιο της Κεντρικής Ασίας στην Ινδία.

Η Al-Qaeda της Αφρικής προέρχεται από τους Ισλαμιστές της Αλγερίας που προσπαθούν χρόνια να ανατρέψουν τους Μουσουλμάνους αποστάτες της Αλγερίας (σοσιαλιστές), και μέχρι να αλλάξει ονομασία και να γίνει Al-Qaeda of Islamic Maghreb, αυτή η οργάνωση χτυπούσε κυρίως στην Αλγερία, ενώ τώρα χτυπάει και στο Μάλι, τον Νίγηρα και την Νιγηρία, και αλλού.

North Africa’s Menace : AQIM's Evolution and the U.S. Policy Response”
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In its earliest manifestation, AQIM was organized around the goal of ousting the “apostate” junta in Algeria. Only in more recent years has it officially joined Bin Laden’s global jihad and spilled outside Algeria into the Maghreb and the Sahel. While it has wrapped itself in the banner of global jihad, AQIM remains largely an Algerian organization focused on Algeria and North Africa. Understanding AQIM requires at least a brief historical excavation of its origins in the anti-colonial and anti-French context of Algerian politics of the early 1990s. It also requires understanding the connections of some AQIM leaders to the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan in the 1980s. The anti-European, local, and anti-colonial dimension of AQIM’s history appears to be the group’s core driver, but the shared background of its leaders as mujahedeen in Afghanistan links it to a broader global current of Islamist militancy that also encompasses the core of Al Qaeda. These two interwoven strands of its historical origins are essential to understanding the group’s current nature and future direction.
Prior to 2007, AQIM went by the name Groupe Salafiste pour la Prédication et le Combat (GSPC). In the late 1980s, the Algerian government undertook reforms ostensibly intended to open up the largely authoritarian, one-party system that had held power since Algeria won its independence from France in the 1960s. In 1991, when an Islamist political coalition was on the verge of winning control of the parliament, the Algerian military intervened, annulling the election and breaking up the Islamist parties. In reaction, some Islamists formed a terrorist group called the Groupe Islamiste Armé (GIA) and began a bloody insurgency against the government that lasted through much of the 1990s. By the mid-1990s, however, the devastation the GIA had inflicted on Algeria’s largely Sunni Muslim citizenry had undermined its popular support. It was also viewed as having been thoroughly penetrated by Algerian government agents. In large part to escape from the pall that had grown over it, the GIA broke apart and the primary branch rebranded itself as the GSPC in 1998.
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Meanwhile, Bin Laden was increasingly seeking to export his brand and encourage the development of like-minded jihadi offshoots elsewhere in the world. Al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan were also seeking to exploit longstanding tensions in France over the rights of French Muslim citizens, many of whom were from Algeria, by denouncing the French government’s allegedly anti-Muslim policies. Ayman al-Zawahiri, then Bin Laden’s deputy, for example, declared that France’s ban on headscarves in public schools and efforts to prevent families from punishing allegedly “debauched women” were insults to Islam. These proclamations appealed to the vehemently anti-French sentiments within the GSPC.6
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AQIM’s relationship with core Al Qaeda is essentially a marriage of convenience. The two groups can share the same basic jihadist outlook and gain from cooperation without sharing exactly the same goals or adopting the same strategies to achieve them. The groups can benefit from cooperating without any strict convergence in their intentions. They can share the same basic ideas but have very different capabilities
More fundamentally, even if Droukdal and others share a common background with Al Qaeda in Pakistan, their social and political environment differs in important ways from that of an Egyptian such as Ayman al-Zawahiri or a Saudi such as Bin Laden. From the parochial Algerian perspective of the GSPC, France rather than the United States is the “far enemy”—the primary outside nemesis in the struggle to realize the dream of an Islamist state under shari’a law. AQIM thus frequently plays on anti-colonial sentiment in its propaganda. Core Al Qaeda is a globally oriented organization with a multinational membership and a sweeping target deck, dedicated to removing regimes it considers apostate along with any semblance of Western presence in the Muslim world. For the GSPC, and now for the main body of AQIM,9 the dominant organizing principle has always been removing the regime in Algiers.
Of course, AQIM members detest the United States and would cheer to see Americans die. But the priorities of someone with Droukdal’s background—or that of his main recruiting base—differ from those of core Al Qaeda. Droukdal’s decision to side with Al Qaeda came at a moment when core Al Qaeda’s propaganda was attacking France—hardly a coincidence. For Al Qaeda’s core leadership in Pakistan, the chance to align with AQIM offered several advantages that had little or nothing to do with ideology. To begin with, the appearance of expansion to a new continent was good for public relations at a time when Al Qaeda faced worldwide counterterrorism operations. Expansion into Africa demonstrated growing reach, continued resilience, and the type of energy that wins recruits. AQIM, in other words, supports Al Qaeda’s global aspirations by its very existence; it need not attack the West to do so. Spawning affiliates also offered Bin Laden the hope of diverting U.S. and allied counterterrorism resources away from Pakistan. For him, as now for Zawahiri, AQIM can burden and distract the United States and its allies from Pakistan (although, of course, AQIM’s leaders may be less comfortable playing the role of decoy).
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AQIM today is thus increasingly fragmented. Similarly, the nature of its relationship with other militant and criminal groups in the region is fluid and changing with circumstance. AQIM’s cooperation with the Nigerian jihadist group Boko Haram and its offshoot Ansaru has attracted recent attention— in large part because the perpetrator of the attempted 2009 “Christmas bombing,” Omar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was a Nigerian. Abdulmutallab, however, was linked to Al Qaeda via AQAP (Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula) and the relevance of his Nigerian background is limited. AQIM’s cooperation with Boko Haram and Ansaru also appears to have focused more on kidnappings and roadside attacks than on sophisticated terrorist techniques.


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