Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb: Leaders and their Networks
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Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb: Leaders and their Networks

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Degrading al Qaeda leadership is central to American counterterrorism strategy, but the leaders today are not the same as they were in 2001. Al Qaeda leaders are no longer necessarily connected by ...

Degrading al Qaeda leadership is central to American counterterrorism strategy, but the leaders today are not the same as they were in 2001. Al Qaeda leaders are no longer necessarily connected by formal networks and many operate outside of any formal affiliation to the al Qaeda network. Such a development makes it insufficient to rely solely on group membership or public identification to isolate the al Qaeda leadership group.

For more information, please visit http://www.criticalthreats.org/al-qaeda/hagen-aqim-leaders-and-networks-march-27-2014

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Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb: Leaders and their Networks Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb Leaders and their networks Andreas Hagen AEI’s Critical Threats Project March 2014
  • 2. • Degrading al Qaeda (AQ) leadership is central to American counterterrorism strategy. • Who are al Qaeda’s leaders today? – Not the same as in 2001 – Not necessarily connected by formal networks – Defined by common purpose and common experiences • Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) leaders are part of al Qaeda core leadership, with decades’ worth of common history and experiences. • AQIM overlaps with a number of nominally independent and “locally-focused” groups, such as Ansar al Din and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJWA). • These groups are part of the larger AQ family and cannot be separated from AQ and AQIM. UNDERSTANDING AL QAEDA’S LEADERSHIP GROUP 2Please see slide 20 for a list of abbreviations used.
  • 3. • The al Qaeda network’s leadership is not necessarily connected, but it is an identifiable human grouping that subscribes to a single ideology and acts to support that ideology. • This leadership group includes individuals who operate outside of a formal affiliation to the al Qaeda network. It is therefore insufficient to rely on group membership or public identification with al Qaeda to identify this group. • Examining the developments in the Sahel region lends insight into al Qaeda’s leadership. – There is a human network that connects the groups in the Sahel; how individuals interact with that network helps to reveal their purpose. – Individuals changed their formal group affiliation over time, but that did not affect their overall purpose. – Groups splintered from AQIM, but continue to coordinate activities and function with the same purpose. 3 IDENTIFYING AL QAEDA’S LEADERSHIP GROUP
  • 4. • According to AQIM leader Abdelmalek Droukdel in a 2008 New York Times interview, AQIM and al Qaeda senior leadership (AQSL) in Pakistan maintain a direct line of communication. – Osama bin Laden advised AQIM specifically on the treatment and handling of the French hostages. – Senior al Qaeda operative Younis al Mauritani wrote a letter to Osama bin Laden in March 2010 proposing to attack soft, unconventional targets in Europe with AQIM’s support due to its financial and operational capabilities there. Bin Laden emphasized the importance of the plans and called for coordination from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). – Mokhtar Belmokhtar described Mauritani as the first direct link to AQSL. • Regional objectives compete with AQSL’s broader objectives for al Qaeda’s network. – In a March 2013 statement, AQIM called on North African youth to fight in Mali and Tunisia instead of traveling to Syria. – In June 2013, al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri encouraged all Muslims to fight in the Syrian jihad and emphasized its importance over other struggles. – In a Sept 2013 meeting in Libya, Droukdel criticized sending fighters to Syria. • AQSL plays an advisory role to AQIM and provides expertise or support through communications. Financial independence permits significant operational freedom. • Direct involvement in the affiliate’s local operations appears to be rare. AQIM’S RELATIONSHIP WITH AL QAEDA CORE 4
  • 5. • Al Qaeda’s affiliate in northern and western Africa. • Recognized by AQ central in September 2006. • Evolved from the Algerian Groupe Islamique Armée (GIA), formed in the early 1990s. • Financed by kidnapping and smuggling in the Sahel. • Operates in Algeria, northern Mali, western Libya, and parts of Mauritania and Niger. WHAT IS AL QAEDA IN THE ISLAMIC MAGHREB? 5 • Hassan Hattab, a regional GIA commander who disagreed with the group’s indiscriminate killing of civilians, established the Groupe Salafiste pour la Prédication et le Combat (Salafist Group for Call and Combat, or GSPC) in 1998. • The GSPC focused its attacks on Algerian government and military targets. • Allegations of links to al Qaeda began surfacing in mid 2002, but the GSPC remained focused on a nationalist Islamist agenda at the time. • In September 2003, Nabil Sahraoui, a former GIA commander, replaced Hattab at the head of the organization and reportedly pledged allegiance to al Qaeda.
  • 6. • GSPC leader Nabil Sahraoui pledged support for bin Laden’s jihad in October 2003. • The GSPC recruited and sent fighters to al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) between 2003 and 2006. AQI and the GSPC publicly recognized each other’s accomplishments in statements beginning in January 2005. • GSPC leader Abdelmalek Droukdel asked AQI leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi in fall 2004 to kidnap Frenchmen in Iraq; Zarqawi agreed. • Al Qaeda deputy leader Ayman al Zawahiri, under orders from bin Laden, publicly recognized GSPC as an al Qaeda affiliate on September 11, 2006. Droukdel pledged allegiance to bin Laden on September 14. • Droukdel cited conversations with bin Laden when he renamed the GSPC “al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb” on January 26, 2007. BIDDING FOR AL QAEDA AFFILIATE STATUS 6 Al Qaeda’s recognition of the GSPC as an affiliate followed GSPC rhetorical and practical support for the global jihad movement, particularly in Iraq.
  • 7. GSPC AND AQI MUTUAL SUPPORT 7 GSPC and AQI exchange rhetoric: • June 15, 2005: AQI congratulated GSPC for the June 5 attack on military barracks in El Mreiti, Mauritania, which killed 15 soldiers. • July 26, 2005: GSPC congratulated AQI for the July 21 kidnapping of two Algerian diplomats in Iraq. • July 28, 2005: GSPC praised AQI’s July 27 execution of the Algerian diplomats. • April 29, 2006: GSPC asked AQI leader Zarqawi for spiritual support to “invigorate Algerian jihad.” GSPC network supports AQI: • July 2005: Egyptian GSPC facilitator Yasser el Masri arrested in Algiers for assisting foreign fighter travel in to Iraq via Syria. • September 2005: Adel Saker arrested in Damascus for smuggling foreign fighters in to Iraq. Arrest assisted in the dismantling of a recruitment cell in Morocco. • September 2006: Abu al Ham arrested in Algiers for assisting foreign fighter travel in to Iraq.
  • 8. AQIM’S NETWORK 8 AQAP AQSL AQI* AnsaralDin alMurabitoun BokoHaram alShabaab Mujahideen ShuraCouncil Ansaral Sharia† AQIM JabhatalNusra AQIM’s network extends beyond the Sahel region. Its relationships range from cooperative to rhetorical. AQIM leadership statements have praised Ansar al Sharia in Libya’s and in Tunisia’s efforts, as well as those of Jabhat al Nusra in Syria. * AQIM’s current relationship with the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham is not clear. † These are separate groups operating in Tunisia and Libya. Ansaral Sharia†
  • 9. THE AQIM ECOSYSTEM 9 AQIM GIA GSPC AQSL alMulathamunBrigade alMuwaqqi’unBiddam MUJWA alMurabitoun AnsaralDin BokoHaramAQAP AQI MujahideenShuraCouncil AQIM’s associates are part of a single human network that should be considered as one common threat in the North and West Africa region. alShabaab JabhatalNusra AnsaralSharia(Tunisia) AnsaralSharia(Libya) Merged in 2013 Splintered in 1998 Splintered in 2012 Splintered in 2011 Coordination Rhetoric Coordination Rhetoric Fighters Funding Funding re-named Coordination Rhetoric Coordination Rhetoric Coordination Rhetoric Fighters Rhetoric Coordination Rhetoric Funding Coordination Rhetoric Rhetoric Fighters Seeking coordination Rhetoric Fighters Coordination Rhetoric Seeking coordination Rhetoric Former group Current group Key
  • 10. THE HUMAN GROUPING BEHIND THE NAMES 10 • Senior leaders of the militant Islamist groups in Mali are part of the single human network in which AQIM’s leadership operates. • The ethnic Tuareg militant Islamist group, Ansar al Din, and AQIM splinter group, MUJWA, seized and held territory in northern Mali starting in spring 2012 until the French military intervention in January 2013. – Ansar al Din coordinated with the ethnic Tuareg, but secular, MNLA in March, April, and May 2012. – MUJWA remained closely affiliated with AQIM. AQIM’s Sahara brigades directly cooperated with MUJWA after an initial period of friction following the September/October 2011 founding. – MUJWA and Ansar al Din cooperated from March 2012 forward and played a key role in ousting the MNLA from its seized territory. The proliferation of groups in Mali served to disguise a human grouping working toward a singular purpose. Individuals who held high-profile positions in AQIM, MUJWA, Ansar al Din, and other militant Islamist groups continued to coordinate and cooperate.
  • 11. • AQIM sought to coordinate efforts and unify the fight in Mali through close cooperation with Ansar al Din. – Droukdel favored policies that would win over the local population and foster alliances with the MNLA and Ansar al Din. – Malian groups were to undertake the political and military efforts in Mali, while AQIM would use northern Mali as a safe haven for international operations. – Droukdel chastised his commanders for their overzealous actions, especially the premature declaration of an independent state in northern Mali and the implementation of shari’a. He especially criticized the destruction of shrines, limb amputations, and whippings, which served to alienate the population. – He advised his fighters to adopt moderate rhetoric and downplay the jihadi language in order not to draw too much negative attention to their cause. • AQIM’s Shura Council criticized Mokhtar Belmokhtar’s responsiveness to commands and raised historical grievances, as well as the absence of spectacular operations in his area of responsibility. – Belmokhtar left AQIM and went on to form al Muwaqqi’un Biddam (Signers in Blood) in December 2013. The group carried out the high-profile attack in January 2013 on the Tigantourine natural gas facility in Ain Amenas, Algeria. AQIM’S ATTEMPT TO UNITE THE JIHAD IN MALI 11
  • 12. NAME French: Mouvement pour le Tawhid et du Jihad en Afrique de l'Ouest Arabic: ‫أفريقيا‬ ‫غرب‬ ‫في‬ ‫والجهاد‬ ‫التوحيد‬ ‫جماعة‬‎ DATE OF INCORPORATION September/October 2011 FOUNDERS Ahmed el Tilemsi, Sultan Ould Badi, Hamada Ould Mohamed Kheirou TYPE OF GROUP Militant Islamist group splintered from AQIM OBJECTIVE Creation of an Islamic Emirate across West Africa AREA OF OPERATIONS Northern Mali, operations reached to Algeria and Niger MOVEMENT FOR UNITY AND JIHAD IN WEST AFRICA 12 ACTIVITIES Dissatisfaction with the Algerian-born leadership caused mostly non-Algerian MUJWA members to splinter from AQIM. Negotiations with AQIM after split to settle differences and continue close cooperation. Primary actor for the strict enforcement of shari’a in northern Mali in 2012. Main source of funding likely from drug smuggling, protection for smugglers and kidnappings. Primary actor for asymmetric warfare attacks targeting French/UN forces in Mali in 2013. Close relations with Mokhtar Belmokhtar until their merger announcement in August 2013.
  • 13. NAME Arabic: ‫المرابطون‬ (Trans.: The Sentinels) DATE OF INCORPORATION August 2013 FOUNDERS Mokhtar Belmokhtar, Ahmed el Tilemsi TYPE OF GROUP Militant Islamist group, ideologically aligned with AQ OBJECTIVE Creation of an Islamic Emirate across West Africa AREA OF OPERATIONS Suspected to operate in Mali, Niger, Libya, Chad, Algeria 13 AL MURABITOUN ACTIVITIES The leader’s identity is not known, but a communique noted he fought against both the Soviet and US forces in Afghanistan. Likely operates training camps in southwestern Libya. Pledged loyalty to AQ leader Ayman al Zawahiri and Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar. Areas of suspected recruitment include Sudan, Nigeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Mali, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Western Sahara, and even Canada. AL MUWAQQI’UN BIDDAM MUJWA AL MURABITOUNAQIM Dec. 2012 Oct. 2011 Aug. 2013 subgroupAL MULATHAMUN BRIGADE
  • 14. NAME Arabic: ‫الدين‬ ‫أنصار‬‎(Trans.: Supporters of the Faith) DATE OF INCORPORATION December 2011 FOUNDER Iyad ag Ghali TYPE OF GROUP Militant Islamist group composed of Sahelian ethnic groups including Tuareg, Berabiche Arab, others OBJECTIVE Creation of an independent state in northern Mali (known as Azawad) under shari’a AREA OF OPERATIONS Northern Mali, especially the Kidal region ANSAR AL DIN 14 ACTIVITIES Closely cooperated with AQIM in Mali against the Malian government in 2012. (See next slide, “AQIM’s Support for Ansar al Din.”) Primary actor in the destruction of historic shrines in Timbuktu, Mali. Supported a negotiated ceasefire with the Tuareg MNLA and the Malian government in 2012. Briefly condemned its ties to AQIM in December 2012 before its military advance into southern Mali near the cities of Mopti and Sevare. Following the French military assault in early 2013, a fractured Ansar al Din led to the creation of more moderate factions like the High Council for the Unity of Azawad and the Arab Movement for Azawad.
  • 15. AQIM’S SUPPORT FOR ANSAR AL DIN 24 JAN 2012: Aguelhok, Mali 10 MAR 2012: Tessalit, Mali 30 MAR 2012: Kidal, Mali 30 MAR 2012: Gao, Mali 01 APR 2012: Timbuktu, Mali Nov 2012: AllianceAQIM: Fighters AQIM Ansar al Din AQIM Tarek Ibn Ziyad Brigade Iyad ag Ghali Leader of €400,000 15 Financial support: Iyad ag Ghali received €400,000 from the Tarek ibn Ziyad Brigade. Military support: Ansar al Din received backing from AQIM in several kinetic engagements with Malian armed forces between January 2012 and January 2013. Logistical support: Ansar al Din welcomed several AQIM fighters within its ranks. In November 2012, Ansar al Din, MUJWA, and AQIM created a formal alliance and established shared offices north of Gao to deepen their ties. Shared Kinetic Engagements:
  • 16. AL QAEDA’S LEADERSHIP IN THE SAHEL • It is possible to identify a human grouping that has operated within AQIM’s network in the Sahel. • Members of this group have operated under different organizational names at different times. • Formal organizational titles and affiliations did not affect their overall purpose. The following graphics display individuals’ organizational affiliations over time and continued operational cooperation between various organizations. 16
  • 17. 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011Jan–Sep 2011October 2011November 2011December 2012January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2013January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December Abdelmalek Droukdel Mokhtar Belmokhtar Yahya Abu el Hammam Abdel Hamid Abu Zeid K Malik Abou Abdelkarim Abu Abdelhamid al Kidali U Mo. Lemine Ould Hacen K Omar Ould Hamaha Iyad ag Ghali Sanda Ould Bouamama A S Sultan Ould Badi A Hamada Ould Mo. Kheirou A Ahmed el Tilemsi A Said Abou Moughatil Abu Talha al Mauritani LEGEND Affiliation AQIM Unaffiliated MUJWA Ansar al Din al Muwaqqi’un Biddam al Murabitoun Status Arrested A Killed-in-Action K Surrendered S Unknown U The leaders of AQIM-associated groups are historically members of AQIM’s leadership network. 17 INDIVIDUALS’ AFFILIATIONS IN THE SAHEL
  • 18. ORGANIZATIONAL COOPERATION IN THE SAHEL DATE EVENT TYPE LOCATION VICTIM NATIONALITY VICTIM TYPE PARTICIPANT February 2008 Kidnapping Tunisia Austrian Tourist December 2008 Kidnapping Niamey, Niger Canadian Diplomat January 2009 Kidnapping Niger-Mali border Swiss, German, British Tourist November 2009 Kidnapping Nouakchott, Mauritania Spanish Aid Worker November 2009 Kidnapping Menaka, Mali French Aid Worker April 2010 Kidnapping Niger French Aid Worker June 2010 Ambush Tamanrasset, Algeria Algerian Police September 2010 Kidnapping Arlit, Niger French, Togolese, Madagascan Foreign Worker January 2011 Kidnapping Niamey, Niger French Aid Worker October 2011 Kidnapping Tindouf, Algeria Italian, Spanish Aid Worker November 2011 Kidnapping Hombori, Mali French Geologist January 2012 Attack Aguelhok, Mali Malian Military March 2012 Meeting Likely in Mali April 2012 Kidnapping Gao, Mali Algerian Diplomat April 2012 Kidnapping Timbuktu, Mali Swiss Missionary April 2012 Meeting Timbuktu, Mali Jun 2012 Meeting Gao, Mali June or July 2012 Meeting Timbuktu, Mali January 2013 Attack In Amenas, Algeria American, Japanese, Philippine, Norwegian, British, Malaysian, Romanian, Colombian, French, Algerian Foreign Worker May 2013 Attack Agadez and Arlit, Niger Nigerien Military, Commercial June 2013 Prison Break Niamey, Niger November 2013 Kidnapping Kidal, Mali French Journalist LEGEND AQIM Unaffiliated MUJWA Ansar al Din al Muwaqqi’un Biddam 18 AQIM and its associated groups cooperated in the Sahel region. The leadership coordinated attacks and kidnappings and attended meetings, despite operating under new names.
  • 19. AREAS OF OPERATIONS JANUARY 2011 – MAY 2013 JOINT OPERATIONS 1. January 2012 Aguelhok, Mali AQIM and Ansar al Din 2. March 2012 Gao, Mali AQIM, MUJWA, Ansar al Din 3. March 2012 Timbuktu, Mali AQIM and Ansar al Din 4. January 2013 Mopti, Mali AQIM and Ansar al Din 5. January 2013 Ain Amenas, Algeria al Mulathamun and MUJWA 6. May 2013 Agadez and Arlit, Niger al Mulathamun and MUJWA AQIM 2 2 Ansar al Din MUJWA 19 Overlap in operations reflects overlap in goals and leadership. 2 6 5 6 5 3 4 1 1 4 3 al Mulathamun
  • 20. al Qaeda AQ al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula AQAP al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb AQIM al Qaeda in Iraq AQI (known today as the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham) al Qaeda senior leadership AQSL Groupe Islamique Armé GIA (Armed Islamic Group) Groupe Salafiste pour la Prédication et le Combat GSPC (Salafist Group for Call and Combat) Mouvement National pour la Libération de l'Azawad MNLA (National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad) Mouvement Populaire Libération de l'Azawad MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Azawad) Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa MUJWA ABBREVIATIONS USED 20
  • 21. APPENDIX 1: AQIM’S LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE • Leaders are mostly former senior members of the GIA (1990s) or GSPC (1998-2007) who fought during the Algerian civil war. • The Emir, the Council of Notables (majlis al ‘ayan), and the Shura Council (majlis al shura) are the organization’s decision-makers. – The Council of Notables includes the emir, some regional commanders, and the heads of the military, judicial, political, and media committees. The medical committee head, the chief financial officer, communications officials and others are most likely members or advisors of the council. (See Appendix 3.) – AQIM’s Shura Council includes members of the Council of Notables, the heads of AQIM’s military, political, media, and medical committees, a communications official, and AQIM judges. (See Appendix 4.) • AQIM appears to divide operations into a “Central Emirate” (northern Algeria, Tunisia) and a “Sahara Emirate” (northern Mali, southern Algeria, Niger, Libya). Each sector has its own operational units or brigades. – Task execution is delegated to brigade (katiba) commanders. They enjoy significant freedom of operation. 21
  • 22. APPENDIX 1: AQIM’S ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE EMIR POLITICAL COMMITTEE JUDICIAL COMMITTEE MEDICAL COMMITTEE MILITARY COMMITTEE MEDIA COMMITTEE FINANCE COMMITTEE† FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE† Brigades of the Sahara Emirate (South) YOUSSEF BEN TACHFINE TAREK IBN ZIYADAL FURQAN AL ANSAR AL MOULETHEMINE* AL QAEDA IN THE ISLAMIC MAGHREB COUNCIL OF NOTABLES SHURA COUNCIL AL ANDALUS MEDIA FOUNDATION Brigades of the Central Emirate (North) AL FETH AL ARKAM AL WENCHIRAL SIDDIQ AL NOUR MAJOR BRIGADES MAJOR COMMITTEES † Assessed with moderate confidence * Split from AQIM in December 2012 SPOKESMAN 22
  • 23. • AQIM leaders learned guerrilla war and explosives use during the Algerian civil war. – Some, like Mokhtar Belmokhtar, retain access to Sahelian smuggling networks. • AQIM’s senior leaders are almost exclusively Algerian. • Recent appointments of Mauritanians, Nigerians, and Malians to brigade command may be a recruiting tool to build AQIM’s non-Algerian base in the Sahel region. – Malik Abu Abdelkarim, a Malian Tuareg AQIM brigade commander related to Tuareg rebel leader Iyad ag Ghali, learned Salafi ideology in Saudi Arabia and received paramilitary training in Pakistan. – Abu Abdelhamid al Kidali, a Tuareg, was appointed leader of an all-Tuareg AQIM brigade in the Sahel. • AQIM senior leaders are part of the human network formed through shared experience in Afghanistan. – Mokhtar Belmokhtar claims to have trained at the al Qaeda-linked Khalden and Jalalabad camps in Afghanistan in the early 1990s. – The current al Murabitoun leader fought in Afghanistan against Soviet forces in the 1980s and American forces in the 2000s. APPENDIX 1: AQIM’S LEADERSHIP HISTORY 23 Almost all senior leaders participated in terrorism or trafficking in northern and western Africa. Some are part of the human network that formed fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan.
  • 24. APPENDIX 2: PROFILES OF LEADERSHIP FIGURES 24 Emir, AQIM Sahara Emir, AQIM Commander Commander Founder, Ansar al Din Commander Spokesman Abdelmalek Droukdel AKA Abu Musab Abdul Wadud, The Prince - Militant Affiliations: GIA, GSPC, AQIM Nationality: Algerian - Known for: GSPC bidding for al Qaeda affiliation Yahya Abu el Hammam AKA Djamel Okacha - Militant Affiliations: GIA, GSPC, AQIM Nationality: Algerian - Known for: kidnappings, attacks on military targets in Mauritania Mokhtar Belmokhtar AKA Khalid Abu al Abbas, Mr. Marlboro - Militant Affiliations: GIA, GSPC, AQIM, al Murabitoun Nationality: Algerian - Known for: kidnappings, smuggling, demotion and split from AQIM Iyad ag Ghali AKA Abou el Fadl, Lion of the Desert - Militant Affiliations: MPLA, MNLA, Ansar al Din Nationality: Malian - Known for: Malian Rebellion (1990), hostage mediator (1999, 2003) Omar Ould Hamaha AKA Redbeard, Hakka - Militant Affiliations: AQIM, Ansar al Din, MUJWA Nationality: Malian - Known for: association with Mokhtar Belmokhtar, kidnappings Killed in Action Abu Talha al Mauritani AKA Talha, Abderrahmane - Militant Affiliations: AQIM Nationality: Mauritanian - Known for: occupation of Timbuktu in 2012, AQIM al Furqan Brigade Sanda Ould Bouamama AKA Sidi Mohamed Ould Bounama - Militant Affiliations: AQIM or GSPC, Ansar al Din Nationality: Mauritanian - Known for: surrender to Mauritanian intelligence in 2013
  • 25. APPENDIX 2: PROFILES OF LEADERSHIP FIGURES 25 Commander Commander Killed in Action Commander Killed in Action Commander Founder, MUJWA Founder, MUJWA Founder, MUJWA Malik Abou Abdelkarim AKA Hamada ag Hama - Militant Affiliations: AQIM Nationality: Malian - Known for: Tuareg, familial relationship to Iyad ag Ghali, kidnappings, training in Pakistan Sultan Ould Badi AKA Abu Ali - Militant Affiliations: AQIM, MUJWA, Ansar al Din Nationality: Malian - Known for: kidnappings, smuggling Ahmed el Tilemsi AKA Abderrahmane Ould el Amar - Militant Affiliations: AQIM, MUJWA, al Murabitoun Nationality: Malian - Known for: kidnappings, multiple incarcerations (2005, 2006, 2008-2009) Hamada Ould Mohamed Kheirou AKA Abou Qumqum - Militant Affiliations: AQIM, MUJWA Nationality: Mauritanian/Malian - Known for: smuggling Mohamed Lemine Ould Hacen AKA Abdallah al Chinghuitty - Militant Affiliations: AQIM Nationality: Mauritanian - Known for: AQIM ideologue, spokesman Abou Saïd el Djazaïri AKA Said Abou Moughatil - Militant Affiliations: AQIM Nationality: Algerian - Known for: Abu Zeid’s replacement, kidnapping foreigners in Niger (2010) Abdel Hamid Abu Zeid AKA Abid Hammadou - Militant Affiliations: FIS, GIA, GSPC, AQIM Nationality: Algerian - Known for: kidnappings, smuggling, rivalry with Mokhtar Belmokhtar
  • 26. APPENDIX 3: AQIM COUNCIL OF NOTABLES The Council of Notables is believed to have 15 council members, including the AQIM leader. 1. Abdelmalek Droukdel, AQIM emir (b) 2. Abu Obeida Yousef al Annabi, Council of Notables president (a,b) 3. Abu Hayan Assem, member from the west region, AQIM’s judge (a) 4. Abu Mohammed Abdel Nasser, head of AQIM’s military committee (a) 5. Abu Abdul Ilah Ahmed, head of AQIM’s political committee (a,b) 6. Abu Mohammed Salah, head of the AQIM’s media committee (a) 7. Abu Hazem Mawloud, member and AQIM judge of the middle region (a) 8. Abu Abdelrahim Abdullah, member from the middle region (a) 9. Abu Khaythema Ahmed Jebri, member from the middle region (a,b) 10. Abu Abdul Rahman al Taher al Jeijely, member from the east region (a,b) 11. Abu Abdullah Ammi Mohamed (b) 12. Unknown council member 13. Unknown council member 14. Unknown council member 15. Unknown council member 26 Information obtained from recovered AQIM documents in Mali: (a) Letter from AQIM Shura Council to the Masked Brigade Shura Council, dated October 3, 2012 (b) AQIM attendance list of the 33rd Council of Notables meeting on March 16, 2012 (Members subject to change due to ongoing military operations in North and West Africa.)
  • 27. APPENDIX 4: AQIM SHURA COUNCIL It is not known how many individuals are on the AQIM Shura Council. 1. Abu Obeida Yousef al Annabi, Council of Notables president (a) 2. Abu Hayan Assem, AQIM’s judge and Council of Notables member from the west region (a) 3. Abu Mohammed Abd al Nasser, head of AQIM’s military committee and Council of Notables member from the middle region (a) 4. Abu Abdul Ilah Ahmed, head of AQIM’s political committee and Council of Notables member (a) 5. Abu Mohammed Salah, head of the AQIM’s media committee and Council of Notables member (a) 6. Abu al Faraj al Hussein, head of the AQIM’s medical committee (a) 7. Abu Hazem Mawloud, judge and Council of Notables member from the middle region (a) 8. Abu Abdul Rahim Abdullah, Council of Notables member from the middle region (a) 9. Abu Khaythema Ahmed Jebri, Council of Notables member from the middle region (a) 10. Abu Abdul Rahman al Taher al Jeijely, Council of Notables member from the east region (a) 11. Abu Yasser (a) 12. Abu al Ezz Mohammed (a) 13. Shueib (a) 14. Abu Ayyad Yahya, AQIM’s communications official (a) 27 Information obtained from recovered AQIM documents in Mali: (a) Letter from AQIM Shura Council to the Masked Brigade Shura Council, dated October 3, 2012 (b) AQIM attendance list of the 33rd Council of Notables meeting on March 16, 2012 (Members subject to change due to ongoing military operations in North and West Africa.)
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  • 29. Paul Cruickshank, Tim Lister, and Nic Robertson, “New al Qaeda Document Sheds Light on Europe, U.S. Attack Plans,” CNN, March 20, 2013, http://edition.cnn.com/2013/03/20/world/new-qaeda-document/index.html. “Exclusif(ANI)--L’Emir du Grand Sahara d'AQMI Yahya Abou el Houmam: La Mauritanie Sait Comment Éviter la Confrontation… Hollande Signe l’Arrêt de Mort des Otages,” Agence Nouakchott d’Information, October 20, 2012, [French], http://www.ani.mr/?menuLink=9bf31c7ff062936a96d3c8bd1f8f2ff3&idNews=19728. Emily Hunt, “Al-Qaeda's North African Franchise: The GSPC Regional Threat,” The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, September 28, 2005, http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/al-qaedas-north-african-franchise-the- gspc-regional-threat. “Islamist Terrorism in Northwestern Africa: A ‘Thorn in the Neck’ of the United States?” The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, February 2007, http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/uploads/Documents/pubs/PolicyFocus65.pdf. European Parliament Directorate-General for External Politics of the Union, “The Involvement of Salafism/Wahhabism in the Support and Supply of Arms to Rebel Groups Around the World,” June 2013, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/etudes/join/2013/457137/EXPO- AFET_ET%282013%29457137_EN.pdf. “Man detained by Algerian Authorities Believed to be Recruiting for al-Qaida in Iraq,” Associated Press, July 2, 2005. Available at Lexis Nexis. Souad Mekhennet, Michael Moss, Eric Schmitt, Elaine Sciolino and Margot Williams, “A Ragtag Insurgency Gains a Qaeda Lifeline,” New York Times, July 1, 2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/01/world/africa/01algeria.html. UN Security Council, “Narrative Summaries of Reasons for Listing: QE.A.135.13. Ansar Eddine,” press release, March 20, 2013, http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1267/NSQE13513E.shtml. UN Security Council, “Narrative Summaries of Reasons for Listing: QE.M.134.12 Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (Mujao),” press release, December 5, 2012, http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1267/NSQE13412E.shtml. Yassin Musharbash, “ Bisher Unbekanntes al-Kaida-Dokument Enthüllt Strategie für Globale Anschläge,” Die Zeit, March 20, 2013, [German], http://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2013-03/terror-al-kaida-anschlagsplaene. SELECTED SOURCES 29
  • 30. Don Rassler, Gabriel Koehler-Derrick, Liam Collins, Muhammad al Obaidi and Nelly Lahoud, “Letters from Abbottabad: Bin Ladin Sidelined?” Combating Terrorism Center, May 3, 2012, http://www.ctc.usma.edu/posts/letters-from-abbottabad- bin-ladin-sidelined. Letter from Osama bin Laden to Atiyah Abd al Rahman (SOCOM-2012-0000010), dated April 26, 2011, http://www.ctc.usma.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/SOCOM-2012-0000010-Trans.pdf. Letter from Osama Bin Laden to Atiyah Abd al Rahman (SOCOM-2012-0000019), dated May 2010, http://www.ctc.usma.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Letter-from-UBL-to-Atiyatullah-Al-Libi-4-Translation.pdf. Benjamin Roger, “Visuel Interactif: le Nouvel Organigramme d'Aqmi,” Jeune Afrique, October 25, 2013, [French], http://www.jeuneafrique.com/Article/ARTJAWEB20131023095553/terrorisme-aqmi-jihad-abdelmalek-droukdel- infographie-visuel-interactif-le-nouvel-organigramme-d-aqmi.html. “Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC) Issues a Statement about the Implementation of ‘Allah’s Sentence’ on the Algerian Delegates,” SITE Intelligence Group, July 28, 2005. Available by subscription through www.siteintelgroup.com. “Slain Militant Linked to Al Qaeda,” Los Angeles Times, November 26, 2002, http://articles.latimes.com/2002/nov/26/world/fg-algeria26. Craig Smith, “U.S. Training African Forces to Uproot Terrorists,” New York Times, May 11, 2004, http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/11/world/us-training-african-forces-to-uproot-terrorists.html. Camille Tawil, Brothers in Arms: The Story of al-Qa’ida and the Arab Jihadists, trans. Robin Bray (London: Saqi Books, 2010) U.S. State Department, “Terrorist Designations of Iyad ag Ghali,” press release, February 26, 2013, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2013/02/205196.htm. U.S. State Department, “Terrorist Designation of the al-Mulathamun Battalion,” press release, December 18, 2013, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2013/218880.htm. U.S. State Department, “Terrorist Designations of the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa, Hamad el Khairy, and Ahmed el Tilemsi,” press release, December 7, 2012, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/12/201660.htm. “Urgent: Fusion entre les Moulatahamounes et le MUJAO,” Agence Nouakchott d’Information, August 22, 2013, [French], http://www.ani.mr/?menuLink=9bf31c7ff062936a96d3c8bd1f8f2ff3&idNews=22617. “Algeria Confirms Damascus Delivered ‘Yasser Abu Sayyaf’ Linked to Zarqawi’s Group in Iraq,” Syria-News, September 13, 2005, [Arabic], http://www.syria-news.com/readnews.php?sy_seq=11378. SELECTED SOURCES 30
  • 31. For more on AQIM, visit www.criticalthreats.org/west-africa-and-maghreb The American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project is supported by Palantir Technologies and Praescient Analytics.