Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghrib’s Expansion in the Sahara: New Insights from Primary Sources
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Although originating in Algeria, AQIM and its allies had by 2012 become so entrenched in the Sahel that they were in de-facto control of vast swathes of territory in northern Mali. This article explains how and why GSPC/AQIM established itself in the Sahel, and why the group eventually decided to take the fight to the Sahelian countries, where they had previously found sanctuary. Relying on hitherto unused primary sources, this article is the first to show that the leadership of AQIM and al-Qaida Central did not want to engage in direct conflicts with the Sahelian states. The eventual shift of strategy in the region was brought about by the increasing numbers of Sahelians in AQIM's southern brigades.
Skretting, Vidar Benjamin. Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghrib’s Expansion in the Sahara: New Insights from Primary Sources. Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 2020