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Security offensives trigger AQIM rift

By Jemal Oumar from Nouakchott for Magharebia – 07/02/12

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Stepped-up military operations and intelligence penetrations have sown panic among al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) leaders, security analysts say.

In less than a month, Mohamed Ghadir (aka Abdelhamid Abou Zeid), the "Tariq ibn Ziyad" katibat boss, killed 30 Mauritanian members of the battalion, Ennahar reported on January 26th. The terrorist, who is sentenced to death in Algeria, suspected them of working for Mauritanian intelligence.

The "merciless and barbaric" act prompted "a sense of repulsion among young men working under him", according to the Algerian paper.

"Many Mauritanian young men, members of the terrorist group, have recently abandoned their ideas of engaging in terrorist operations against their country," Ennahar quoted analyst Zain Al-Abidin as saying. "However, the fear of ending up in jail, on the one hand, and the temptation of receiving financial bonuses, on the other, still prevent them from fleeing the desert."

According to Al-Abidin, international religious moderation seminars that featured Mauritanian Muslim figures are among the factors that spur young people to "seek a way out and rejoin their communities and households".

"Terrorist leaders no longer trust even their closest partners," Ennahar editorialised. "They constantly fear someone would blow the whistle on them, especially after some took part in planning to annihilate the 'grey matter' of the clique, by supplying security authorities with the necessary information on the movements of certain members, which led them right into the hands of the police."

For their part, Mauritanian observers viewed the information published by Ennahar as "proof of the success of successive military operations led by the Mauritanian army and its endeavours to besiege the group by shutting down many exists," analyst Mokhtar Salem said.

"It is also a sign showing the group is growing weak," he added.

Salem said, "The developments and the successive actions of field states only foreshadow continued pressure on the terrorist group, through the recent agreement by foreign ministers of field states in Nouakchott to allocate a budget in order to maintain intelligence consistency, being an effective tool in combatting terrorism and countering the recurrent problem of kidnapping foreign nationals."

"Since October, Mauritanian Intelligence has embarked on mobilising enormous potential to recruit local and foreign resources, so as to provide Mauritanian security authorities with information on the plans of al-Qaeda and its channels of communication within the country. Recruited agents are given fancy cars and hefty amounts of money," analyst Mohamed Ould Zein told Magharebia.

Security authorities passed their agents off as "traders, developers, smugglers and sometimes even jihadists, so they could convey a clear picture of what was going on in areas in the Sahara outside the reach of governments", according to Ould Zein.

He added that foreign detectives were also trained and dispatched to northern Mali.

Some of the recruits, however, may "play as double agents", analyst Mohamed Ould Al-Akel said.

They "will offer al-Qaeda information," he said. "Others, however, only give them information to prove their allegiance and ward off suspicions."

AQIM managed to penetrate Mauritanian territories a number of times, the latest of which was the abduction of a Mauritanian gendarme at the end of last year.

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  1. Anonymous thumb

    هارون الجزائري 2012-3-12

    Praise be to God. Life in forests, deserts, valleys and ravines with wolves and even pigs is better than life with apostates and hypocrites! O yasminazarka, by God, I won’t hurt you but God knows who you are. Freedom is won by living in mountains, deserts and forests. Yes, liberation wars which broke out in many parts of this world were launched from mountains. But today you are discrediting these heroes who liberated Algeria from the French crusader. Yes, say whatever you want, but if you see what France did to our mothers, you wouldn’t have said these ugly words. Never mind, “The Hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire.” Don’t be hasty and misunderstand. O Lord, I ask you martyrdom for your cause in mountains or deserts, ameeeeen, o Lord of all creatures!


  2. Anonymous thumb

    Allaoua 2012-3-11

    Salam alikum. We hope that dear brothers who run this site will seek sincerity, transparency and avoid differentiation in news. God is the assistant! Wish you success!


  3. Anonymous thumb

    djemili 2012-3-10

    You would have never thought this. The Algerians are fed up with the corrupt people, the people in power invalidly. Leave the place for the young people. –Thank you


  4. Anonymous thumb

    Mohamed salah 2012-3-9

    Magharebia is a recent discovery for me. I am delighted by it. As for the subject of the article above, I am convinced that violence is not longer an appropriate way to accede to power. It is better to align oneself with the people’s aspirations and adopt a pacifistic method to achieve one’s ends.


  5. Anonymous thumb

    لوصيف زين الدين الونزة الجزائر 2012-3-6

    O you who don’t know Algeria, read your account, never think about anything which is none of your business! Algeria doesn’t trust anyone but it is confident about its men. It is a power which cannot be understood with stones and predictions of humans. It is a red line. Viva Algeria! There is no place for terrorism. May God protect you my nation, the country of a million and half a million martyrs!


  6. Anonymous thumb

    brahim 2012-3-3

    The problem of terrorism is in the region especially the border region in Tamanrasset.


  7. Anonymous thumb

    yasminazarka 2012-2-20

    I work, I am married, have children and a house; so why should I live in a forest like a pig, like a werewolf or a vampire? Why spending billions of dollars to fight terrorism? Haven’t we learnt that protection is better than treatment, if you complicate it with your hands, solve it with your teeth? Why are we studying history? Is it not to build the future and not commit the same mistakes? What is the reason of collapse of the Abbassid, Ottoman and Rustumiya dynasties? It is weakness in power, spread of bribery, favouritism and loss of trust between the ruler and the ruled. However, this is no excuse for killing Muslim souls. Just consider the events of Kabylie region as an example. The national gendarmerie committed crimes against young people and killed over 123 young people, the youngest of whom was 12 from Sidi Aich. In spite of this, we never thought of taking up arms against them, may God reward everyone! Maghreb people should roll up their sleeves and serve their country. The ruler bows to God the Almighty. Viva united Maghreb peoples!


  8. Anonymous thumb

    abda aziz 2012-2-13

    This is interesting!


  9. Anonymous thumb

    مؤنس بن الشيخ الحسين 2012-2-8

    We have here in Algeria a proverb which says “the bald no longer has to scratch his head”. All these huge efforts made by Algeria to close the gaps which the greedy wants to go through, it doesn’t have a raison d’être anymore.