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Abstract: This Policy Brief examines the real and imagined influence of al-Qa‘ida in North Africa and the Sahel. Despite a perception of the transnationalization of terrorist movements in North Africa under al-Qa‘ida’s banner, robust evidence of an effective al-Qa‘ida’s expansion in the Maghreb and the Sahara/Sahel region remains elusive at best. Rather, doubts about al-Qa‘ida’s actual threat and the efficacy of international response in the context of pervasive state failure in the Sahel raise questions regarding the policy objectives of US-led counter-terrorism in the region.
Abstract: The recent political upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa region have exposed growing concerns about conflict risk, political stability, and reform prospects across its societies. Given the prevalence of oil and gas resource endowments in the region, which a voluminous literature suggests can be associated with adverse development consequences, this paper examines the interplay between their associated rents and political economy trajectories. The contribution of the paper is threefold: first, to examine the quantitative evidence of violent conflict in the region since 1960; second, to provide a nuanced review of the regional case study literature on the relationship between resource endowments, political stability, and conflict risk; and third, to assess how prospective political transitions have implications for the World Bank Group's work in the region on public sector management and private sector development. The authors find that resources and regimes have intersected to provide stability and limited violent conflict in the region, but that these development patterns have yielded a set of policy choices and development patterns that are proving increasingly brittle and unsustainable. A major institutional challenge for reforms will be to consolidate a requisite degree of inter-temporal credibility and stability in these regimes, while expanding inclusiveness in state-society relations.
Abstract: This policy brief focuses on a case study. It is suggested that an environmental disaster during the summer of 2010 in the Black Sea region triggered in winter 2011 a food crisis in the Arab World; in turn, this led to massive riots, revolts, political instability, a NATO operation and, alas, an oil crisis that accentuates an already suffering global economy. Coextensively, it may be suggested that an environmental crisis triggered a political crisis, which escalated in a series of conflicts that are of major concern for traditional security structures in Europe and beyond. In sum, the argument is made that as a result of this experience, the human security agenda must have a direct effect on our traditional security agenda. The question addressed at this point is how these interrelated chains of events affect the security establishment and our notions of a ‘high strategy.’
Abstract: North Africa is bracing itself. Not since Algeria’s brutal civil war a generation ago has the region witnessed so much turmoil and uncertainty. Angry and frustrated masses demanding improved governance and greater socioeconomic opportunities present regimes with new challenges. The need for governments to address these grievances is urgent. Failure to respond will intensify public pressure and heighten the risk of more violence.
Abstract: Foreign fighters fuel the world’s conflicts. They
make conflicts more costly for host nations and
peacekeepers. These extremists come from all over
the world and believe they need to fight for their
ideological survival. The best way to combat the
use of foreign fighters is to stop them as close to the
source as possible. This can be difficult, especially if
the U.S. is lacking diplomatic, informational, military,
and economic relations with the source country.
The U.S. government, especially military and
political agencies, needs to be aware of the foreign
fighter phenomenon and plan for it when developing
new contingency and campaign plans as well as
further developing bilateral and regional relationships
in foreign fighter source and transit countries.
This paper will discuss and highlight, from the
national security perspective, the potential military
actions for interdicting foreign fighters. The foreign
fighter problem set, terminology, and life cycle are
defined and discussed. Foreign fighters in current
conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan/Pakistan, and Somalia
are discussed as well. Finally, potential solutions
are introduced as well as actions the U.S. military
can take to stem the flow of foreign fighters within
stability operations framework.
Abstract: Efforts to promote “deradicalization,” or to rehabilitate
detainees charged with terrorism-related
offenses, have taken multiple forms in a wide range
of countries, often as part of broader counterradicalization
strategies that seek to prevent the
adoption of violent extremist ideologies or
behaviors in the first place. Some are more formal
rehabilitation programs, with well-defined agendas,
institutional structures, and a dedicated full-time
staff, while others are a looser combination of social
and political initiatives. Programs vary in their
objectives, their criteria for participation, and the
kinds of benefits and incentives they might offer.
The cumulative lessons learned from several states’
experiences in dealing with violent extremist
groups are of growing interest to countries now
facing similar challenges.
With its global membership, neutral “brand,” and
powerful convening capacity, the United Nations
has the potential to play a powerful role in setting
global norms and shaping international legal
frameworks regarding counterterrorism, as well as
in providing a platform for the exchange of
information and technical assistance for practitioners
This paper draws lessons learned from case
studies of deradicalization initiatives in eight
Muslim-majority countries, which corroborate the
experiences of countries in other regions that have
grappled with violent extremist groups. The paper
concludes by making recommendations
concerning how the UN could help to facilitate the
provision of knowledge and resources to key
stakeholders interested in establishing or strengthening
their own rehabilitation programs.
Abstract: National security is normally seen in terms of military strength and internal security operations against extremists and insurgents. The upheavals that began in Tunis, and now play out from Pakistan to Morocco,. have highlighted the fact that national security is measured in terms of the politics, economics, and social tensions that shape national stability as well. It is all too clear that the wrong kind of internal security efforts, and national security spending that limits the ability to meet popular needs and expectations can do as much to undermine national security over time as outside and extremist threats.
It is equally clear that calls for democracy are at best only the prelude to dealing with critical underlying problems, pressures, and expectations. It is far from certain that even successful regime change can evolve into functional democracies and governance. Countries with no political parties and experienced leaders, with no history of checks and balances in government, with weak structure of governance led by new political figures with no administrative experience, will often descend into chaos, extremism, or a new round of authoritarianism. Even the best governments, however, are unlikely to change an economy and national infrastructure in less than half a decade, and existing demographic pressures will inevitably go on for at least the next decade.
Abstract: Since the end of January 2011 Arab countries have been confronted with the biggest upheaval
since their establishment. Besides all political aspirations towards democracy, political participation,
rule of law or civil rights one should not forget root causes that have led to these revolutions.
Population growth, a disproportionally high number of young people, unemployment, less
developed industry and agriculture, as well as migration pressure from sub-Saharan countries, are
remaining and unresolved challenges.
The EU is facing serious internal and external challenges in tackling the revolutions on the other
side of the Mediterranean Sea. Internally coherent and cohesive action is needed; while externally
the biggest problem could be to (re)gain credibility and trust because of the long period of good
relations with the former autocratic regimes and leaders. The decisive point will be to change the
strategic approach from containment to inclusive partnership. A new Overall Strategy is required
– the time is ripe for an “EU-Master Plan”.
Abstract: An animated map of recent protests in the Middle East as they spread from country to country, updated with the most recent events. Particular outcomes indicated with descriptions of the progression of events for each nation.
Abstract: The United States has increasingly viewed the government of Algeria as an important partner in
the fight against Al Qaeda-linked groups in North Africa. The Algerian economy is largely based
on hydrocarbons, and the country is a significant source of natural gas for the United States and
Europe. Algeria receives little development assistance from the United States, but its security
forces benefit from U.S. security assistance and participation in bilateral and regional military
Algeria’s relative stability, always tenuous, has most recently been challenged by a series of riots
and popular demonstrations that have occurred since early January 2011. The unrest initially
appeared to be motivated by discontent over food prices, but has turned more overtly political
since mid-January. The example of neighboring Tunisia’s “Jasmine Revolution” and the ripple
effects of ongoing unrest in Egypt may contribute to opposition activism, with further protests
anticipated in mid-February. The government has reacted both by attempting to assuage the
public through political and economic concessions and by using the security forces to prevent and
break up demonstrations. Across the region, other authoritarian governments have adopted a
similar approach with varying results.
Abstract: Following the fall of Tunisia's President and in light of the upheaval in Egypt, the spectre of domino effects has been raised. The lack of prospects for young people, social injustice and political repression - all causes that sparked the protests in Tunisia - are problems in virtually all Arab states.
Abstract: The purpose of this updated report is to supplement two earlier special studies published in 2009 and January 2010: “Why the Maghreb Matters: Threats, Opportunities, and Options for Effective Engagement in North Africa” (March 2009) was co-sponsored by the Conflict Management Program of the John Hopkins University jointly with the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. The second report, “Maghreb & Sahel Terrorism: Addressing the Rising Threat from al-Qaeda and other Terrorists in North and West/Central Africa”(January 2010), was published by the International Center for Terrorism Studies at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies
In sum, a coherent and firm US policy vis-à-vis the threats of terrorism in Maghreb and Sahel would increase domestic public understanding and support in the US for sustained engagement with the nations of North and West/Central Africa. The updated documents incorporated in this report, particularly the statistical tables and terrorism chronology covering the period September 11, 2001 – December 31, 2010 make it clear that constructive and sustained engagement is vital, employing both “hard” (security, military, intelligence cooperation) and “soft” elements (economic and social development creating employment opportunities, education that equips students/trainees for jobs, and reduction of religious radicalism). Otherwise, the US, the EU, and our friends in the region will remain hostages to, and targets of, these ideological, theological, and political terrorists for the remainder of the 21st century.
Abstract: The military balance in North Africa, and internal security developments in each country, receive less attention than the Arab-Israeli balance and the balance in the Gulf. They are, however, an important part of the security of world energy exports, and the struggle against terrorism and extremism. Moreover, major acquisitions on the part of Algeria and Morocco starting in 2006, and potential major orders by Libya, could mark the beginning of important military modernization efforts in the region.
Abstract: Militias, rebels and Islamist militants: human insecurity and state crises in Africa explores how armed non-state groups have emerged as key players in African politics and armed conflicts since the 1990s. The book is a critical, multidisciplinary and comprehensive study of the threats that militias, rebels and Islamist militants pose to human security and the state in Africa. Through case studies utilising multidisciplinary approaches and concepts, analytical frameworks and perspectives cutting across the social sciences and humanities, the book conceptualises armed non-state groups in Africa through their links to the state. After contextualising these groups in history, culture, economics, politics, law and other factors, a systematic effort is made to locate their roots in group identity, social deprivation, resource competition, elite manipulations, the youth problématique, economic decline, poor political leadership and governance crisis. Differentiating militias from insurgents, rebel groups and extremist religious movements, the book illustrates how some of the groups have sustained themselves, undermining both human security and the state capacity to provide it. The responses to their threats by local communities, states, regional mechanisms and initiatives, and the international communities are analysed. The findings provide a conceptual reference for scholars and practical recommendations for policymakers.
Abstract: The 56-page report, "‘Stop Looking for Your Son': Illegal Detentions Under the Counterterrorism Law in Morocco," documents a pattern of abuse under the country's counterterrorism law, which was adopted 12 days after coordinated suicide bombings in Casablanca on May 16, 2003, took 45 lives. Many of these abuses violate the progressive legislation Morocco adopted to safeguard against torture and illegal detention, as well as international conventions that Morocco has signed, Human Rights Watch said.
The report is based in part on interviews conducted with persons detained under the counterterrorism law between 2007 and 2010 and their relatives. It includes a response from the Moroccan government, which Human Rights Watch welcomed.
"While Morocco has demonstrated the political will to adopt enlightened human rights legislation, it lacks the political will to enforce it when it comes to terrorism suspects," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch.
The pattern starts with the suspects' detention by agents in plainclothes, who show no identification, do not explain the basis for the arrest, and then transport suspects, blindfolded, to a secret place of detention, Human Rights Watch found. There, suspects often remain longer than the 12-day legal maximum in garde à vue, or pre-arraignment, custody, and many of those held under those conditions say that they were tortured or ill-treated in detention. The authorities eventually transfer them to a police station, where officers present them with a statement for signature. Only after they have signed do most of them first see a lawyer and are their families first notified of their whereabouts - sometimes four or five weeks after their arrest.
The failure of arresting agents to prove their identity as police is significant because the suspects and their families uniformly contend that those who carried out the arrests are agents of the domestic intelligence agency, the Direction Générale de la Surveillance du Territoire. Under Moroccan law, only the Judiciary Police is legally authorized to arrest and hold persons in garde à vue custody.
Abstract: The purpose of the present report is to provide easily accessible background information
about the main Islamist organizations in Morocco and about recent trends in
regime responses to them. Islamist organizations are here defined as organizations
and actors distinct from the wider Islamic community or umma by their seeking to
create a political order defined in terms of Islam (Mandaville, 2007: 20).
Morocco hosts a profusion of Islamist organizations. Among these are a number
of radical organizations which do not shy away from using violence to obtain their
goals. Such organizations were behind the terrorist attacks in Casablanca of 16 May
2003, were involved in the Madrid bombings in 2004 and have also been behind a
number of small-scale events, such as an unsuccessful bombing attempt in Casablanca
However, the present report focuses predominantly on the two main and non-violent
Islamist organizations in Morocco; namely Harakat al-Islâh wa at-Tawhid (Movement
for Reform and Unity, MUR) and its related political party, Hizb al Adala wal Tanmia
(Party of Justice and Development, PJD); and Al Jama’a al Adl wal Ihsan ( Justice and
The report has been prepared on the basis of existing literature and on insights gathered
during a field visit to Morocco in November 2009. Merieme Yafout (doctoral
student at the University of Hassan II in Casablanca) has contributed with important
research input in Morocco.
Abstract: The conflict over Western Sahara between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Polisario Front, which
represents the people of Western Sahara, has been on the agenda of the United Nations Security
Council for close to 19 years, since June 1991, when the council took up the issue and established
MINURSO, the U.N. mission in Western Sahara. Throughout this period, the U.N. cannot show any
real progress towards resolution of the conflict, other than occasional outbursts of optimism that
eventually have come to naught.
Peacemaking efforts towards a political solution, undertaken in order to move the parties away
from the winner takes all solution envisaged by the referendum on self-determination under the
U.N. Settlement Plan, have been at an impasse since June 2004. James A. Baker, III, the first United
Nations personal envoy of the secretary-general, charged with such a task, resigned from his
position at that time after he served in that role for seven years, stating that he had done all he
could to resolve the conflict. He pointed out that only the parties themselves could exercise the
political will necessary to reach an agreed-upon solution, as the U.N. would not solve the problem
without requiring the parties to do something they would not voluntarily agree to do. The most
recent informal talks between the parties organized by Christopher Ross, current personal envoy, on
February 10 and 11, 2010 resulted at an impasse as did all previous talks organized by the U.N. since
the Security Council adopted Resolution 1754 on April 30 2007, asking the parties to negotiate
Abstract: As the governments of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) undertake the difficult process of enacting social and political change, the unequal status of women presents a particularly formidable challenge. In Iraq, deliberations over women's legal status have been as contentious as negotiations over how to structure the government. In Jordan, measures to increase penalties for so-called honor crimes faced strong resistance by ultraconservative parliamentarians and ordinary citizens who believe that tradition and religion afford them the right to severely punish and even murder female relatives for behavior they deem immoral. These debates are not just legal and philosophical struggles among elites. They are emotionally charged political battles that touch upon fundamental notions of morality and social order.
In order to provide a detailed look at the conditions faced by women in the Middle East and understand the complex environment surrounding efforts to improve their status, Freedom House conducted a comprehensive study of women's rights in the region. The first edition of this project was published in 2005. The present edition offers an updated examination of the issue, with a special focus on changes that have occurred over the last five years. Although the study indicates that a substantial deficit in women's rights persists in every country in the MENA region, the findings also include notable progress, particularly in terms of economic opportunities, educational attainment, and political participation.
Abstract: At least 71 journalists were killed across the globe in 2009, the Committee to Protect Journalists announced Tuesday, the largest annual toll in the 30 years the group has been keeping track.
Twenty-nine of those deaths came in a single, politically motivated massacre of reporters and others in the Philippines last November, the worst known episode for journalists, the committee said.
But there were other worrisome trends. The two nations with the highest number of journalists incarcerated — China had 24 journalists imprisoned at the end of 2009 and Iran had 23 — were particularly harsh in taking aim at bloggers and others using the Internet. The number jailed in Iran has since jumped to 47, the committee said. Of the 71 confirmed deaths, 51 were murders, the committee said. The report noted that 24 additional deaths of journalists remained under investigation to determine if they were related to the journalists’ work. Previously, the highest number of journalists killed in a single year was 67, in 2007, when violence in Iraq was raging.
Abstract: This extensive paper examines the complex nexus between democratic change and U.S. security interests, with a principal focus on Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Yemen. It sets out a set of general and country-specific findings and recommendations for a long-term strategy by which “political liberalization” can enhance the stability and legitimacy of governments, thus strengthening security and peacemaking in the region. This report offers a set of general and country-specific findings and
recommendations to assist the Obama administration in its efforts to tackle
escalating security challenges while sustaining diplomatic, institutional and
economic support for democracy and human rights in the Greater Middle East.
The working group recognizes that addressing threats from terrorist
groups affiliated with al-Qaeda, as well as stemming conflicts arising from the
persistence of regional conflicts in the Middle East and South Asia, must be a top
priority. But, as the case studies of Yemen, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon amply
demonstrate, long-term political stability, economic development and security
also requires a continued and even enhanced U.S. commitment, in both words
and deeds, to fostering democratic transformation, human rights and effective
governance. The architecture of security and peacemaking must be
accompanied by a revived focus on democratic reforms.
Absent such an effort, this study group believes that the already wide
political, social and ideological gap between states and societies will further
expand, thus making regimes, and even entire states vulnerable to internal and
external shocks. It is the task and challenge of genuine reformers in both the
regimes and oppositions of the Arab World and South Asia to chart an exit from
the cul-de-sac of arbitrary rule and state-managed political reform by defining a
common vision of substantive “democratic transformation.”
Abstract: In 2009, the Kingdom of Morocco celebrated the 10th anniversary of the accession of King
Mohamed VI to the throne. The official discourse marking the occasion emphasized the
progress made since the rule of King Mohamed VI in a numbers of fields including
democratic governance, economic development and human rights. In the past decade, the
human rights situation in Morocco and Western Sahara witnessed some improvements.
However, the Moroccan authorities’ prevention of a weekly to distribute an issue carrying a
census on the popularity of the King in the wake of celebrations - albeit demonstrating a
favourable opinion of the ruler- was a grim reminder that some issues remain taboo and that
red lines continue to exist and to be enforced against those who dare to transcend them.1
There is no doubt that the human rights situation in Morocco and Western Sahara today has
much changed since the “years of lead” (les années de plomb)- a period under the rule of King
Hassan II marked by widespread political repression and grave violations of human rights. While
the whole period between Morocco’s independence in 1956 and the death of King Hassan II in
1999 was characterized by serious human rights violations, it is between the 1960s and early
1990s that human rights violations reached their highest level. Violations were particularly
rampant when the Moroccan authorities felt under internal or external security threat from
opponents of the status-quo such as in the aftermath of the attempted military coups and
during the armed conflict with the Polisario Front2. Systematic use of torture or other illtreatment,
the enforced disappearance of hundreds of individuals and the arbitrary detention of
thousands characterized this dark period.
Abstract: Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, established in January 2007, is the latest
in a long line of Algerian jihadi groups. Like many terrorist organizations,
AQIM enjoys global media exposure on activist Internet sites, but unlike other
al-Qaeda franchises, it has managed to maintain its indigenous leadership. The
group has become known for fearsome suicide attacks, which were previously
unheard of in Algeria, but has failed to incorporate the jihadi outfi ts from
neighboring Morocco and Tunisia. AQIM has therefore focused on the northern
Sahara, carving out safe havens and threatening weak government forces,
fi rst in Mauritania, and now increasingly in Mali.
At the outset, AQIM’s global strategy was based on the triangular dynamic
of the Middle East (where Iraq serves as a magnet for potential recruits),
North Africa (where the group functions as a regional jihadi recruiting hub),
and Europe (where it pursues aggressive propaganda against the French and
Spanish “Crusaders”). The demise of al-Qaeda in Iraq jeopardized this grand
design, undermining AQIM’s capabilities on both sides of the Mediterranean,
but although it primarily targets Western “Crusaders” in its own Algerian and
Saharan environment, AQIM remains wedded to a global agenda.
The threat of AQIM must be contained, and hopefully, ultimately eradicated.
Algeria and the other targeted states have a long record of fi ghting similar
jihadi networks, but they cannot confront transnational movements without
international cooperation. To address this threat, regional security organizations
can enhance much-needed bilateral exchanges among law enforcement
and intelligence agencies. Additionally, the countries implementing the UN
global strategy against terrorism should focus considerable attention on North
Africa and the Sahel, where the threat is on the rise, but not yet out of control.
Abstract: Western Sahara, a coastal desert of less than 500,000 inhabitants and rich in phosphates, fisheries and, potentially, oil, was annexed by Morocco and Mauritania after Spain withdrew its colonial administration in 1975. The Polisario Front, an indigenous Sahrawi force with the financial and military backing of Algeria, fought an armed resistance against the occupation, forcing Mauritanian withdrawal in 1979 and a UN-brokered ceasefire with Morocco in 1991. Since then, the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) has maintained an uneasy truce in the territory, but has not fulfilled its mandate to organize a referendum on self-determination. Last month's talks were the brainchild of the new UN special envoy to Western Sahara, Christopher Ross, and were an attempt to allow the parties to air their positions in a less public setting that would prevent the posturing and grandstanding that have marred previous negotiations. Moroccan Communications Minister Khalid Naciri stressed Rabat's position to broadcaster Al-Jazeera in August as one that seeks a "political solution based on realism and accord" - an oft-cited rhetorical link to 'political realism.' Morocco views the dispute as one of secession from the kingdom and presented a proposal in 2007 that would see the territory receive autonomy within its international border, but refuses to consider territorial independence. Morocco has stationed an estimated 150,000 troops in Western Sahara and controls 80 percent of the territory.
Abstract: On March 4, 2004, General Charles Wald, then-deputy commander for the European
Command (EUCOM), observed that “there has, without a doubt, been some
al-Qaida presence in portions of North Africa. But it isn’t like Afghanistan or other
places, and what’s more, Pakistan, for that matter.” On March 10, 2005, Rep. Edward R.
Royce (R-California), chairman of the House Subcommittee on International Terrorism
and Nonproliferation, mentioned in a prepared statement that the “train and equip eff orts
[undertaken by the Trans-Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership (TSCTP)] are aimed at
eliminating the ‘next Afghanistan’: another terrorist sanctuary” across the Sahara-Sahel
region, which allegedly harbors Islamic militants and bin Laden sympathizers. More recently,
Rep. Jane Harman (D-California) argued that “North Africa could be the next front
in [the] war on terror.”
Emerging offi cial forecasts about the rise of violence in North Africa have enhanced
regional governments’ geostrategic positioning in the “Global War on Terror” (GWOT)
by strengthening their diplomatic and military ties to the United States. Speculations and
warnings about the “Afghanistan-ization” of North Africa have not, however, contributed to
the development of a viable interpretive framework for assessing the contexts and interests
underpinning radicalization. In reality, the threat level in the Maghreb in general, and in
Algeria in particular, can only be understood by taking the internal political situation into
consideration from an emic perspective. Only a fi ne-grained, qualitative framework, one
that attends to the processes of radicalization from an insider’s perspective, can reveal how
and why individuals are vulnerable to recruitment into the ranks of radical Islamists, the
so-called “salafi jihadi” network.
Abstract: The recent formation of al Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQIM) could be interpreted
as the opening of a new battlefield in the cause of international jihad.
Such a front, however, is not unprecedented. Algerian veterans of the 1980s
Afghan campaign against the Soviets returned home and played a key role in
the Islamist insurgency. Composed mainly of Algerian “Afghans,” the Armed
Islamic Group (GIA) committed unspeakable atrocities in the 1990s. Moroccan
and Algerian émigré communities in Europe, moreover, have played
important roles in financing for al Qaeda and a variety of North African
Salafist groups. Given its consolidation of North African Salafist terrorist
groups under one umbrella, al Qaeda in the Maghreb does present substantial
security challenges for North African and European governments.
Terrorism in the Mediterranean region has grown recently because of
numerous factors. By far the most important have been the growing fundamentalism
of some Maghrebi communities in Europe, the failures of the
jihadist movement (most notably in Algeria), and the financial largesse provided
to jihadist terror organizations by Islamist civil society and criminal networks. The Iraq war has added a powerful new impetus to the expansion
of the jihadist movement.
In this essay I argue that the al Qaeda – North African Salafist alliance is
a response to post-9/11 organizational and ideological problems. Al Qaeda’s
loss of its Afghan sanctuary and the breaking up of its command-andcontrol
operations have made it dependent on affiliates to recruit terrorists.
The inability of the North African Salafists to overthrow any government in
the Maghreb, moreover, requires the commissioning of a cause that could
give them new life. The crossfertilization of al Qaeda and North African
Salafists is a mutually beneficial arrangement designed to compensate for
My argument proceeds on four levels. First, I analyze various jihadist
movements, their common problems, and the reasons why they crossfertilize
their operations. Second, I examine the role of extremist Maghrebi communities
in Europe in facilitating this intermarriage between international
and nationalist jihadism. Third, I note the role of wars (Afghanistan, Bosnia,
Chechnya, Iraq, and Kashmir) in raising Muslim consciousness and Islamic
extremism. Finally, I provide an overview of the security threats created by
the Salafists’ incorporation into al Qaeda for the Mediterranean region.