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Al-Qaeda Insurgent Group in the Islamic Maghreb Essay

Terrorism carried out by insurgent groups is a global issue w that requires to be addressed effectively. The Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is a group found in the Sahara region of North Africa that has advanced terror in the region. Since its inception in 1998, the group (initially known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, GSPC) has significantly grown and expanded as a major and extremist group based in Algeria (Poynting and Whyte 224). Reports indicate that in January 2006, the group officially became members of the Al-Qaeda group and assumed a new name Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Currently the group leader is Abu Musad Abdel Wadoud who took over after the Chadian and French forces killed Mokhtar Belmokhtar and Abdelhamid Abou Zeid who were its commanders (Poynting and Whyte 224).


AQIM has over the years increased its membership from a few hundreds to a figure above 4000 adherents. It is important to note that the insurgent group mainly draws its members locally mainly from the Saharan communities, the Moroccans and Algerian citizens. Members from the Saharan community include individuals from Mali’s Berabiche tribal clans and the Tuaregs. According to White (413), this group has also had its members coming from the al-shabaab militia based in Somali.

Aims and Targets

The alliance that AQIM made with al-Qaeda has empowered its intentions to launch attacks to French, Spanish, European and Western targets. The European Union as well as the US Department of State designates AQIM as a foreign terrorist organization. Studies indicate that this group was behind the 2006/2007 improvised explosive devise attacks on cars, the UN office in Algeria and on foreign convoys.

Gus (36) explains that terror groups such as the Al-Qaida and AQIM are largely driven by the desire to maintain control of national systems. From the need to strengthen the state of Algeria, AQIM indicates that its main objective is elimination of the control of the west. In the Horn of Africa, recurrent fights by Al-Shaabab and AQIM terrorist groups are the maintenance of the states in which they belong.

Source of funding

It is notable that most of the warring groups like the Militia insurgents have strong economic and political backing that either directly or indirectly funds their operations. Besides, many of the funding individuals especially in the Middle East have strong affiliation to the multibillion oil businesses in the region therefore giving them the necessary impetus to foster production of highly inflaming, provocative, and destructive messages in an unregulated mode. Indeed, it is this reason that analysts have warned of possible escalation of terrorism globally if regulation of communication is not watched.

In the Horn of Africa, the AQIM’s major source of funding comes from member donations, massive kidnappings and extortions. Reports indicate that in the last decade, the group collected over $50 million through kidnap for ransom (Poynting and Whyte 224). Besides, the interplay of religion, politics and economics play a major part in ensuring the necessary impetus for the group to progress. Therefore, the pegged certainty of addressing the target for the group makes it to be highly effective and self-propelling.

Finally, the parametric criteria of assessing the success of a group inculcate the major differences of the government and the terrorists’ view on success. The AQIM uses this notion to woe Muslim sympathizers in North Africa in order to get into the holy war with a ‘common enemy’. This Al-Qaeda-inspiration denotes the fast changing realms of war which must be won. It is worth noting that due to the traditional setting of war, its balance was not just merely riddled but highly incompatible with the modern changes that make it inferior. A new method must therefore be projected at the base of the challenge to comprehend the sources of the problem.

Works Cited

Gus, Martin. The Sage encyclopaedia of terrorism. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publication, 2011. Print.

Poynting, Scott and David, Whyte. Counter-Terrorism and State Political Violence: The ‘war on terror’ as terror. Abingdon, OX: Routledge, 2012. Print.

White, Jonathan. Terrorism and homeland security. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.

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1. IvyPanda. "Al-Qaeda Insurgent Group in the Islamic Maghreb." May 23, 2020.


IvyPanda. "Al-Qaeda Insurgent Group in the Islamic Maghreb." May 23, 2020.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Al-Qaeda Insurgent Group in the Islamic Maghreb." May 23, 2020.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Al-Qaeda Insurgent Group in the Islamic Maghreb'. 23 May.

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