Wednesday, March 13, 2013



KIDAL--Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has taken a serious setback, if it is not being completely destroyed in the Malian desert. French and Chadian forces supported by elements of the Malian army began to hunt down terrorists in their last stronghold. The results are unambiguous. Thousands of them are hunted, hounded and killed in the mountains of the Adrar des Ifoghas. They are deprived of fuel, water and food. Their decapitation is running. And the demise of two of their leaders only hastened their descent into hell.
Chadian President Idriss Deby said that the two leaders Islamist Mokhtar Abou Zeid and Belmokhtar were killed in fighting in northern Mali. With the death of Abu Zeid and Mokhtar Belmokhtar, AQIM lost two of its greatest figures. And terrorism in the Sahel is a blow.
Abdelhamid Abou Zeid was the leader of one of the two main katibas AQIM in Mali. Described as a bloody cold, this Algerian who stands by his fanaticism was first in the 1980s, a smuggler who made several trips to prison. His identity is not clearly established. According to data from the CIA and FBI, it would be a Hammadou Abid, born in Touggourt in the region Ouargla. In fact, this surname is that of death. The real name is Abou Zeid by another source, Ghedir Mohamed, born in Debded, a border crossing with Libya.
His commitment extremist back in the early hours of the civil war in Algeria. The course is a classic Islamic salvation Front (FIS) and the Armed Islamic Group (Gia), in which he met and began serving a Amar Saifi, alias Abderrazak El Para, the head Zone 5 (eastern Algeria). He had been arrested in Chad before being delivered to the Libyans. He was extradited to Algeria.

El Para was given the area of ​​Niger and Chad, while Belmokhtar reign of southern Algeria and northern Mali. This does not preclude some alliances of circumstance.
In April 2003, El Para and his lieutenant took hostage 32 European tourists they will present Belmokhtar then in charge of negotiations. Abou Zeid following the negotiations, and it is probably during this period that he met Iyad Ag Ghali.
Neutralization of El Para in Chad in March 2004, he can then climb a new step and recover the former military men. Legitimist, he also allegiance to the new leader of the movement, the ideologue Droukdel.
Anxious to maintain the authenticity of his jihad, he stands out easily and opportunistic businessman Belmokhtar, and plans, in 2007, to fight in Afghanistan.
This is also killed by Chadian forces, according to the spokesman of Staff Chadian armed. "This Saturday, March 2, 2013, at 12, the Chadian armed forces to intervene in Mali (...) totally destroyed the main base of jihadists and narco in the massif of Adrar des Ifoghas," said General Zacharia Gobongué the Chad television. "The provisional toll of fighting is as follows: several terrorists killed, including their leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar, said Borgne, sixty vehicles in good working condition recovered, various military equipment, including electronic equipment, recovered. Raking goes in search of fugitives, "he further said.
Mokhtar Belmokhtar was born, for its part, in Ghardaia, Algeria, in 1972. In an interview broadcast in 2007 on Islamist websites, he claimed to have visited Afghanistan at the age of 19 years to acquire training and combat experience. According to the Jamestown Foundation, a think tank based in Washington, commitment Belmokhtar was influenced by the religious Abdullah Azzam, promoter of a interpretation military offensive and the concept of "jihad" and who was also the mentor Osama bin Laden.

Gangsters desert
The GSPC has subsequently pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda, becoming the representative of the Islamist North Africa under the name of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Remained long right arm Abderazak El Para (now in prison) before accessing the status of leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar notably the kidnapping of Westerners is a real business. It is the head of the katiba called "the turbaned" he makes his biggest hits. In this regard, he is suspected of involvement in the kidnapping of 32 European tourists in 2003, negotiations in 2008 for the release of two Austrians and in negotiations in 2009 for the release of two Canadians. Belmokhtar is deemed also to be one of the most important "gangsters jihadists" Sahara. It has established itself in the supply of weapons to Islamist groups in the region and in cigarette smuggling, which earned him the nickname "Mister Marlboro."
Its various activities it have also helped forge closer ties with Tuareg communities, including combatants who participated in the spring of 2012, the offensive which led to the seizure of northern Mali. Although maintained its allegiance to Al Qaeda, Mokhtar Belmokhtar had recently distanced himself vis-à-vis Abdelmalek Droukdel, the leader of AQIM. It had criticized his penchant for business too pronounced. Feeling marginalized, he ended up creating his own armed group, "the signatories by blood," a group whose head he will not take very long.
Mokhtar Belmokhtar - sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment by the Algerian justice after the murder of 10 Algerian border guards in 2007 - is one recalls, the sponsor of the hostage Algerian gas complex in Tiguentourine Last January, during which sixty people, including 37 foreign hostages have been killed. It is the second "big catch" the Chadian army realized in the space of a week.

"Breaking the kidneys of AQIM"
While a third French soldier was killed in the war against terrorism in Mali , Chief of Staff of the French Army has ensured that the military was not surprised by the violence of the fighting in the massive Ifoghas, AQIM sanctuary . "We know that we are dealing with fanatics," "fanatical terrorists, trained for months and even years." "We're breaking the loins of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and that was the goal as we had been fixed by the President of the Republic," said the French officer.
Beyond AQIM other terrorist movements (Mujao, Ançardine and MNLA) saw their ambitions for the Sahel stolen in brightness. In a few months, the allies will announce the decapitation of terrorist movements in northern Mali or in the Sahel.
Idrissa Maiga

SOURCE: Dawn of March 8, 2013.