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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 30-Sep-2013
30-Sep-13 World View -- Algeria cracks down on jihadists headed for Syria

Web Log - September, 2013

30-Sep-13 World View -- Algeria cracks down on jihadists headed for Syria

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This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Algeria cracks down on jihadists headed for Syria


Algerian jihadists (AFP)
Algerian jihadists (AFP)

As I've written many times, the civil war in Syria, in which Shia/Alewite Bashar al-Assad is being supplied with heavy weapons, which he uses along with chemical weapons to massacre and torture Sunni women and children, is serving as an enormous recruiting opportunity for Sunni jihadists in South Asia, the Mideast, the Maghreb (northern Africa), and the Caucasus. However, Algeria has been cracking down on Syria-bound jihadists, by infiltrating and dismantling recruitment cells.

However, that's only one of the reasons why the number of Algerian jihadists headed for Syria has been kept under control. Other reasons are:

The results have been remarkably effective, as the number of Algerians killed in Syria is far lower than then the number of Tunisians and Libyans. Magharebia

In a major shift, Mali becomes the new jihadist training ground

Last year, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) did something no other modern terrorist group has: conquered a large region within a sovereign country -- the northern 2/3rds of Mali. France's air and ground forces reconquered the north, with more than 4,000 French soldiers in Mali at the peak. But France will withdraw 3,000 of them this year, and the last thousand next year, leaving defense of Mali in the hands of a United Nations peacekeeping force, which may not be able to handle the job.

There is a major shift going on. American policy makers have long treated the Middle East and South Asia as the main battlegrounds of the war on terror, but those regions are quickly being joined by Africa, which is now home to some of the largest and most active Islamist militias in the world. AQIM is using Mali as a base to plot sophisticated attacks outside its borders -- including last year's Benghazi attack that killed the American ambassador. AQIM has publicly promised to carry out attacks in France in revenge for the intervention in Mali.

Since then, despite French intervention, northern Mali has become a jihadist front and training camp, with Islamist militants flowing in from around the world. While America remains focused on threats from the Middle East and South Asia, the new face of terror is likely to be African. AQIM is able to take advantage of the fact that many of the continentís countries have porous borders; weak and corrupt central governments; undertrained and underequipped militaries; flourishing drug trades that provide a steady source of income; and vast, lawless spaces. And the reason that AQIM was able to conquer northern Mali in the first place was because of vast treasure troves of Libyan weapons left behind by the fall of Muammar Gaddafi. Atlantic and AP

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(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 30-Sep-13 World View -- Algeria cracks down on jihadists headed for Syria thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (30-Sep-2013) Permanent Link
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