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AQIM Ten Years On, The Cipher Brief [Opens in new tab]

2017/01/12

 

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb’s (AQIM) emergence ten years ago this month was a Hail Mary. In 2004, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika had orchestrated the second of two national amnesties in an attempt to finally bring an end to Algeria’s decade-old Islamist insurgency. The leader of one remaining terrorist organization, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), had just turned himself in. The GSPC’s new leader, Abdelmalek Droukdel, inherited a dispirited group that was struggling to remain relevant. Algerians were tired of the Islamists, the insurgency, and the violence. By rebranding GSPC as AQIM in January 2007, Droukdel was able to transform a stale group into a newer, sexier one with a wider mission set.

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Is Algeria Next for the Islamic State, The Cipher Brief [Opens in new tab]

2016/09/01

Fighting jihadi groups has been compared more than once to whack-a-mole. You thump a group here and it pops up there. You thump it again and it pops up somewhere else. A front is lost but another opens up. The challenging part is anticipating where the jihadis will go next. And this is precisely the question around the Islamic State in Libya: having lost their stronghold in Sirte, where did all the fighters go, and where are they likely to pop up?

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« L’UE veut parler avec Bouteflika et elle n’est pas satisfaite par le fait de dialoguer simplement avec Sellal » Tout sur l'Algérie [Opens in new tab]

2016/08/29

Geoff Porter dirige la société North Africa risk consulting, spécialisée dans l’analyse des risques politiques et sécuritaires en Afrique du Nord. L’expert américain revient sur la polémique engendrée par l’article de Politico dans lequel il a été question des relations entre l’Union européenne et l’Algérie. Entretien.

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Hunting Down Jihadists in the Malian Desert, FRANCE24 [Opens in new tab]

2016/04/13

Two French soldiers died of their wounds this Wednesday after their vehicle hit a landmine in northern Mali on Tuesday. Seventeen French troops have now been killed in the Sahel region of West Africa since Paris first sent soldiers to Mali in 2013. More than 3,000 French troops remain on the ground and have managed to drive jihadist groups out of some zones, but they and their Malian counterparts lack the manpower to control the whole desert. Our colleagues from France 2 report from Mali.

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How Realistic Is Libya as an Islamic State “Fallback”?, The CTC Sentinel [Opens in new tab]

2016/04/01

As the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria comes under pressure from the international anti-Islamic State coalition, there are increasing expectations that it is trying to develop its affiliate in Libya as a “fallback” option. The particular characteristics of the Libyan landscape and the Islamic State’s limitations there make this unlikely. Nonetheless, the Islamic State in Libya will still be a dangerous threat to North Africa and beyond, including across the Mediterranean.

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Why ISIS is Destroying Libya's Oil, The Cipher Brief [Opens in new tab]

2016/01/28

For the second time this month, massive clouds of black smoke from burning oil billowed above Libya. The first time, in early January, the Islamic State (ISIS) attacked two major oil storage facilities. Out of the seven tanks targeted, one collapsed entirely. Damage to the others rendered them unusable. Together, the two storage facilities accounted for 40 percent of Libya’s oil export capacity. A few weeks later, ISIS struck again, blowing up a pipeline that feeds one of the terminals. It is clear that ISIS in Libya is trying to destroy Libya’s oil sector. To make matters worse, this was entirely foreseeable.

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The Drone War Goes Awry in Africa, Foreign Policy [Opens in new tab]

2016/01/21

Three years ago this month, a previously unknown Islamist group, the Mourabitoun, launched an unprecedented attack on a natural gas facility near the eastern Algerian town of In Amenas. But after its dramatic opening salvo, the group went strangely quiet. Some argued the In Amenas attack was as irreproducible as it was unprecedented — and those voices gained strength after Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the Mourabitoun’s leader and founder, was reported to have been killed by a U.S. drone strike last summer.

The doubters have now been quieted. After three years of inactivity, the Mourabitoun has abruptly reappeared.

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Who is Behind the Mali Attacks? NPR Weekend Edition [Opens in new tab]

2015/11/24

Dr. Geoff Porter shares his thoughts with NPR Weekend Edition's Scott Simon regarding the terrorist attack on the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, Mali

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Pourquoi l’Algérie doit déployer son armée au-delà de ses frontières, Algérie-Focus [Opens in new tab]

2015/10/23

L’Algérie, depuis son indépendance, a une longue histoire de non-ingérence dans les affaires des autres nations. Mais la situation géopolitique actuelle, avec l’instabilité des régimes politiques autour de ses frontières, en Libye, en Tunisie, et l’activisme des groupes terroristes au Mali, risque d’affecter certains des grands principes de sa politique étrangère. Décryptage. 

D’après Geoff D. Porter, le fondateur du cabinet de conseil « North Africa Risk Consulting », docteur de l’Université de New-York, cette volonté de non-ingérence est profondément liée à l’histoire coloniale du pays, et au désir de ne pas “infliger les mêmes souffrances à un autre pays ou à un autre peuple”.

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North Africa's Ties to Europe Leave Little Room for Iran, World Politics Review [Opens in new tab]

2015/09/23

Dr. Geoff Porter spoke with World Politics Review about Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zari's recent visit to Tunisia and Algeria and the prospects of Iranian diplomacy in North Africa.

The takeaway: there's not much there for Iran.

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