Osama bin Laden’s death is expected to have several direct or indirect implications on terrorist activities in the Maghreb.
The most pessimistic analysts believe that the region will turn into a new Afghanistan, while the most optimistic ones shed light on the growing weakness of the jihadist movement, citing as evidence that bin Laden’s death didn’t stir any emotions whatsoever among Maghreb peoples.
All eyes are on the Maghreb branch of Al Qaeda, which is yet to react to the death of the organization’s leader; there is reason to believe that it will seek the spotlight through a spectacular terrorist attack.
It is an understatement to say that the region is running a huge risk with the continuation and worsening of the Libyan conflict.
Since the outbreak of the conflict, Algerian and American anti-terrorism specialists sounded the alarm against the risks of war weapons ending up in the hands of AQIM. Their fears have come true on the ground, as French and Malian officials confirm that war weapons are transferred to the Sahel by AQIM members.
The Sahel is the soft underbelly of the fight against terrorism. It’s a large desert region that’s difficult to control, and whose States lack the material resources needed to face this new threat despite their good will.
The situation is further exacerbated by the outbreak of the Libyan conflict, the free circulation of weapons, and the risk of the country’s transformation into another Iraq with a massive inflow of terrorists.
Maghreb countries realize, now more than ever, that only a stronger cooperation and permanent vigilance can prevent them from becoming a breeding ground for jihadists.
After having suffered the throes of terrorism, the peoples of the Maghreb are openly opposed to the jihadist ideology. However, some groups are either active in the region, or hibernating while waiting to commit spectacular attacks to exert influence, like it recently happened in Marrakesh, or the few attacks that take place every now and then in Algeria.
In terms of real force, these groups are no threat to stability in the region, provided that the Libyan conflict doesn’t make things worse by turning the country into a wide battleground for all jihad supporters.
Many researchers and observers of al-Qaeda in the Maghreb believe… more
Bin Laden’s elimination by a U.S. commando team is no… more
On the one hand, Bin Laden’s death won’t have any… more