Look to the More Stable Neighbors

English: Sahara desert from space. Русский: Пу...

English: Sahara desert from space. Русский: Пустыня Сахара из космоса. Українська: Пустеля Сахара з космосу. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The fragile states of the Sahara and just below the desert pose significant challenges — not just for the United States and Europe, but also for the North African states themselves. The sources of their instability and conflict are complex and deeply rooted. Internally, they include institutional weakness and corruption, endemic poverty, sociopolitical tensions, unaddressed identity-based grievances, legacies of past abuses, and religious radicalization. External stresses include transnational organized crime and terrorism, weapons proliferation, foreign meddling, cross-border conflict spillover, and global economic shocks.

Changing landscape: Jihad in Mali

Flag of Mali

Flag of Mali (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Katherine Zimmerman,Dominic Lisanti | Critical Threats Project

On Tuesday, two Americans were arrested on terrorism charges. An FBI affidavit accuses the pair of planning to “travel from the United States to Mauritania intending to prepare to wage violent jihad.” Mauritania, their travel destination, was not the final destination. Instead, Randy (Rasheed) Wilson and Mohammed Abdul Rahman Abukhdair planned to cross the desert into northern Mali, now largely controlled by militant Islamist groups.

Wilson and Abukhdair met online between February and November 2010. Both were already exploring opportunities to take up jihad abroad. Wilson had been the roommate of Omar Hammami, who left for Somalia in 2006 and is currently a member of al Shabaab, al Qaeda’s affiliate there. He had discussed following Hammami to Somalia with another friend, but ultimately, they never acted on it. Abukhdair moved to Cairo, Egypt in February 2007 and then to Alexandria in February 2010. Egyptian authorities arrested him in November 2010 on suspicions of being active in a terrorist group and he was deported to the U.S. in January 2011. By late October 2011, Abukhdair had moved in with Wilson’s family in Mobile, Alabama, and the two men had already begun talking about where to go fight jihad.

Read more : http://www.criticalthreats.org/west-africa/changing-landscape-jihad-mali-december-13-2012

España: El Frente Polisario pretende acallar al analista español Chema Gil

El analista español, Chema Gil (José María Gil – @chemagilgarre) que desde hace años ha desvelado el rostro oculto del Frente Polisario, se ha convertido en uno de los objetivos del movimiento;  que ahora pretende criminalizar en España el ejercicio del Derecho a la Información de este profesion.



US, Algeria See Moderate Tuaregs as Key to Ending Mali Partition « State of Affairs

Sahel people with livestock and azawakh dogs

Sahel people with livestock and azawakh dogs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The best chance for breaking the extremists’ hold on northern Mali may be persuading the region’s moderate Tuareg people to reconcile with the military-controlled South of the country.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Algeria this week seeking the country’s support for a West African force to help Mali’s military regain control of the north. And her talks with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika were dominated by the issue of how to deal with the terrorists and Islamic fundamentalists who took control of more than two-thirds of Mali after a coup toppled the government in Bamako last March.

Since then, the extremists have allowed the terrorist group al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, to extend its already-considerable reach throughout the Sahel region.

US, Algeria See Moderate Tuaregs as Key to Ending Mali Partition « State of Affairs.