Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb: Who’s Who? Who is Behind the Terrorists?

Mali, Algeria, Niger. All countries which, until last week, not a lot of people paid attention too but which are now on the front pages of the MSM because, so we are told, al Qaeda is using Mali as a basis from which to prepare attacks just like the they did in Afghanistan if you recall.

Not only that we have been presented with a brand spanking new villain! His name is Mokhtar Belmokhtar ( meaning Mokhtar son of Mokhtar) and his sinister band of brothers called al-Mulathameen (Masked) Brigade, or “Those who Sign with Blood.”  Wow, I’m trembling already. They are apparently specialized in the drug trade and the hijacking of innocent white people. Especially if they are Christians.

So who are these al Qaeda affiliated “terror”groups and why do French soliders fight them in the streets of the cities of Mali and why especially has the French Government clamped down on any mainstream media reporting of the conflict in Mali/Algeria/Niger. Could it be becasue all their poor outer cities are populated with immigrants from these countries and the real reason for their attacks could provoke a civil war in France?

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Belmokhtar’s  organization has been involved in the drug trade, smuggling as well kidnapping operations of foreigners in North Africa.  While his whereabouts are known, French intelligence has dubbed Belmokhtar “the uncatchable”.

Belmokhtar took responsibility on behalf of Al Qaeda for the kidnapping of 41 Western hostages including 7 Americans at the BP In Amenas Gas Field Complex.

Belmokhtar, however, was not directly involved in the actual attack. The field commander of the operation was Abdul Rahman al-Nigeri, a veteran jihadist fighter from Niger, who joined Algeria’s Group for Preaching and Combat  

The In Amenas kidnapping operation was carried out five days after the conduct of air strikes by France directed against Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) militants in northern Mali.

French special forces and Malian troops regained control of Diabaly and Konna, two small towns North of Mopti.  The town of Diabaly had apparently been taken over a few days earlier by fighters led by one of the leading AQIM commanders Abdelhamid Abou Zeid.

While the terrorist attack and kidnapping directed against the In Amenas Gas plant was described as an act of revenge, it was not in any way improvised, Confirmed by analysts, the operation  had in all likelihood been planned well in advance:

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