May 7, 2009

Al-Qaeda in North Africa Goes Global

Michael Petrou, Maclean's

Osama bin Laden's right-hand man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, had high hopes for the African Islamist group that held Canadian diplomats Robert Fowler and Louis Guay captive for months before releasing them along with two tourists last week. Earlier this decade, violent Islamism was floundering in North Africa. Government crackdowns and amnesty programs in Algeria had weakened the once-powerful Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, an offshoot of the Armed Islamic Group, whose murder of civilians had already dried up much of its popular support.

And so, like a struggling independent business looking for ways to stay afloat, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat sought out the patronage of a wealthier and more powerful terrorist conglomerate: al-Qaeda. The first messages seeking...

Read Full Article ››

TAGGED: Osama Bin Laden, Maghreb, al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Robert Fowler, Louis Guay, Bob Fowler, North Africa

RECOMMENDED ARTICLES

May 13, 2012
How the Arab Spring Defeated al-Qaeda
Fawaz Gerges, The Daily Beast
In his newly released papers, Osama bin Laden recognized the gravity of the loss of Muslim opinion, though he was powerless and sidelined to halt the decline. more ››
May 6, 2012
The Last Months of Osama bin Laden
Patrick Cockburn, The Independent
The story behind the tracking down and killing of Osama bin Laden remains a puzzle despite the torrent of documentaries and articles appearing on the anniversary of his death. An absurdly high number of American political... more ››
May 11, 2012
Inside the Hunt for bin Laden
Peter Bergen, CNN
In a new book, a "60 Minutes" interview and other recent public statements, Jose Rodriguez, a three-decade veteran of the CIA who rose to become head of the National Clandestine Service, has stoutly defended the CIA's use of... more ››
May 15, 2012
Obama's Foreign Policy Failures
Gideon Rachman, Financial Times
President Barack Obama ran as the anti-George Bush candidate. So it is ironic that his signature achievement overseas - the killing of Osama bin Laden - is one Bush would have been proud of. more ››
May 15, 2012
America's Escalating Drone War in Yemen
Micah Zenko, CFR
America’s Third War is escalating quickly in the skies over Yemen. Despite previous rebuffs from the White House, last month the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) and the CIA—which both run parallel drone... more ››