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Journal Articles Res Militaris Year : 2014

The Timbuktu Letters : New Insights about AQIM


Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is the main terrorist organization in both North Africa and the Sahel. Allied to other local groups, its fighters occupied northern Mali for nearly a year since January 2012, imposing their law on the people. But in January 2013, the French army were successful in expelling them from the area. In their flight, AQIM left behind a number of documents which have cast new light on the inner-workings of the terrorist organization. By cross-checking information found in these unique documents, 1 it is possible to pinpoint AQIM's 'project' for the region and better understand the issues raised during the organization's internal debates. Relying on the official documents found in Timbuktu after the Jihadists' departure, this article attempts to answer questions about the 'real state' of AQIM just before the French military intervention in Mali. These documents are a collection of letters, written in Arabic, and exchanged between the Advisory Board of AQIM led by Algeria's Abdelmalek Droukdel (a.k.a. Abu Musab Abdelwadud) and the Advisory Board of the Al-Mulathamin Brigade led by Droukdel's fellow citizen, Mokhtar Belmokhtar (a.k.a. Khaled Abu Al-Abbas). Both men are considered veterans of the Jihad as they have been known figures since during the Algerian civil war (1992-2002). In their exchanges, the two men discuss at length the "Jihadist project in the region, its challenges and unresolved issues" and detail their views on "several key issues" including kidnapping and ransom activity, weapons procurement, communications security, and the organization's development plan.


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hal-01081769 , version 1 (11-11-2014)


  • HAL Id : hal-01081769 , version 1


Mathieu Guidère. The Timbuktu Letters : New Insights about AQIM. Res Militaris, 2014, pp.25. ⟨hal-01081769⟩
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