This Is How Algeria Sponsors Terrorism In Mali

The Algerian “Salafi Group for Preaching and Combat” in the northern region of Mali dates back to 2003 before it transformed in 2007 into the “Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb” This presence has been linked to Mukhtar bin Muhammad al-Mukhtar (an Algerian-born in 1972. He disappeared since 2013), known by his nom de guerre Khaled Abu al-Abbas, and dubbed by the Algerian press as “Al Aawar prince of the desert” or “Malboro,” a nickname he acquired as a major smuggler of cigarettes.

2003 was also marked by the kidnapping of 32 foreign tourists in the desert of Algeria by the Algerian Amari Saifi, nicknamed “Abdul-Razzaq Al-Bara,” who crossed the border towards northern Mali before their ordeal ended with their governments paying huge financial ransoms in exchange for his release. In addition to implanting Al-Qaeda, led by Mukhtar bin Muhammad al-Mukhtar in northern Mali, this operation constituted the start of the ransom method as a means of financing the various activities of terrorist organizations in the African Sahel region, which has since made money flowing from the proceeds of ransom one of the most important financial resources for armed tribal groups and jihadist organizations active in northern Mali.  

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Ammari Saifi was attacked months after the ransom was paid, and he was handed over by the Chadian “Democracy and Justice Movement” to Libya, which in turn handed him over to Algeria. An Algerian court sentenced him in absentee to life imprisonment, and he was not brought to court, and he was retried in absentia in 2005 for Considering the case so that the ruling issued against him in 2007 was overturned.

Switzerland demanded to see the files of the 2003 kidnapping and hear Ammar Saifi, Algeria did not meet this request to remove the accusation. He currently lives in Algeria under the protection of the military. Ammar Saifi was president of the personal guard of the former Minister of Defense, General Khaled Nizar, between 1990 and 1993, and he previously sent him to the United States of America to train with the Special Forces from 1994 to 1997.

After 2012, the “Al Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb” included several branches in addition to the “Emirate of the Sahara Region”: “Ansar al-Din,” “The Macina Liberation Front,” the “Ansar al-Islam” group in Burkina Faso, and an organizational union called “Al-Mourabitoun” that included Both the “Mulathamoun Battalion” and the “Jamaat al-Tawhid wal Jihad in West Africa,” which witnessed a struggle over the location of the Emirate of the Union between Mokhtar Belmokhtar and Abu Adnan al-Sahrawi (descended from the Polisario camps. French forces announced his death in 2021) over the location of the Emirate of the Union, before they The latter announces its pledge of allegiance in 2015 to the “ISIS” organization and establishes its organization called “The Islamic State in the Greater Sahara,” which has become one of the most dangerous and fierce terrorist organizations in the world. 

The operations of the groups that attribute themselves to the “Al-Qaeda” organization included northern Mali, Libya, Tunisia, Niger, Nigeria, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, and Côte d’Ivoire, where they strike here and there, benefiting from the logistical support coming from the south of Algeria without the authorities’ intervention to prevent that. The same thing is being repeated now with an organization created on 01 03.2017 called “Victory of Islam and Muslims” led by Iyad Ghali, which has become a platform for all the organizations in the African Sahel region that declared their allegiance to the “Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb” organization.

Algeria and Al-Qaeda’s Role in Blocking the Secession of Azawad.

Iyad AG Ghali, the leader of the “Tandime Al Islam and Muslims,” was born in the town of “Tinzawatene,” which is a little Algerian town on the border with Mali and is considered the headquarters of the head of the “JNIM,” where he spends most of his time in his home there.

Iyad Ag Ghali has always been “mysterious,” as the American Foreign Policy magazine describes his past as being full of drinking and sex adventures, and he has a colorful career as a diplomat, a separatist rebel leader, an activist in organized crime and a government mediator with the hostage takers.

In 2003, he appeared as a mediator between the Algerian and Western intelligence services and the “Al-Qaeda” organization. His mission was to work for the release of Western hostages whom Abdel-Qader Al-Bara kidnaped in the name of this organization, and his mediation was “fruitful” as it succeeded in returning the hostages in exchange for offering millions of dollars as ransom. He was also the chief negotiator with the Malian authorities in negotiations conducted by the government with the Tuareg rebels.
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Iyad Ag Ghali wanted to be the general secretary of the secular “National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad” when announcing its establishment in November 2011. However, he was rejected because of his links to “Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb” and the Algerian military security, which constituted an indirect blow to Algeria, which is the matter Which prompted it to push for the establishment of the “Ansar al-Din Movement” led by Iyad Ag Ghali, which describes itself as a Salafist movement that calls for the application of Islamic law, and Algeria helped it to gain complete control of northern Mali in order to thwart the separatist project of the “National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad.” 

During the development of events in northern Mali, the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar wrote an article published on September 4, 2012,
“… Despite what was promoted in the media regarding Ag Ghali’s transformation into an extremist Salafist during his tenure as a financial consul in Jeddah (2003-2011), those familiar with the secrets of the regional intelligence game questioned that. They suggested that the matter was premeditated by the Algerian intelligence within A plan aimed at encouraging him to establish “Ansar al-Din.”

When the “National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad” declared the independence of the Azawad region unilaterally, Iyad Ghali announced his rejection of the independence project and demanded only the application of Islamic law, and his movement, along with the movements affiliated with the “Al Qaeda” organization, entered into confrontations.
Armed with the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, it ended in defeat.

During these battles, the Malian newspaper (Zénith Balé) reported that Iyad Ghali, accompanied by seven people who were “severely injured,” arrived at the Bordj Al-Mukhtar city hospital in Algeria, near the border with Mali. An Algerian military helicopter went to Gao to take him to Tamanrasset in southern Algeria for treatment when he got wounded again.

During the outbreak of confrontations between the “National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad” and the “Ansar al-Din Movement” supported by the “Emirate of the Desert,” which attributes itself to the “al-Qaeda” organization, many sources indicated that Algeria provided financial and military support to the “Ansar al-Din” organization led by Iyad Ag Ghali, and provided him with tons of relief aid to supervise its provision to needy citizens in the Tuareg regions in order to strengthen the popularity of the group and its fighters, and to undermine the credibility of the “National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad.”

In order to prevent the Azawad region from separating, Algeria resorted, in January 2012, to employing its man in the region, Iyad Ag Ghali, in a significant way, in the southern regions where most of the Algerian natural resources located and intersect with affluent areas in the north of Mali. This development could lead to a blow to the Algerian oil industry. In the event of the separation of Azawad, primarily since 40% of Algeria’s oil is from the Tuareg regions on the border with northern Mali.

With 1,330 km borers with Mali, Algeria considers the Azawad region an imminent security threat, as it fears the emergence of organizations among the Algerian Tuareg, adopting separatist demands similar to the Tuareg in Azawad in northern Mali.
For this reason, Algeria’s interests were founded on the complete opposition to the secession of the Azawad region and even preventing its stability. Thus it has been accused over the past years, especially by its neighbors, of feeding the armed conflict in the region and coordinating with extremist groups, as many French and foreign press reports confirmed that the French state – throughout its military presence in Mali- was aware that Iyad Ag Ghali (the leader of the “Nasrat al-Islam and Muslims Organization) was residing In the Algerian town of “Tenzuatne.”

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