Al-Qaeda plan for northern Mali revealed

2013-02-14 17:31

London - A document left behind in the bombed remains of an al-Qaeda training headquarters in the Malian city of Timbuktu gives a rare insight into the organisation's thinking, a British newspaper reported on Thursday.

The Daily Telegraph said it had found the Arabic-language document outside a building bombed by French forces who drove the Islamists from the ancient city.

The newspaper said the document was the first page of minutes from the 33rd meeting of the al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) leadership, held on 18 March 2012.

The AQIM chiefs discussed a plan to capitalise on the gains made in northern Mali by the Islamist rebel group Ansar Dine and Tuareg minority rebels. It was suggested that AQIM pushed aside the groups and took control.

At the time of the meeting, those groups had just captured a string of towns in the Sahara Desert on Mali's northern border with Algeria.

Abou Moussab Abdel Wadoud - a 42-year-old Algerian dubbed the "prince" of AQIM, who helped found the group in 2006 - chaired the meeting in which he outlined a "proposal and a vision for the future".

He is recorded as saying: "We have looked carefully into it and have found it interesting and satisfactory for this period of time, therefore we thought we would present it for you to discuss and give it careful consideration".

The plan was to praise Ansar Dine for its "victories during the latest encounters which have been carried out by our Muslim heroes on this grand desert".

But then AQIM intended to move in and take over the cities they had gained.

Muscled in and took de facto control

"We had to think of the necessity to draw a plan to command and control the jihad activities there at this critical moment and target all efforts to achieve the required goals," the document said.

Within the following two weeks, Alsar Dine and the Tuareg rebels seized Timbuktu, Kidal and Gao, the three main cities in northern Mali.

As per the plan in the document, AQIM then muscled in and took de facto control over much of the north, including arms dumps, airports and training facilities. They were dislodged by French forces who came to the Malian army's aid.

Professor Michael Clarke, director-general of London's Royal United Services Institute security think-tank, said the document showed a centrally-directed attempt to pull off classic al-Qaeda tactics, piggy-backing other extremists, as witnessed in Afghanistan.

They are "to ally with other political movements in order to hijack them; to fight guerrilla wars for disputed territory, and to build up a new caliphate that will extend across the Middle East and far beyond," he wrote in the Telegraph.

The document came from the old headquarters of the Gendarmerie Nationale paramilitary unit, which AQIM used as a training centre. Recruits were drilled and indoctrinated there until French forces destroyed the building.

  • dmarinheiro - 2013-02-14 18:20

    How convenient for this document to have survived the attack... Western BS propaganda!

      CliveK - 2013-02-14 18:52

      Maybe, maybe not. But we know that Al Qaeda's aim (together with all its offshoots) is to impose Sharia law on the entire world, doing whatever it takes to achieve that, and bugger the cost in human lives.

      abner.mophethe - 2013-02-14 20:37

      very convenient i must say

      adam.maither - 2013-02-14 21:01

      @Clivek-its the same crap used by Bush to justify murder of innocent women and children in Afghanistan. Al Qaeda was trained and financed by CIA. Killing women and children all in the name of Al Qaeda! When will moderate Christians demand that Bush & co stand trial

  • Jason Lok - 2013-02-15 06:30

    Clive U r a typical stereotype , narrow minded , immature person...who B'leaves ther is AL Qaeeda??? this document is the same scam like the passport found afta the twin towers wer imploded by the snakes..These liars r so dumb as to think that broadminded ppl r so gullible to B'leav ther crap

      avremel.niselow - 2013-02-15 07:35

      And you are dumb enough to believe any conspiracy theory floating around the Internet. Do you still believe in Santa?

      CliveK - 2013-02-15 08:47

      So there is no Al Qaeda, no Taliban, no Boko Haram, no El Shabaab, etc? The Americans blew up the Twin Towers, and their own embassy in Nairobi? I don't need to believe American propaganda to know that these murderous groups do exist. If you've read any of my previous comments you will know that I respect all religions, but I have no respect for the extremists who think that the only way to impose their narrow-minded beliefs is through terror and murder. As for immature, I am a retired person who has worked in several parts of Africa and have travelled extensively overseas, so I believe I have a balanced view on life in general. Jason, please get over your bitterness and open the other eye.

  • dmarinheiro - 2013-02-15 08:37

    I have no argument that Al Qaeda have plans for Islamic revolution. And of course it must start in poorer nations, because they don't have the resources to fight a modern army. I just don't believe in these "convenient" findings that justify a propagation of continuous war destabilisation aimed at the third world. Al Qaeda are real, their history well known; the only question remaining is who is funding them? I have my beliefs that wealthy Western and Arab nations fund them to spread chaos in the third world and other resource rich areas/countries. I only feel sorry for the chap below who had the audacity to call Clive an idiot, and then go on to waste our time with some mindless liberal wanna be BS. Adam, terrorist spawning grounds must be dealt with, despite any moderate liberal bleeding heart sentiment. You want to put someone in jail? Go get me the clerics who convince children that God wants them to die.

      avremel.niselow - 2013-02-15 09:46

      Well said.

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