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Monday, November 12, 2007

AQIM Order of Battle for Akroun Attack in Tizi Ouzo

On September 21, al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) posted a new video titled "The Battle of Akroun" on the official AQIM website (www.qmagreb.org) and distributed it to various jihadist websites, such as al-Boraq (www.alboraq.info/forumdisplay.php), that post AQIM videos.

The video features Abu Mousab Abdel Wadoud (a.k.a. Droukdal), leader of AQIM, addressing and inspecting his fighters alongside the former emir of Katibat al-Ansar, Sofiane Fassila, who was killed in October by Algerian security forces in the province of Tizi Ouzou.

The narrator says that Droukdal participated in the alleged July 2007 Akroun attack as he happened to be in AQIM's central zone at the time.

Coordinated, Complex Attack

  • In the video, four groups of fighters walk to the assembly point from allegedly different locations in an unidentified forest.
  • Each group consists of seven to 25 men.
  • Preparation for the attack is divided among groups each with a different assignment.
  • One group is responsible for making bombs, for example, another with loading rifle magazines, and a third with inspecting RPGs.
  • Approximately seven long plastic sheets (3x8 feet) covered with white powder are left in the open to dry, after which the powder is deposited into empty gas tanks cut in half to make the bombs.
  • According to the narrator, 100 mujahideen participated in the Akroun attack in the province of Tizi Ouzou, including Droukdal who was present in the region at that time.

That estimate of the number of the fighters involved is supported by a careful visual count of the men in the video.

  • Their ages range from approximately 25 to 40, though five of the fighters appear to be under the age of sixteen.
  • According to the AQIM video statement, three fighters were killed in the attack; two of them had more than ten years of combat experience with other Algerian terrorist groups.
The Rest @ OSAC

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