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Thursday, July 16, 2009

AQIM in Most Major Western European Nations

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghareb (AQIM) is indeed in Belgium, France Italy and Spain as the article below suggests. I would add to the list: the the UK, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Poland.

-Shimron Issachar

LONDON [MENL] -- The Al Qaeda network in North Africa has spread to Western Europe.

Western intelligence sources said the Al Qa1da Organization in the Islamic Maghreb has established cells in a range of European Union states.

Since 2004, the sources said, AQIM has set up 10 cells in such countries asBelgium, France, Italy and Spain."We believe AQIM is present, in some form, in every major North Africane migrant community in Europe," an intelligence source said. "AQIM eithersends agents to these communities or recruits existing community members."

The Rest @ Middle East Newsline


Javier said...

There's only very little evidence indicating AQIM is nowadays more active in deploying logistical cells in Europe. There's been a few cases in France, Spain & Italy, but it's hard to tell to what an extent these cells were structurally connected to AQIM. AQIM might have the intent to develop a more elaborate structure in Europe in the future, but it's too early to tell whether they are succcesfull in this goal.

Editor said...

There are very active intelligence collection cells in those cities with opereational knowledge of AQIM activities. Their opensource gathering work suggest immediate post-action knowledge.


Javier said...

It's true that AQIM has shown a great awereness of the internal political situation in, especially, France. But would it be impossible for them to have done that research from behind a desktop, sitting in Algeria ? I do not think so. That said, I do not doubt there are specific individuals who 'work' for AQIM in several European countries.

Yet, stating that AQIM has deliberately established cells in a range of EU states, I'm not saying it is impossible, but nevertheless highly unlikely given the limited operational capacity the organisation has outside Algeria. Don't forget, AQIM is rather in dire states in Algeria, with several of the katibats having received a beating in the last year or so, according to press reports. The pace of operations has clearly dropped, since the deadly augustus 2008. It would rather surprise me if such a strained organisation would be able to have set up ten or more cells in Europe.

Editor said...

The Order of Battle for al Qeda Cells suggests that they could train almost anyone at any skill level to do the intelligence work, the logistics work remotely. Operational Training is slightly different, but they could remotely direct all the other work and send a bombmaker oro other operaitonal speialist in after they have already gatherd the intell and materials neccesary.

They have operated in this way in the west already, have they not?

It is possible, and open source intelligence gathering suggests this may be underway.