Warning from the Sahel: Al Qaeda’s Resurgent Threat
The combination of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)’s objectives, close ties to al Qaeda, support from aggrieved populations, and ability to field and regenerate advanced attack capabilities make it a potent long-term threat to US and European interests.
AQIM’s objectives are to force the West to retreat from the region and to lead a Salafi-jihadi insurgency against current regimes. Its ultimate aim is to establish Islamic emirates in Africa that will unify into a caliphate.
The US, France, and their partners need to renew their efforts to counter al Qaeda in the Sahel or risk AQIM developing a latent threat capability that may be directed against the US homeland or interests with little to no warning.