al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb
The AQIM is a Salafi-jihadist militant group and U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization operating in the Sahara and Sahel. It was founded in the 1990's during the Algeria civil war, the group aligned with al-qaida in the 2000s.
Their base of operations are located on the Mediterranean Coast South to the Sahel Pegan. Includes: Niger Mauritania and Mali
Abdelmalek Droukbel has led this group since 2004. Much of the AQIM leadership has trained with many other Arab Volunteers. Their group which has over 1,00o participants is divided into Katibas or Brigads which are organized often in independent cells.
Acts of Terror
The AQIM uses guerilla-style raids which include: assasinations and suicide bombs of military, government, and civilian targets. They also frequently kidnap aid wokrers, tourists, diplomats, and employees of multinational corporations to raise funds.
The AQIM objectives include riding aNorth Africa of Western Influence, overthrowing governments deemed apostate including, Algina, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisa. It also wants to install fundamentalis regimes based on Saharia.
Spain and France are known as its far enemies. France in particular has a long history as the regions colonial heavy weight helping with local regimes that AQIM opposes.