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Opinion
New wave of terrorism in North Africa
Threat to Global Security
By Sardar Zia Mahmood
New wave of terrorism in North Africa is another frightening situation and a huge challenge for international community.

Algeria could be the second Afghanistan in the coming years. The al Qaida extends in other parts of the world. The ideology of al Qaida is "Jihad with bullets and martyrdom operation are only method to devastate the degradation and disbelief which have extended in the Muslim lands." Al Qaida recruitment video seized by police in London after the 9/11 attacks. (Dunaratna, 2002).

The prime minister of UK David Cameron has warned that the fight against terrorism in North Africa could go on for decades. The UK prime minister quite rightly said that this fight could go a long way and could be go on decades. No doubt that this crises could lead to a global threat especially in the African continent.

British authorities take the matter very serious and try to use all possible means to combat this new wave of terrorism in North Africa. The British National Security Council (NSC) which consists of senior ministers, the heads of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ and the Chief of the Defence Staff plan to meet soon to begin plotting Britain's prompt response to the terrorist threat across the region of North Africa.

The experts of terrorism and world authorities tried to find the answer of this question since the night of the 2nd May 2011with the death of most wanted terrorist of the world in Abbottabad Pakistan that "Has the demise of Osama Bin Laden put an end to the threat form al Qaeda Central?"

At the present time this is the most complex question of the contemporary terrorism phenomenon that demise of Osama Bin Laden might sound end of the international terrorism but we cannot say this while his thousands of followers throughout the world consider him a hero of Muslim world. Laden had made his followers and created a global holy worrier network with his wealthy and clever mind since the late 1990s and there is no doubt that he has strong roots of his holy warriors who are ready to die for his mission, which he left behind after his demise.

Al Qaeda's main objectives are to organise the Muslim world into a mass Islamic movement of jihad against their enemies. Al Qaeda's long term strategy and plan according to the writings of their centre leaders, Osama Bin Laden and Ayman Al Zawahiri is to move from a small front line faction to the leadership, at least at an apparent level of a global Islamic uprising in order to demolish Western rising influence in the Muslim world throughout and try to reinstate the historic Islamic caliphate. (Hart, 2008).

The leader of Al Qaeda Ayman Al Zawahiri statement issued in October, 2004 describes in the following words: "this is the century of Islamic resistance after the Islamic governments have destabilized and kneeled down prior to the invading Crusader. Let's learn a significant lesson from Afghanistan, Chechnya, Palestine and Iraq where the authorities of such country were vanished or removed from power by dominating powers but the world seen resistance remained." (Lia, 2005)

One of Osama's follower and famous rabble rousing leader in the region of North Africa Mokhtar Belmokhtar the leader of the group Mokhtar Belmokhtar had trained with al Qaida in Afghanistan while he was still a teenager. He fought the holy war against Russians during the Afghan war. After returning to his homeland in Algeria he pursued jihad against his own country's military. Belmokhtar is the one of the leading characters of Islamic Jihadist in the Sahara region between Algeria and West Africa. There are some other Islamic groups also on the rise in the region such as Armed Islamist Group (GIA), and another Group called the Salafist. These extremist groups which were turned into al Qaida in the recent years and are called al Qaida the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

In the recent terrorist attack in Amenas which killed unidentified numbers of foreign nationals form British, US, Norwegian, and Japanese nationals are among the missing after the siege at in Amenas. The Algerian authorities confirmed that Islamic militants were from the six different countries which included Arab nationals and African countries and other parts of the world. According to the leading Sahara Media website, Mokhtar Belmokhtar said in a video that "We accept the responsibility of this grand blessed operation as the part and partial of al Qaida. He also said in his massage that we are ready to negotiate with the western powers including Algerian government if they provide the assurance to stop their bombing of Mali's Muslims."

There is a great possibility that, these new waves of terrorism could spread their influence to neighbouring countries such as Niger and Mauritania, as well as isolated parts of Algeria and Libya. The biggest fear which is the greatest challenge for French and British authorities at the moment is that Nigeria where the famous Islamic group Boko Haram is very vigorous and active in the north of the country. If the al-Qaida allies spread in the region than it could be devastating particularly for the peace and security of North African region and also for the global peace and security in near future. As a student of International terrorism my perception is that the threat of al Qaeda is still there. We can only imagine that al Qaeda has finished with its leader Osama Bin Laden on the night of 2nd May 2011, but infact this is not easy to determine.

(The writer is a student of MA Terrorism, International Crime and Global Security from Coventry University United Kingdom. And can be contacted at Email: mahmoo96@uni.coventry.ac.uk)


News Updated at : Saturday, February 2, 2013
 
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