Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) attack on Grand Bassam, Ivory Coast




With the recent massacre and suicide bombings at Brussels, Belgium, which received mass media coverage, there is little coverage of a more horrific story that took place earlier in Africa.  According to Al-jazerra, on March 13, 2016, there was a mass shooting on a resort in Grand Bassam, Ivory Coast.  Grand Bassam is apparently a popular tourist spot for those visiting the country.  There were a total of 19 victims who were killed (Guitta, 2016).  Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) are taking responsibility for this attack.

If you are like me, you are wondering why is Al-Qaeda still around after they hung Saddam Hussein, who had little to do with the terrorist group, and

after Obama killed Osama Bin Laden, who was the leader of the group.  Well to my understanding Osama Bin Laden had members who were designated to take his place once he passed away.  In fact, I have heard theories about Osama Bin Laden being a title more than anything else.  A figurative identity to keep up the morale of those within the forces of al-Qaeda.



Osama Bin Laden, former leader of al-Qaeda (left)

Nasser al-Wuhayshi, current leader of the Islamic State (centre)

Mokhtar Belmokhtar, current leader of AQIM (right)

(http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-33154074)

According to official reports from 2014, from ABC Australia, al-Qaeda changed after 9/11.  It became a more fluid and branched out more rapidly.  Various branches crossed over the Middle-East and Africa.  Hence the use of the verbiage, al-Qaeda plus the specific area in which the group has settled.  Think of it as a franchise more than a central business building (Quince, 2014).  So the death of Osama Bin Laden did little to damage such a broad non centralized terrorist group as al-Qaeda.

So yeah, al-Qaeda is like Herpes, it spreads and it doesn’t matter how many zeroes you cure.



But if you really look at what AQIM is wanting for the Middle Eastern and African states, you would think that they were just humanitarians.  They want colonists, who invaded Africa and stole the land from the indigenous people, to concede and give the state back to the indigenous people.  However, AQIM feels that a violent revolution would be necessary to start this process.  Hence the encouragement of Libyans to revolt against the colonizing states and coinciding governments (Guitta, 2016).

Great mission, but a horrible execution.

This massacre, along with two previous attacks, was suppose to solidify the group’s return.  This is a campaign to ensure that al-Qaeda is still seen as the Jihadist front-runner oppose to The Islamic State, who was responsible for the Brussel’s attack, and ISIL/ISIS (Guitta, 2016).  However, France and the United States are allegedly taking steps to prevent this alleged expansion (Luengo-Cabrera, 2016).

Condolences to the families of the victims in the shooting.

(P.S) If you wanted to know why AQIM did shootings oppose to bombings.  Well, apparently, AQIM utilizes gunman oppose to suicide bombers.  This is what sets them apart from other Jihadist groups (Guitta, 2016.)

References:

Guitta, O.  2016. The re-emergence of AQIM in Africa. Retrieved from http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/03/emergence-aqim-africa-160320090928469.html\

Luengo-Cabrera, J. 2016. Ivory Coast attack highlights AQIM expansion. Retrieved from http://globalriskinsights.com/2016/03/ivory-coast-attack-highlights-aqim-expansion/

Quince, A. 2014. The Franchised terrorism of al-Qaeda after Osama bin Laden.  Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/rearvision/5375448