Reports coming from Africa have confirmed that al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb has been damaged by the French military campaign and is asking for help.
Even other organizations are lobbying for AQIM, as All Africa reports al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula is calling for jihad against France because of the French attacks against AQIM.
Center for Security Policy Senior Fellow Clare Lopez confirms that AQIM’s fighting capacity has been damaged by the French campaign, but the terror group will never stop fighting.
“They’re really on their heels right now, that is true. But these groups don’t give up because it’s jihad. It’s a command of Islam that they fight, and continue to fight whenever they are able to do so,” Lopez said. “They are not allowed by the dictates of their faith to just give up.”
Lopez says the French have been successful.
“I think the French have been very effective in setting AQIM back and killing some of their senior leadership, as well as many of their fighters,” Lopez said.
However, as in many other wars, Lopez says the French have to be willing to stay in the fight.
“Unless the French and other Western powers are willing to make this a long-term commitment, AQIM in North and West Africa will re-group, re-arm, recoup their losses, recruit some more, and then be back again,” Lopez said.
Military analyst and Long War Journal Editor Bill Roggio believes one reason for AQIM’s pullback is money.
“Al-Qaida always makes pleas for money. The group is always interpreted as being desperate for financing,” Roggio said. “However any group that operates on donations has to make the pitch.”
Military or financial considerations aside, Heritage Foundation Africa Analyst Steven Bucci says it would be a mistake to think AQIM is out of the fight.
“AQIM is still alive and evil. They are one on the most competent of the al-Qaida affiliates,” Bucci said.
Lopez says there are several reasons for AQIM’s sudden activity in North Africa.
“The reason they’re resurgent now, when they’d been suppressed for so long, is largely due to the U. S., EU, and NATO policy of tearing the lid off the system of secular authoritarian rulers, such as Ben Ali, Gadhafi, that had been holding them down,” Lopez said.
“We, especially the United States government and the Obama administration, decided that we would turn against these rulers, even though they were no paragons of virtue to their own people, but were working on our side, with us, to keep AQIM down,” Lopez said.
“When the United States entered the Libyan revolt in spring 2011, we did so on the side of the al-Qaida militias, the LIFG, Ansar al-Shariah, Libya Shield,” Lopez said.
“These were Christopher Stevens’ contacts when he was named official U. S. liaison to the Libyan revolution in spring 2011,” Lopez said.
“These are also the same people who later killed him, probably because the White House neglected to tell him that John Brennan and the National Security Council, and SOCOM were running assassination ops against his pet jihadis,” Lopez said.
The White House has not responded to WND’s request for comment on this story.