Mokhtar Belmokhtar: One-Eyed Firebrand of North Africa and the Sahel
MILITARY ACADEMY WEST POINT NY COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
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For more than two decades, Mokhtar Belmokhtar alias Khaled Abu al- Abbas, an Algerian jihadi leader and financier, has been a central player in the West African jihad. Yet it was not until two dramatic terrorist attacks in 2013 a sophisticated assault on a multinational gas facility in Algeria, and twin attacks in northern Niger that this oneeyed ex-commander of al Qa ida in the Islamic Maghreb AQIM was propelled into the global spotlight. Belmokhtar, defying countless rumors of his death or surrender, has since merged his battalion with Mali s most potent jihadist group to form al- Mourabitoun, a coalition of fighters that the U.S. State Department now considers to be the greatest near-term threat to U.S. and Western interests in the Sahel.
- Unconventional Warfare