Section 1228 of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act NDAA states The Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall provide for the conduct of an independent assessment of the effectiveness of the United States efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al-Qaeda, including its affiliated groups, associated groups, and adherents since September 11, 2001. The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special OperationsLow Intensity Conflict ASD SOLIC asked CNA to conduct this independent assessment, which was completed in August 2017. In order to conduct this assessment, CNA used a comparative methodology that included eight case studies on groups affiliated or associated with Al-Qaeda. These case studies were then used as a dataset for cross-case comparison. This document is a stand-alone version of the Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb AQIM case study used in the Independent Assessment. CNA is publishing each of the eight case studies separately for the convenience of analysts and others who may have a regional or functional focus that corresponds to a specific case study. For the context in which this case study was used and for CNAs full findings, see Independent Assessment of U.S. Government Efforts against Al-Qaeda.