Al Qaeda’s Resurgence in North Africa?

Date: Tuesday, 17 December 2013, 18:00 – 20:30
Venue: International Press Centre Nieuwspoort, Lange Poten 10, 2511 CL The Hague

The French military offensive in Mali that followed the January 2013 intervention severely degraded the capabilities of militant organisations linked to al Qaeda. The peaceful elections that followed seemed to show that groups such as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) were driven out of the country. Indeed, terrorist organisations have utilised weak government structures and power vacuums in other parts of North Africa as new breathing and operational space. This joint Hivos and ICCT evening seminar addressed the resurgence of al Qaeda-linked groups in the North Africa region. It looks at public support bases and capabilities of terrorist groups in the region, focussing specifically on AQIM, which has proven to be a highly adaptive organisation.

Hivos Director Edwin Huizing and ICCT Director Peter Knoope opened this evening seminar. Anouar Boukhars (McDaniel College, FRIDE, Middle East Programme of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) presented his paper on al Qaeda’s Resurgence in North Africa. This paper is part of the Hivos and FRIDE project Transitions and Geopolitics in the Arab World: Links and Implications for International Actors. ICCT Research Fellow Sergei Boeke provided a response informed by his expertise on terrorism in the region. Hivos Knowledge Officer Kawa Hassan examined the wider implications of al Qaeda’s resurgence for the transition process in Syria. The ensuing panel discussion with all speakers will give the audience the opportunity to ask questions and discuss issues as well as policy recommendations in more detail.

Agenda

17:45 – 18:00:  Doors open, coffee and tea served
18:00 – 18:10: Welcome by Edwin Huizing (Director, Hivos) and Peter Knoope (ICCT)
18:10 – 18:30: Al-Qaeda’s Resurgence in North Africa by Anouar Boukhars (McDaniel College, FRIDE, Carnegie Endowment)
18:30 – 19:10: Responses by Sergei Boeke (Research Fellow, ICCT) and Kawa Hassan (Knowledge Officer, Hivos)
19:10 – 20:00: Panel Discussion
20:00 – 20:30: Drinks reception

Read the full Meeting Report.