The influence of ISIS is gradually expanding from its stronghold in the Syrian city of Raqqa to extremist groups which have taken North Africa as their headquarters.
Red: Areas of ISIS influence (estimate)
- Egypt: Ansar Beit al-Maqdis – formed in 2011, it is made up of 2,000 fighters; after announcing it joined ISIS in November, it is now known as Wilayat Sina’ (Sinai Province)
- Eastern Libya: Extremists in the coastal city of Derna – population 80,000 – announced their alliance with and allegiance to ISIS and the establishment of Wilayat Barqa (Cyrenaica Proince) in October
- Tripoli: Since August, the Libyan capital has fallen under the control of the Libya Dawn extremist militia, designated as a terrorist organisation; Mitiga International Airport is used as the centre for thousands of fighters from Europe and Africa seeking to join the fighters in Syria
- Tunisia: Birthplace of the Arab Spring, source of the largest number of foreign fighters joining ISIS and al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, estimated at about 3,000 fighters; the cause is believed to be their resentment with the political process in Tunisia
- Algeria: Extremist group Soldiers of the Caliphate in Algeria allied itself with ISIS in September after breaking off from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb
- Morocco: The terrorist organisation affiliated with al-Qaeda calling itself Salafiyya Jihadiyya may have influenced the recent announcement of loyalty to ISIS by Moroccan fighters in Syria
Translated by Kevin Moore.
The Moroccan Foreign Ministry summoned the Algerian ambassador in Rabat in protest for an Algerian soldier firing along the shared border between the two countries at Moroccan citizens, leading to one injury. Algeria demanded “clarifications” on the issue of the incident, which it described as serious.
The Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (Salaheddine Mezouar) announced the call for the Algerian ambassador to officially inform him of Morocco’s protest to the incident; however, the Algerian diplomat – according to the Moroccan online newspaper “Hibapress” – denied knowledge of the shooting incident and Mezouar communicated the kingdom’s protest against the incident in a recording, noting “the Moroccan government’s great displeasure and concern toward the serious incident.”
According to the Moroccan Foreign Ministry’s statement, a 28-year-old Moroccan was injured in his face following gunfire from a member of the Algerian army upon a dozen Moroccan civilians along the Morocco-Algeria border at Beni Khaled. The Moroccan citizen is in critical condition.
The statement said that the government “strongly protests” this “irresponsible and unjustified” action, which adds to other provocative practices along the border,” calling on Algeria to take responsibility and provide the necessary clarifications to the Moroccan authorities regarding the incident.
*Note: Makhzen refers to the Moroccan ruling elite, with the king at its centre
Translated by Kevin Moore.
Original article available here.
The following is a statement released by jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia (AST), in which they claim responsibility, through the Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)-linked Uqba Bin Nafi Brigade, for the deaths of 14 Tunisian security forces in the Chaambi Mountains on 16 July 2014. Find the original statement here, shared via the group’s Twitter account. Continue reading
Algeria is prepared to carry out its humanitarian duty to African refugees in its territory, according to the head of the Algerian Red Crescent, who also criticized European policies in dealing with refugees. Continue reading
The recently formed “Youth Movement for Change” has declared the creation of its military wing in order to defend itself against attempts by the Polisario to disband the group. The movement, established in the past few months in the Tindouf camps in southern Algeria for Saharwi refugees, is calling for Polisario’s leadership to make way for younger members in light of rampant corruption.
Morocco’s official government spokesman has denied Amnesty International’s recent accusations of torture in the kingdom, stating that a previous UN report proved that torture is not practiced and actually praised the country for its commitment to protecting and advancing a culture of human rights. Continue reading
The European Union considers Morocco to be an important partner, with many trade agreements in place between the two. Although economic relations have been somewhat strained as of late (due to Morocco’s hesitancy in re-opening its waters to European fishermen, and the EU’s reluctance to grant Moroccan produce preferential tariffs), Morocco is still viewed as the North African country moving towards political and economic modernization at the fastest pace. Continue reading
Children of expatriates in Morocco will now be able to take their final exams in English, instead of French as a part of the country’s new national immigration policy. The change is meant to help integrate foreign students into the Moroccan education system. Continue reading
Ahmed Toufiq, Minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs, highlighted the need for Muslims to fight illiteracy as a part of their religious duty. The comments were made by the Moroccan minister during his speech on the issue of extremism. Continue reading