It would be a wonderful world if intelligence gathering, by nation’s Governments and Militaries, followed through on their stated goals: That of fighting terrorism, to make the world a safer place. Unfortunately, this is not the case. We are seeing more and more today, as the world progresses forward into bold, unchartered territories of new thoughts and ways of governing, that neither is anything as it seems, nor can classified information be bound 100% from the general public. Everyday that passes now has people talking about Western powers conglomerating with Middle Eastern forces to arm whole groups of people, in regions who are witnessing threats to their way of life and whether or not said threats came about from the interference in these nations in the first place. Arming groups of people as it were, to fight a “Greater” evil, undermines the very concept of evil itself: perpetuating violence by proxy when an ulterior motive is present, is evil. For example, If a clear and present danger was a legitimate reason for The French to finance and arm the Kurds in Northern Iraq to help fight IS, recognizing why IS exists in the first place, might be a good start at reflecting on the whole scope of the matter, and whether the time has come to consider what a Vicious Circle actually means.
Algeria is no stranger when it comes to abusing intelligence as a simple means of information gathering, turned on its head. Abuses of power, manufacturing fear, manipulating public opinion and going so far as to terrorize it’s own citizens and even neighboring countries, to fall in line with it’s brutal dictatorship. The North African nation, which is Africa’s largest, and the 10th largest in the world, has been making powerful political moves in the region for as long as it had won its independence from France, at the end of the decolonization war in 1962. Their role in the “Global War On Terror” can be found at the peak of the Algerian Civil war, which began in 1991, and ended in 1999 however, many would argue it is still being waged today. Out of the ashes of Algeria’s most influential Counter-Terror group, the GIA, (Armed Islamic Group) the GSPC was born, (Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat) in 1998 was ultimately to become al-Qaeda in The Islamic Maghreb, in 2007. The GIA was an Islamic Organization created by Algeria’s DRS, Director of Regional Security, their Military’s Intelligence arm, to fight back anti-government groups which threatened the rule of the FLN, The National Liberation Front. The GIA, under the direction of the DRS staged many false flag terrorist ops. in the country, under the guise of their enemies: Anyone threatening the FLN’s rule. The GSPC, a splinter group of the GIA, split because of the Government’s civilian massacre program, headed by the GIA, among others. It is reasonable therefore to assume that indeed, AQIM (al-Qaeda in The Islamic Maghreb) is still under the control of the DRS, to expand Algeria’s goals of propaganda and fear mongering within and outside the borders of the OPEC Nation.
One of AQIM’s most colorful, high profile leaders was (and in some respects, still is) Mokhtar Belmokhtar, known as the “One Eye” and “The Uncatchable”. Belmokhtar split from AQIM to form his own group, known as the al-Mulathameen brigade (The Masked Ones) in late 2012. By early January the following year, 2013, Mokhtar Belmokhtar and his brigade took control of the Ain Amenas gas plant, partly owned by Norway’s Statoil Company, as well as British Petroleum, and took 800 people hostage, during a four day siege which would become one of the largest terrorist operations since September 11th, 2001, just based on shear numbers and scale. This would put Mokhtar Belmokhtar, permanently on the map as a terrorist, capable of staging, financing and executing an attack with some degree of organization, and media attractiveness. Suffice it to say, there is reason to believe that Belmokhtar played a key role in the September 2012 attack on the U.S Consulate in Benghazi Libya, but unless someone can charm the Department of Defense with enough “what’s in it for us” candy, to release the targeting memo, which contains the names of 11 individuals, it’s not likely to ever be confirmed. I suspect however that, if it suits the DoD to ever release the names of the suspects, it will have been determined because it would fall in line with another reason: Algeria isn’t doing enough to apprehend it’s domestic terrorists and it’s time for the U.S to step in, and once again play the mediator in the region that will become the second stage for the “Global War On Terror”, that being North Africa, and the Sahel. Therefore releasing the names could win public support say, under a different administration than Barack Obama’s (not to mention a potential Hillary Clinton Admin.).
After the siege ended on January 19th, Mokhtar Belmokhtar had appeared in the media as a new Boogeyman, a new face of terror, not unlike Osama Bin Laden in media execution, however where the similarities are present, the overall dynamics that make up their differences, would pave the way for a new concept: Terrorism in North Africa. Whole publications with predictable titles of “Who is the One Eye” or “Who is Mokhtar Belmokhtar” would overlay a media landscape at the time, devoted to reporting on anything and everything except the Benghazi attacks, while interestingly enough, the two incidents might have been connected by similar people, for similar reasons. On February 25th, both Abdelhamid Abou Zeid and Mokhtar Belmokhtar, both leaders of AQIM whose personal clashes with each other, caused Belmokhtar’s split from the organization in the first place, were reported by the Chadian Army to have been killed in a ground assault in Northern Mali. By September, it was official that while, Abou Zeid was indeed killed by the joint efforts of the French and the Chadians, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, “The Uncatchable” survived and was alive and well, to take responsibility for orchestrating a twin suicide bombing in May, against a Uranium mine in Arlit, Niger. Abou Zeid’s death however was confirmed on June 16th, in a Statement of Martyrdom given by Abdelmalek Droukdel, leader of AQIM.
Before long, Mokhtar Belmokhtar would once again, form a new group in the region known as the al-Mourabitoun (The Renegades) that was a merger of his Masked Ones Brigade, with the group called MUJAO, The Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, at the time lead by Belmokhtar’s brother-in-law, “The Red Beard”, Omar Ould Hamaha. This new group would be a direct rivalry to AQIM itself, and Belmokhtar would position himself as the regions most influential terrorist leader. At some point at the end of 2013, Belmokhtar moved his operation from Mali to South-Western Libya where he is reported as training Syrian returnees of that Proxy War, to stage attacks in their home countries of Britain and France. Mokhtar Belmokhtar would once again, re-pledge his allegiance to al-Qaeda Leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, further planting his groups legitimacy firmly with the parent organization, leaving many members of AQIM to acknowledge Belmokhtar as their true leader since, it was he and not Droukdel who dedicated the attack at Ain Amenas, to al-Qaeda, when he was still leader of AQIM. There are a lot of power plays being made by Belmokhtar in very strategic ways that it leaves one to wonder whether the freelance, rogue terror leader really isn’t just calling his own shots..
After the first several months of 2014, reports of Belmokhtar in Libya started to surface, raising concerns about terror attacks in Europe because of his instructing of European Nationals who fought in the Syrian Civil war. By early August, a report was published by France24 that a plot to blow up the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre surfaced, and was carried by other media outlets. The plot, curious enough was foiled over a year before the story went public, and when headlines ran about Belmokhtar’s training of Syrian fighters to host terror attacks in Britain and France, a peculiar aspect surrounding the foiled plot, was that the perpetrator who was to carry out the attacks, name Ali M., was arrested before he could rendezvous with his contact within al-Qaeda in The Islamic Maghreb, in Algeria. The only reference to the contact himself was only that he was a “High-ranking Official” within AQIM. Again, the plot was foiled in late 2012, at that time Mokhtar Belmokhtar was still in charge of the group, and for arguments sake, it is highly plausible that it was in fact, Belmokhtar himself who was planning this 9/11 style attack on the French landmarks.
Now that we move into September, 2014 and the inception of the Islamic Caliphate, reports have come forth claiming that Mokhtar Belmokhtar has met with officials close to Abu-Bakr al Baghdadi, leader of IS, suggesting an imminent naming of Belmokhtar as Emir of the Islamic Caliphate in the Sahel, in a turn of events that is just one more shining example of just how things always seem to fall perfectly into Mokhtar “The One Eye” Belmokhtar’s lap, favoring him as a real “up and comer” in the world of terrorism. Born out of Algeria’s Intelligence, Mokhtar Belmokhtar the asset turned “rogue” seems to be popping up wherever Algeria seeks regional instability, and for all intents and purposes, to solidify and maintain a close and constant relationship with the United States, where Algeria desires to obtain U.S weapons by proving that the Country cannot maintain the terrorist threats it helped to create. Before long, we might see the red herring that’ll pull everyone’s attention away from Iraq and Syria, and the mulling over just who Mokhtar Belmokhtar really is, will once again run across our television screens, as the aftermath of yet another horrific, 9/11 style attack against a western nation by act of terrorism, in which he is implicated because, Western Imperialism with the help of Middle Eastern/African mutual interests cannot stop their rape of sovereign nation’s until every last drop of oil is secured, and every back is stabbed, at the end of this.