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AQIM and Ansar Din, from rags to riches - thank you NATO

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Author Topic: AQIM and Ansar Din, from rags to riches - thank you NATO  (Read 99 times)
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« on: January 20, 2013, 01:43:28 pm »

The two terror off-shoots of Al Qaeda that have presently made themselves snug in Northern Mali are 'Al Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb' (AQIM) and 'Ansar Din.'  What normally would have been for them an existence is considerable poverty and struggle as formerly in Afghanistan, is now an existence with money and 'style.'  Courtesy: NATO!

Excerpts taken from a recent article in Yahoo gives an interesting account on how AQIM and Ansar Din in Northern Mali have been preparing to defend themselves against any interventions since more than a year.   One can get a precise picture of the amount of wealth, weapons and construction equipments Al Qaeda branch of LIFG acquired from post-Gaddafi Libya in 2011 and utilized it to help its branches outside Libya.

Following are a bunch of jaw dropping excerpts from the article.

"Deep inside caves, in remote desert bases, in the escarpments and cliff faces of northern Mali, Islamic extremist fighters have been burrowing into the earth, erecting a formidable set of defences to protect what has essentially become al-Qaida's new country."

"They have used the bulldozers, earth movers and Caterpillar machines left behind by fleeing construction crews to dig what residents and local officials describe as an elaborate network of tunnels, trenches, shafts and ramparts. In just one case, inside a cave large enough to drive trucks into, they have stored up to 100 drums of gasoline, guaranteeing their fuel supply in the face of a foreign intervention, according to experts."

"The fighters have stolen equipment from construction companies, including more than $11 million worth from a French company called SOGEA-SATOM, according to Elie Arama, who works with the European Development Fund."

"They have dug tunnels, made roads, they've brought in generators, and solar panels in order to have electricity.  They live inside the rocks."

"In addition to creating defences, the fighters are amassing supplies, experts said. A local who was taken by Al-Qaeda fighters into a cave in the region of Kidal described an enormous room, where several cars were parked. Along the walls, he counted up to 100 barrels of gasoline, according to the man's testimony to New York-based Human Rights Watch."

"A young man told The Associated Press that he and several others were offered 10,000 francs a day by al-Qaida's local commanders (around $20), a rate several times the normal wage, to clear rocks and debris, and dig trenches. The youth said he saw Caterpillars and earth movers inside an Islamist camp at a former Malian military base..  In addition, they are modifying their all-terrain vehicles to mount them with arms.  On the backs of their cars, it looks like they are mounting pipes .... might be a rocket or missile launcher."

"A university student said he also saw deep holes dug on the sides of the highway, possibly to give protection to fighters shooting at cars, along with cement barriers with small holes for guns."

"The lieutenant of one of the Al-Qaeda linked emirs said that they have recruited new fighters, including from Western countries.   He stated that they have inherited stores of Russian-made arms from former Malian army bases, as well as from the arsenal of toppled Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, a claim that military experts have confirmed.  Those weapons include the SA-7 and SA-2 surface-to-air missiles which can shoot down aircrafts. 'Gadhafi bought everything under the sun,' said a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel, who travelled extensively to Mali on defence missions. 'His weapons depots were packed with all kinds of stuff, so it's plausible that AQIM now has surface-to-air missiles.' "

Soon after the occupation of Iraq, several battalions of the US military couldn't handle Al-Qaeda despite the fact that back then Al Qaeda in Iraq was a rag tag militia focused on targeting the Iraqi Shiias, not the Americans.  How 'easy' will it be for the French to confront them now in Mali?  The media is conveniently silent on this question.  Since 2011, France, UK and US have done everything possible to enrich Al-Qaeda with arms, money and training.  Now they want to confront their Frankenstein in Mali while they are still dependent on the goodwill and services of its comrades in Libya and Syria.  
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