AL QAEDA, NORTH AFRICA, AND THE DILEMMA OF MILITANT ISLAM

Why Algeria’s Hostage Crisis is a Sign of a Hidden Threat

Almost a week ago a group of militants associated with the so-called Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) ambushed an Algerian oil and natural gas site on the Eastern region of the Saharan desert bordering Libya. The group then took workers as hostages, especially foreigners (as US workers).

The group claimed it did the assault as retaliation against the Algerian government for allowing the French army to flyover the North African nation during their military operation against Islamic militants in northern Mali.  Within hours the Algerian army stormed the Oil site and freed many of the hostages, killing almost all of the militants.
However, make no mistake about it this rather bizarre incident was a calculated attack by AQIM that should call into question the motive behind it. This attack is mainly a symptom of greater security instability in the region, chiefly, the rise of militant Islam and their systematic attempt to over through powers and take-over nations.

For years, and specifically after the start of the Arab Spring, militant Islamists have been working diligently to take advantage of the momentum in the region by increasing their numbers via young new recruits and by attracting seasoned fighters from embattled areas, such as Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition to number increase, militant Islamists, operating independently at times and collaboratively at others, have been focusing their efforts on weak pockets in North and Central Africa for the purpose of creating Islamic states and implementing Sharia Law, not to mention their hope of establishing religious states that could secure legitimacy at some point in the future.

The recent development on the Algerian border which was initiated by AQIM was an act which reveals the following signs, at least to those who are paying close attention to them:

1. Militant Islamists are growing not only in numbers, but also in mission; tactics; and power. The recent attempt in Algeria showed that they can sustain attacks against them, at least for a while.
2. Militant Islamists in general and Al Qaeda in particular remain strong and focused, despite the many blows they continue to receive through military and drone attacks. They are able to take advantage of power vacuums in the region and any political shift, as the case with Libya and Egypt.
3. Militant Islam agenda, for establishing an Islamic state and observing Sharia Law, continues to spread from one region to another.
4. Militant Islamists are capable of toppling sovereign governments either by force as in Mali, Libya, or even in Syria.
5. Militant Islamists are becoming masters in dragging Western International forces into military conflicts as the case with France in Mali, or the US in Iraq or Afghanistan. Their efforts are aimed at over- stretching these powers and draining their resources and support.
6. The Algerian incident is a sign of a growing trouble caused by Militant Islamists as seen in Mali where they were able to take over half the nation and establish Sharia Law without any regard to the local government or even the international community.
7. Militant Islamists may operate under different names or terror organizations, yet at the end of the day they all have the same MO.
8. Militant Islamists are willing to fight at any cost even to the point of death, as witnessed during their apparent failed operation in Algeria.

All of these signs can lead one to conclude that no matter how or what the International Community can or might do to halt the Militant Islamists, their efforts at the end of the day have proved futile, evidenced by the level of insurgency, sophistication, and resiliency exhibited by these organized terror groups.

As a result, one must ask this important question: What drives these militant Islamists’ cause?

The answer may not be as popular as one might hope for; it is without a doubt; the Qur’an and its clear and vivid instructions for the militants to fight non-Muslims (known as infidels) for the cause of the god of the Qur’an and for the purpose of advancing his agenda of making Islam and Sharia supreme. Such conclusion is a sobering one since it shows that no efforts whatsoever will prevent nor prevail against the Militant Islamists and their goal of continuing to carry on their so-called “Divine Jihad Mission”.

For more on the Qur’an and its teachings on Jihad, get a copy of “The Qur’an Dilemma” book at www.TheQuran.com

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