Although not often recognized, Africa is a key continent for The Al Qaida terror network. We have observed several terror attacks in African countries as well as religious related and inspired conflicts. Africa is a large center of 'recruitment' for the Al Qaida terror network and terror acts toward the west are increasingly planned from Africa. Al Qaeda's 'mission statement', to establish an Islamic caliphate reaching from Morocco to Afghanistan, crosses a large part of the African continent.
Several African regimes have been chosen as a prime target for the Al Qaida network. Vulnerable countries are: Egypt (Suez channel and tourism), Morocco (due to the current regime), Algeria (foreign investors in gas), Tunis, South Africa and further all western (predominantly USA) embassies, UN aid organizations and NGO's.
Al Qaeda High Profile Attacks
The threat of an attack by multiple gunmen on a location packed with civilians remains the second biggest fears of counter terrorism chiefs. The ambition of violent Islamist's to stage a Mumbai-style atrocity is undiminished.
Multi cells, for specific targets in Africa
Increasingly Al Qaida aims its counter intelligence operatives in Africa in subversion of the West. It's not unusual for Al Qaeda to launch diversions. For specific targets it uses a "multi cells, one target approach" to mislead detection and force opponents to cast a wide net.
After being hit in Mali and Burkina Faso, France (and others before) warned Senegal and Ivory Coast in January 2016 of Terror Attacks, but the Al Qaeda "multi cells, one target" threat proofed too difficult for them.
These specific attacks in Africa, were planned and assigned by the counter-intelligence organisation of (the original) Al Qaida for two reasons, of which one is:
"hurt the western financial and espionage position in Africa through the killing of spies, hidden in NGO's, businesses and the corps diplomatique"
Targeted countries were timely alerted based on specific information about cells of fighters on the move. For example - Special military units in Senegal and Mali have in the past(!!) years received high value intelligence from inside Al Qaeda that enabled them to disrupt this type of multi cells terror threats.
These are 'fixed targets', derived from lists of covert-operations, agents, "contractors", specific locations of, safe houses, meeting places, ID's and intelligence assets. Lists that were stolen from the Mukhabarat offices during the Arab spring in Cairo. Anyone with a copy knows most of the (future) fixed targets of Al Qaeda.
The lists enable al Qaeda to differentiate targets meticulously precise by intelligence service, for example French, Belgian, German, British or American.
- U.S. consulate in Benghazi
- Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli
- Safe house in Bamako
- Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako
- Splendid Hotel in Ouagadougou
- Etoile du Sud hotel, Coral Beach in Ivory Coast
287 primary targets are on the Africa lists
These are not the kill at random 'opportunity targets' to establish presence and fear, but 'specific targets' to scare the living daylights out of a locally active intelligence community and send a chilling lightning bolt directly into the corridors of power and intelligence services INR , CIA , DIA , MI6 , DGSE , MAD , ......
December, 2015 - an Anti Money Laundering and risk assessment operation in the Maghreb, Egypt and other parts of the Middle East. Discovering imminent threats to West Africa as a prime target for the Al Qaeda network, reason for a 30-days Ultrascan Humint terror alert.
"Intercepted encrypted messages between members of the Al Qaida network mentioning the premises of NGO's in West Africa as well as their affiliates and personnel as a possible target"
January, 2016 - Ongoing HUMINT and analysis, regarding the above mentioned terror alert, yielded that the targets are international NGO's and suspicion about possible Mumbai style operations scenario's in West Africa.
- Ongoing Humint; whispers of terror cells from Al Qaeda launched and on the move in Mauritania, Guinea and Burkina Faso.
- Revealed tradecraft, was sufficient reason to initiate a low level of monitoring, collecting phone numbers, IMEI's, IMSI's, locations, time and duration of the calls.
Monitored and plotted communications of three groups show separate patterns in Guinea and Burkina Faso, one group moves towards a border-crossing with Cote d'Ivoire. Reason to launch a tactical team to intercept if/when suspects cross the border, identify and disrupt.
"Intercepted messages between members of the al Qaeda network mentioning elements of the coordination for a high profile terror attacks"
January 16 - Burkina Faso hotel attack: At least 20 reported dead, 63 hostages released
January 17, 2016 - Alert! - Elevated Threat Levels from Al Qaeda affiliates for - Abidjan - Cote d'Ivoire - Ivory Coast and Dakar - Senegal. Reason to extend the terror alert with 60 days ..... France Said to Warn Senegal, Ivory Coast of Terror Attack
January 23, 2016 - The first and only incoming call from a Mauritanian subscriber in Ivory Coast reveals activity in Cote d'Ivoir. This threat by Al Qaeda is alive, with the scope of the organisation, scale, and possible targets identified.
March 13, 2016 - 16 Killed in Terrorist Attack on Resort Hotels in Ivory Coast
February 12, 2015 - Islamic Terror Groups Obtained Vital Information
January 28, 2015 - Nine Killed in Attack on Tripoli Corinthia Hotel in Libya
September 11, 2012 - annex and the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi
November 20, 2016 - Al-Qaeda targets Westerners in Mali hotel assault