Belmokhtar’s Lastest Bayat is a Statement of the Power shift within Al Qaeda Central from sympathy for the Islamic State (ISIS) to Nusra Front and al-Zawahiri

Back DropAlgerian jihadist, Mokhtar Belmokhtar (Khalid Abu Al-Abbas) is the face of terrorism in North Africa. He has earned an impressive track record, not only as a veteran jihadist in Afghanistan, but also as the leader of al Qaeda in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) during France's invasion of Mali (called "Operation Serval") in 2012.  Ruthless in his operations, Belmokhtar has a total disregard for any opposition to his leadership. He is also renowned for running successful illegal arms, drug and cigarette smuggling.  Belmokhtar is a strategist with a canny ability to survive and make the most of opportunities to benefit his position. This opportunism may be best illustrated in his recent pledge of allegiance to al Qaeda Central Command (AQC)’s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. Belmokhtar's bayat means that al Qaeda branches in North Africa are set to be directly influenced by developments within its Syrian franchises.  Photo: 2011 AQIM…

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