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Islamism /
Al-Qa'ida in Islamic North Africa (AQIM)
Arabic: tanzīm 'al-qā¢ida bi-bilād 'al-maghrab 'al-islāmiyy
Also called Al-Qa'ida in Islamic Maghreb

New name, since 2007, for the Algerian militant Islamist group GSPC, acronym from French, Groupe Salafiste pour la Prédication et le Combat, which in English is Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat.
The pre-2007 history of Al-Qa'ida in Islamic North Africa is presented in the article about GSPC.
There are numerous speculations concerning AQIM, its organization, its strength and its strategies. The connections to other al-Qa'ida groups and activists cannot be decided with certainty, but by all measures, AQIM does not act without cooperation and support from foreigners. Suggestions to AQIM being well established in European countries is more than likely due to the rich presence of Algerians here, and European strategies of being cautious about cracking down on religious extremism.

2007 January The Algerian militant Islamist group of GSPC (Groupe Salafiste pour la Prédication et le Combat) declares a change of name, to Al-Qa'ida in Islamic North Africa.
February 13: GSPC attacks targets in Kabylia; 7 bombs kill 6 persons.
April 11: Two car bombs explode at a governmental palace and a police station, both near Algiers. 33 people are killed, many random civilians.
September 6: 19 civilians killed in a bomb intended for President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in Batna.
September 8: Suicide attacks on the coast guard in Dellys killing 30.
December 11: Two car bombs kill 42, of which 17 were UN personell.
2008 January: The Dakar Rally is cancelled due to warnings by the French intelligence; AQIM appears as the main group responsible for this fear.
2009 January: A training camp is reported closed down in the region of Tizi Ouzou, following an experiment with biological weapons failing killing 40 of their own.

By Tore Kjeilen