Results tagged “Mauritania”
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A court charged two Mauritanians with joining al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb to fight in Mali. One of the suspects, Brahim Ould Hmeida, is a brother of Abdallahi Ould Hmeida, a hostage-taker in the Id Amenas attack in Algeria. The other suspect, Mohamed Lemine Ould Cheikhani, had been arrested for terrorism in 2006 but was acquitted.
An imprisoned Mauritanian Salafist, Abu Ayyub al-Mahdi (a.k.a. Ahmed Salim bin al-Hassan), announced the creation of Ansar al Sharia in Mauritania with the goal of implementing sharia and countering an alleged war on Islam. Malian refugees in the M'Bara camp support the proposed deployment of UN peacekeepers to the areas they have fled; concerns remain that terrorists will conduct suicide operations in Mali.
Dembra Ould Semane, the brother of Salafist prisoners Mohamed and El Khadim Ould Semane, was arrested on terrorism charges. Security forces have stepped up monitoring of Salafists who might be joining al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and affiliated groups. The popularity of Islamist parties and AQIM is rising in the country, where 59 percent of the population is under 25 and unemployment is rife.
On Jan. 28 authorities in Brakna arrested three Salafists in Chegar alleged to be members of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Tens of thousands of refugees from the fighting in Mali have fled to camps in Mauritania.
Some 84 fighters from the Tuareg separatist group MNLA fled Mali for Mauritania, turning over vehicles, weapons, and ammuntion to the Mauritanian Army. The men were admitted to the M'berra refugee camp.
A British citizen was reportedly detained near the Malian border as he attempted to join up with terrorists linked to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. A tacit truce between between AQIM and the Mauritanian Army might be ending as the Army moves to secure the strategic town of Fassala Nere and other border areas against possible AQIM incursions.