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Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb: Experts at desert survival FEATURE 08/16/2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb: Experts at desert survival



FEATURE

08/16/2010
NOUAKCHOTT — Small groups of Islamist militants weave through the desert in powerful 4x4’s. Armed to the teeth, they move under cover of darkness, hiding from spy-planes and satellites during the day.

A harsh, nearly unnavigable landscape, the desert has become their element.

A video shot in 2007 in northern Mali seen by AFP gives insight into what it takes for al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb to survive undetected in the vast desert of West Africa.

A 4.5-liter Toyota Landcruiser is loaded with spare wheels, 500-liter cans of fuel, jerry cans full of water, sleeping mats, tents and food. Perched on the back are four to six men holding Kalashnikovs or rocket launchers.

“They are better armed and equipped than the soldiers in the region,” says Mauritanian journalist Isselmou Ould Moustapha, a specialist on jihadism.

“Their drivers are experienced, often people of the desert. They have GPS and night vision goggles for night riding, off-track.

“During the day they hide in caves, under tarps and trees.”... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100816com3.html


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