Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb directed Muslims to attack Western companies and warned Muslims against working at or hanging around such firms to avoid being caught in the crossfire.
The statement from AQIM’s al-Andalus Media was translated into English and distributed by al-Qaeda’s Global Islamic Media Front. It was issued days before the start of Ramadan on Tuesday, the Islamic holy month that usually sees a spike in terrorist attacks.
“The follower of the situation of Muslims in the Islamic Maghreb and the Sahel region realizes the extent of pillage and loot undertaken by intercontinental companies in the region, especially the French companies, which control about 85% of the fortunes of our peoples,” the terror group said. “These companies then throw the crumbs to traitor rulers who sold their faith and their peoples for a cheap reward and brought upon their nation all means of destruction that rob the faith before the resources.”
AQIM said that “as followers of the situation that our peoples have come to in terms of spread of poverty, unemployment, diseases, and deterioration of the purchase power of the individual, and the sharp increase in prices, and abusive increases in duties and taxes; and the increasing frequency of theft, the treason of governments, and their evident inability to provide the means of dignified living to their peoples, while the accounts of the members of these governments inflate in local and foreign banks, and their salaries and prerogatives double, in return for the ‘legal’ and security services they provide to the original looter to facilitate the process of pillage that is ongoing for many long decades.”
In response, AQIM continued, the terror group has “decided to hit the depth that preserves the continuity of these agent governments and that enables the French occupation to provide for the good living and the welfare of its people and to continue its control of the reins of the political game and the economic articulations, and to ruin the social, cultural, health, and educational situation in our territory, and assures for it expenditures to fight terrorism (Islam) and to humiliate Muslims.”
The al-Qaeda branch said the statement encompasses “all the Western companies and institutions” operating “from Libya to Mauritania and the Sahel countries,” and serves as notification “that they are a legitimate target for the Mujahideen.”
“This statement also comes to warn Muslims not to approach these companies and institutions and to take all the measures of caution to avoid” them because of “the harm that is expected.”
AQIM leader Abu Musab Abdel Wadoud, aka Algerian Abdelmalek Droukdel, last August warned American Muslims that they’re headed for “concentration camps” unless they pick up arms and fight, quoting late American al-Qaeda recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki stating that “surely your situation is becoming similar to that of the embattled Muslim community of Spain after the fall of Grenada.”
“How many lone jihad operations have had the impact of changing policies, bringing about the fall of political parties or even governments in some of the strongest and most influential countries of the world! This is why the martyrdomseeker and Inghimasi (storm trooper) instills more fear in the hearts of the enemy than other fighters,” Wadoud said in a Q&A in an issue of the English-language Inspire magazine from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. “It is due to the positive results of lone jihad operations that we invite the sons of our Ummah [Muslim community] to adopt this new method of jihad and hold on to it firmly.”