RUSI JournalVolume 159Issue 3members only

Mali: From Sanctuary to Islamic State

AQIM’s failed efforts to transform its sanctuary in northern Mali into an Islamic state were rooted in sound logic

Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) was set up in northern Mali years before the Tuareg rebellion of 2012. A safe haven for its members, this sanctuary allowed the group to raise funds through drug-trafficking and the ransom business. In 2012, AQIM and its local allies took control of northern Mali and attempted to create an Islamic state – an effort which was cut short by the French military intervention in January 2013. Laurent de Castelli dissects the motives which led

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