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Abdelmalek Droukdel

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Abdelmalek Droukdel
File:Abu Musab Abdel Wadoud.png
Born(1970-04-20)20 April 1970
Died3 June 2020 (aged 50)
Other namesAbu Musab Abdel Wadoud
Known forFounder and Emir of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb
Military career
Allegiance Al-Qaeda
Service/branch GSPC (1996–2006)
AQIM
(2007–2017)
RankEmir of AQIM
Battles/warsWar in Afghanistan

Algerian Civil War

Insurgency in the Maghreb

Abdelmalek Droukdel (Arabic: عبد المالك درودكال‎; born 20 April 1970 - died 3 June 2020)[1] also known by his nom de guerre as Abu Musab Abdel Wadoud (أبو مصعب عبد الودود), was the emir, or leader, of the Algerian Islamic militant group Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), formerly the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC).

Early life and education[edit source | edit]

Droukdel was born in Meftah, Algeria, on 20 April 1970.[2] He earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Blida before joining the insurgency in 1996.[3][4]

Afghan War, Algerian Civil War and the GSPC[edit source | edit]

Droukdel returned to Algeria after fighting in the Afghan civil war, and joined the GSPC.[5] Droukdel was a regional leader of the GSPC for several years before becoming the group's commander in 2004 following the death of then-leader Nabil Sahraoui.[6][7] His mentor was Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi.[8] After the killing of Zarqawi in 2006, Droukdel published a statement in a website and stated "O infidels and apostates, your joy will be brief and you will cry for a long time... we are all Zarqawi."[9] Droukdel is believed to have been responsible for introducing suicide bombing to Algeria.[10]

Emir of AQIM[edit source | edit]

Under Droukdel's leadership the GSPC sought to develop itself from a largely domestic entity into a larger player on the international terror stage. As the new leader of the GSPC, Droukdel reorganized the group, and continued targeting civilians. He was, however, unable to quell the rumblings between factions. In September 2006, it was announced that the GSPC had joined forces with al-Qaeda and in January 2007, the group officially changed its name to the "Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb."[11] Droukdel played a significant role in this merger.[5] However, the local leaders of the organization such as Droukdel began to pursue much more independent activities and were distanced from al-Qaeda in the last quarter of 2012.[12]

Droukdel ousted Mokhtar Belmokhtar from the organization in late 2012 for Belmokhtar's "fractious behaviour".[13] Journalists discovered a document attributed to Droukdel and dated 20 July 2012 in Timbuktu that criticized militants for implementing Islamic law too quickly in Mali.[14] He believed the destruction of shrines would provoke Western governments to intervene in Mali.[15]

Designation[edit source | edit]

In December 2007, the United States Department of the Treasury imposed financial sanctions and froze Abdelmalek Droukdel's assets under Executive Order 13224.[16][17]

Death[edit source | edit]

The French government claimed on 5 June 2020 that Droukdel, and members of his inner circle, had been killed by its forces in an operation in the north of Mali two days earlier.[18][1]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  2. Interview with Abu Musab Abdel Wadoud, Commander of the Algerian Salafist Group for Prayer and Combat (GSPC) Archived 21 December 2005 at the Wayback Machine Global Terror Alert, 26 September 2005.
  3. Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  4. Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  5. 5.0 5.1 Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  6. New chief for Algeria's Islamists BBC, 7 September 2004
  7. Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  8. Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  9. Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  10. Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  11. Salafist Group for Call and Combat Announces its New Name as al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb[permanent dead link] SITE Institute, 26 January 2007
  12. Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  13. Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  14. MALI-AL-QAIDA'S SAHARA PLAYBOOK - Associated Press
  15. Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  16. U.S. freezes assets of Algerian over al Qaeda ties Reuters, 4 December 2007
  17. Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  18. Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).

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