Updated Spreadsheet

Here is an updated/detailed version of the spreadsheet on the 21 AQIM members killed in the years/months before last weekend’s raid. It is still incomplete; the tribes of only a few are known (though one could make assumptions but it is better to give no categorization than an incorrect one, although based solely on names its likely that the majority of the men come from Marabout/religious tribes rather than warrior tribes the significance of which can be explained later/elsewhere), and the dates of birth are few, but based on the ages of other AQIM members (to be included in another chart hopefully next week) most of them are probably youths born in the middle or late 1980s. The oldest of yet from Mauritania were born in the late 1970s (like many of the Algerian leaders of the group); the bulk are born between 1980 and 1988 judging by this sample and by others recently available. As noted before, the greatest number are from Trarza and these men come almost exclusively from Ouad Naga (on the coast) and Boutilimit (in the interior), both large towns with populations over 10,000. Ethnically, they are predominantly Moors with a few Haratine. All of the suicide bombers are Haratine (some Haratine have remarked that this indicates the group is “racist” for giving the Haratine members these missions; in the group’s reckoning these are probably “honorable” tasks, but one must also consider how this plays with ordinary people, especially in a marginalized group; see the new pie chart below). Most of the men had no significant experience outside of Mauritania before joining AQIM. Many were quite common: there are youths who failed their baccs or police academy exams or were unemployed. The two who did go abroad made first contact with the jihadist tendency there and frequently joined AQIM on their return. One of those two even fought in Iraq.

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