“De l’archaïsme de l’université tunisienne,” Jolanare, Nawaat. 9 September.
“Libya: policing the middle of nowhere,” Alex Warren, The Guardian. 9 September.
“Mauritanian army compensates abuse victims,” Defense Web. 9 September.
“The impact of Libya’s missing missiles,” Andrew Lebovich, The Wasat. 8 September.
“Algeria, revolutionary in name only,” John P. Entelis, Foreign Policy. 7 September.
“So will Algeria blow on 17th September?” Though Cowards Flinch. 7 September.
“The full story of ‘Abu Younis al-Mauritani’ an al-Qa’ida man who planned bombing in Europe,” Sahara Media, 7 September. [Arabic]
“The Arrest of Younis al-Mauretani: On the trail of the al-Qaida Phantom,” Der Spiegel. 6 September.
“The Arab Counterrevolution,” Hussein Agha and Robert Malley, The New York Review of Books. 31 August.
The links on Younis al-Mauritani are interesting. The Sahara Media report is based on interviews with Abu Younis al-Mauritani’s family, neighbors and Salafist associates in Mauritania. In terms of background Abu Younis (Abd al-Rahman Ould Mohammed el Hacen Ould Homahed Salem Ould Abdel Jellil) has superficial similarities to high profile Mauritanian AQIM recruits: an early millennial (b. 1981) from a large family out of Boutilmit (of the Oulad Bieri in Trarza, zawaya), grew up in a suburb of Nouakchott (the son of an imam who studied in Saudi Arabia). He has six sisters and five brothers. Abu Younis’s brother is quoted as saying that he figured his brother would “either be killed or arrested one day”. He was born while his mother made hajj and thus had the nickname “El Hajj” and went to religious schools in Saudi Arabia and Mauritania as a youth.
Abu Younis left Mauritania for Afghanistan in late 2001 to fight the American invasion there; he then became ill and traveled to Saudi Arabia eventually returning to Mauritania after “a very high fever prevented him from participating in campaigns in the mountains of Afghanistan with the Arabs in the Afghan jihad against US forces.” He became involved with the Algerian Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) which eventually became AQIM. He joined the Tareq ibn Ziad (under Abdelhamid Abu Zeid). According the Sahara Media report, it is at this time he began to be called Abu al-Younis al-Mauritani. He was seen a strong believer within al-Qa’ida; he is also considered a key link between the core al-Qa’ida group and its north African affiliate. The information resulting from his arrest will shed new light on al-Qa’ida’s links to north Africa and the genesis of AQIM (in Mauritania) especially.