Originally known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, al-Qa’ida (GSPC) in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) materialized after the group declared allegiance to al-Qa’ida in 2006. Although AQIM remains largely a regionally-focused terrorist group in the Sahel, it has adopted a more anti-Western rhetoric and ideology.
AQIM has routinely committed acts of terror, including suicide bombings, assaults on civilian targets, and kidnapping-for-ransom operations. AQIM’s 2007 bombing of the the UN headquarters building and an Algerian government building in Algiers killed 60 people. In January 2016, AQIM carried out an attack on a hotel in Burkina Faso that killed 28 people and injured 56. In March 2016, AQIM claimed responsibility for a strike on a beach resort in Côte d’Ivoire that killed more than 16 people and wounded another 33. In January 2017, AQIM conducted a suicide attack that left more than 50 people dead in Gao, Mali.
On March 27, 2002, the U.S. Department of State designated AQIM as a Foreign Terrorist Organization under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended. Previously, on September 23, 2001, AQIM was listed in the Annex to Executive Order 13224, and consequently, is subject to sanctions under it as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. As a result, all of AQIM’s property, and interests in property, subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with AQIM. It is a crime to knowingly provide, or to attempt or conspire to provide, material support or resources to AQIM.