Al Qaeda Reveals Names of Jihadist in the Ivory Coast Attack; Blames Attack on Revenge Against France


Hamza El-Fulani, Abderrahmane El-Fulani and Abderrahmane El-Ansari were the three attackers who killed 18 people in Grand Bassam, a seaside town several miles from Abidjan according to a statement released by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). According to the statement, the attackers simply followed the instructions of their superiors; they planned, studied prospective targets, collected information and then attacked. In addition to releasing the names of the perpetrators, AQIM also blamed the terrorist attack on revenge against France and its offensive against Islamist militants in the Sahel region. The attack was a warning to the West in response to the crimes committed by the French army and its government in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Cham (Syria), Yemen , Somalia, Libya, Mali and the Central African Republic.


A Recurrent Dilemma: Why Are These Hotels Targeted?

The attack in Grand Bassam is the first of its kind in Ivory Coast, but the third in the region since November of 2015. It is also a major blow for France, who lost four of its nationals when the gunmen opened fire on the tourists, foreigners and nationals alike. Earlier in January 2016, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claimed responsibility for the attack on the Cappuccino restaurant and the Splendid Hotel in the heart of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. According to the SITE Intelligence Group, AQIM blamed the attack on revenge against France and the disbelieving West. About thirty people were killed including two French Nationals. Similarly, in November 2015, Al-Mourabitoun and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility for the attack on the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, Mali. At least 22 people were killed in the attack with several more wounded. By the time Malian and U.N. security forces rushed in and ended the siege hours later, bodies were scattered across the floors of the Hotel. Several people were held hostage including several French nationals but were later freed with the arrival of the Malian Special Forces. According to Mauritanian news agency Al Akhbar, the terrorists blamed the attack on revenge against France and demanded the release of prisoners being held in France. Secondly, the news agency reported that the attack was also carried out in retaliation for government aggression in northern Mali.


High Prospects for New Attacks

AQIM and the other terrorist groups involved in the recent attacks have limited their attacks to prominent hotels with a high expatriate presence. This fact, to an extent, may or may not corroborate AQIM’s claim of revenge against the unbelieving West and France in particular. However, AQIM has warned Ivory Coast and other nations, especially “those countries in alliance with France”, against the colonization of their lands and the aggression of their people and sacred symbols. AQIM has also asked France to withdraw its troops from the Sahel region or face the insecurity of its citizens.
There is a high possibility of new attacks in the region considering the porous borders of the Sahel nations. It is, therefore, not surprising that the terrorists could get into Ivory Coast and all the way into the South of the country. It is practical to assume that this attack will not be the last in the region.


Yemen, The Largest Humanitarian Crisis In The World

In the past, Yemen was a prosperous developing country suffused with economical and societal riches. Yemen’s roots in the development and distribution of internationally admired goods like coffee and gold date back centuries, which served as a reliable foundation for growth across much of its existence. However, over time it became apparent that Yemen’s unique capabilities would not prove to be an efficient protective mechanism against the travesties of humanity’s inner workings. Slowly, due to international involvement and rivaling political parties intervening with the nation’s societal welfare, the peace that Yemenis embraced for many years was beginning to dissolve into a thing of the past.
2015: The Ignition to Civil Turmoil
In 2004, the United States pushed the president of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to concentrate on combating a terrorist group known as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). In response, Yemen’s military force backed by Saudi Arabia launched multiple strikes against a group known as Houthis, who Saleh alleged were creating a dynamic of separatism ,enforcing their religious beliefs on the country’s people and operating in collusion with AQAP. This created a severe rift between the most prominent religious parties in the nation, which established a hostile environment for the state of Yemen and all of its citizens. The trend towards a civil war, indicated by this long standing atmosphere of tension and conflict finally came to a precipice 11 years later. In February of 2015, the Houthi rebellion finally reached the place of power that it desired by forcing Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi (then leader of Yemen, and technically still president of the nation today) and his cabinet to flee to Saudi Arabia, leaving the Houthis essentially in control of the state and all of its facilities. Just a month later, the Saudi Arabian military set the goals of its military intervention to reverse the nation back into the authority of the Hadi government and retain governance over Sana’a, the capital of Yemen. Ever since, these two factions have fought relentlessly for control over the nation, which once gave off a lustrous tint of optimism, but after seemingly endless warfare it has been reduced to a pile of debris and a living case study of how a society can collapse under the pressures of greed, religious opposition, and the corruption of foreign affairs.

The Current State of the Humanitarian Crisis
The civil war in Yemen has decreased the living conditions of its people to a terrifying level. With no resolution in sight, Yemeni people are faced with a situation where optimism for a brighter future seems more like an act of dreaming than a mental reflection of reality. In recent weeks, famine conditions caused by blockades on the borders of the nation and massive economic downfall rivaling famous events on global markets like the Great Depression have reached virality in an increased amount of regions around Yemen. It is estimated that nearly 2.3 million children under the age of five in Yemen are projected to suffer from acute malnutrition and could die if they do not receive urgent treatment. Along with mass starvation, the nationwide warfare has resulted in the displacement of approximately 4 million people, and the killing of over 100 000 people since 2015. These numbers give shocking insight into the sheer magnitude of this humanitarian crisis, and with important political figures like the U.S. President Joe Biden recently announcing reductions in international affairs including the civil war in Yemen, it is difficult to perceive a future where Yemeni citizens will be able to go back to the things they love. An individual can only enjoy the level of happiness that their society’s living conditions permits them to, and unfortunately for the Yemeni people, the likelihood of that ever getting back to a point of admiration remains shrouded in mystery.

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