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Friday, March 26, 2004

Salifia Jihadia - Al-Qaeda Version 2.0?

Mohamed al-Fazazi
Picture of Mohamed al-Fazazi
Salifia Jihadia (related group: The Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat or GSPC) is a North African Islamic extremist group linked to Al-Qaeda. They may be responsible for the Madrid bombings. Mohamed al-Fazazi, is the radical 56-year-old spiritual leader for this group that has sprung from the impoverished neighborhoods of Moroccan Cities like Tangier and Casablanca. The imposing 6ft 3in Fazazi is driven by a dream of creating a global Islamist state. Salifia Jihadia's influence is spreading throughout North Africa according to intelligence sources. Algeria, Mauritania, Mali and Chad are countries where Salifia Jihadia is having success recruiting new members (Salifista's or Salafista's?) and creating extremist cells. There is a concern among terrorism experts that North Africa will become the next Afganistan.

The Guardian (UK) reports:
"Fazazi is accused of being the inspiration behind last May's bombing of Jewish and Spanish targets in Casablanca, which left 45 dead. Spanish investigators have linked his movement with the Madrid bombings 10 days ago. German investigators also claim Fazazi preached at the Al Quds mosque in Hamburg, which was used by the terrorists responsible for the September 11 atrocities."

"Fazazi, who urged followers in videos circulated across Europe to 'slit the throat of Jews and Christians' is now serving a 30-year prison sentence in Morocco."

The NBC Nightly News mentioned Salifia Jihadia tonight, but they did not have anything on their web site yet. Salifia Jihadia is described as a shadowy group. The name has a low internet profile. Google only showed six links when "salifia jihadia" was searched today (26-Mar-04), two of those links are to French pages. There are currently no headlines with the "Salifia Jihadia" name. Better luck searching Google with "Salafist" and "Mohamed al-Fazazi." The picture of Mohamed al-Fazazi comes from a German news site.

Related Links:
Chad 'defeats' Algerian Muslim extremists [Seattlepi.com]
Madrid Train Blast Probe Leads to Germany, Morocco [Reuters]
The Secret War [Guardian]
Heathrow worker jailed for links with al-Qaeda [Guardian]
Morocco: Two bombers talking to police, May 19, 2003 [CNN]
Death Sentences, Lengthy Terms for Morocco Extremists [BioHazard News]
North African Map

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