Abstract

Since 2006 there has been a uniquely independent and autonomous branch of al Qa’ida operating in the Sahel and Sahara region of North and West Africa. Relative to associated movements elsewhere, al Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb is geographically and financially isolated, dependent on its own members to mobilize both human and financial resources. Yet at this they have been particularly successful; smuggling contraband across African borders, kidnapping Europeans for ransom and playing middleman for Latin American cartels transporting huge amounts of drugs to Europe. The 2012 Tuareg rebellion and subsequent military coup in Mali has provided opportune timing as arms flood out of Libya, sold to the highest bidder at a time when al Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb is flush with cash. Using framing and resource mobilization theory, this thesis defines and contrasts this movement within larger context of al Qa’ida. It argues that, for the first time, we must discard laden and meaningless terms, and begin to understand al Qa’ida, and its affiliates as social movements, in order to understand both its past and possible future.

School

School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Department

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Degree Name

MA in Middle East Studies

Graduation Date

Spring 5-16-2012

Submission Date

5-16-2012

First Advisor

Dr. John Schaefer, Ph.D.

Committee Member 1

Dr. Mohammad Serag, Ph.D.

Committee Member 2

Dr. Joseph Hill, Ph.D.

Extent

94 leaves

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Rights

The American University in Cairo grants authors of theses and dissertations a maximum embargo period of two years from the date of submission, upon request. After the embargo elapses, these documents are made available publicly. If you are the author of this thesis or dissertation, and would like to request an exceptional extension of the embargo period, please write to thesisadmin@aucegypt.edu

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

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