ticket to ride

ticket to ride 

A report in Tahalil Hebdo states that the Malian authorities have arrested two individuals for their involvement in logisitics support to AQIM. A key element in terrorist and foreign fighter network operations is support with money and material. A French intelligence official recently stated that AQIM has a support network of some 150 – 200 persons in the Sahel. A review of Mauritanian press reporting indicates among the material support provided to AQIM in the Sahel, the provision of identity documents is a recurring issue. Examples include:

A Mauritania based network is reported to have supported Algerian, Libyan and Tunisian terrorists with accomodation and Malian passports. The report specifies that a Libyan national, Youness Essahraoui was provided with a Malian passport to assist in his exfiltration from Mauritania. (Agence Nouakchott d’Information-ANI, Mauritania 17.06.2005)

Khadim Ould Semane (aka Aboubecrine), a long-term member of Mauritania-based extremist networks linked to the GSPC and AQIM was reported to have been in possession of falsified identiy cards and passports, when arrested in 2005 in Mauritania. Khalid Ould Semane later  escaped from custody in April 2006 and traveled to Senegal before eventually returning to Mauritania to lead a network that was dismantled in 2008. (ANI, Mauritania, 08.05.2005)

A network dismantled in 2006 in Mauritania and linked to the GSPC is reported to have been involved in the large scale falsification of identity documents (identity cards and passports) and also professional documents of the police. Members of this group included Taher Ould Biye (aka Mouthenna) and Tiyeb Ould Saleck (aka Souheib), Mohamed Lemine Ould Jiddou (aka Hamam) and Sidi Ould Sidna (aka Abu Jandal). Sidna was acquitted and went on to take part in the attack in December 2007 that killed a number of French tourists at Aleg in Mauritania. (Tahalil Hebdo, Mauritania, 24.06.2007; ANI, Mauritania, 11.07.2007)

An Algerian national, Belkassem Zaioudi, arrested in Mali the 28.11.2007 and alleged to be a GSPC member was reported to have been in possession of a Malian identity document in the name of Mohamed Ould Ahmed. (Le Calame, Mauritania,  10.01.2008)

An individual identified in press as Taleb Ould Ahmednah was arrested in Dakar, Senegal in August 2009 and extradited to Mauritania in November 2009. Press reports allege that he was arrested on fraud related charges linked to identity documents. Taleb Ould Ahmednah is the brother of Mohamed Abdallahi Ould Ahmednah arrested 17.07.2009 in Nouakchott in relation to the murder of a US national on 23.06.2009. (ANI, Mauritania 11.11.2009; Le Quotidien, Sénégal 26.08.2009 and 03.11.2009)

Ahmed Ould Moctar arrested in Mauritania was found to be in using a second identity, Ba Yacouba, at the time of his arrest. Ahmed Ould Moctar was arrested in Tidjikja, Mauritania and was reported as communicating with AQIM associates via a laptop and high-speed internet connection. (ANI, Mauritania, 28.10.2009)