Center for Strategic Communication

As I blogged yesterday, here is the 2012 list of AQIM-related events in Illizi province.  My news sources didn't have reports for June or July, and so the set is incomplete. Still, I think it shows a qualitiative change in the militant activity in Illizi between 2011 and 2012: more arms caches, more reports of cross border training.  Though it's certainly not enough information to make solid analytical conclusions, the information hints at a consolidation of AQIM/militant operations (possibly leadership) in Libya, challenging the idea that northern Mali is AQIM's "base."

Terrorism and Counterterrorism
Activity Reported in Illizi Province, Algeria for 2012

04 January

An unknown number of suspected AQIM members were arrested
at the Niger border.  A local report
notes that the militants were crossing the border with hundreds of small arms
and light weapons

17 January

3 AQIM operatives kidnapped the governor of the Illizi
province in Debdab. The militants released a political aide and a driver who
were with the governor at the time. They were released a day later

22 January

2 AQIM suspected of weapons trafficking were arrested near
the Libyan border

06 February

7 AQIM suspects were arrested in several locations in
Algeria, including Ghardaïa, Illizi, Adrar and Tamanrasset provinces.  The suspects were alleged to belong to a
weapons smuggling ring

20 February

A local report of a buried weapons cache recovered near In
Amenas. The cache allegedly contained: 15 SA-24s and 24 SA-7s

07 March

7 AQIM suspects were arrested In Amenas

13 March

1 AQIM member was arrested at an unnamed location in
Illizi province. One local report notes that he confessed to receiving
training at an AQIM camp in southern Libya

15 April

A shootout in Djanet, along the border with Libya, led to
the arrest of 2 AQIM suspects

08 August

4 AQIM suspects, including one Libyan, were arrested at an
unnamed location in Illizi

30 September

27 AQIM members were arrested at an unnamed location in
Illizi province.  According to local
reporting, the suspects were part of a recruitment and training cell that
sent some members to Libya, specifically Bani Walid and Benghazi