Activities and Reputation of the Armed Islamic Group of Algeria – Case Study Example

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The paper “ Activities and Reputation of the Armed Islamic Group of Algeria” is a  forceful example of a case study on the military. The Armed Islamic Group referred to by its French acronym, GIA, started a violent war ideally against Algeria's secular, military regime in the early 1990s. Though terrorism is still plaguing Algeria, the Armed Islamic Group's role in current violence has abated. The GIA grew out of an early 1992 decision by Algeria's military government when it decided to cancel an election in which there were suspicions that a mainstream, moderate Muslim party, the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), at the time, was headed for victory (Roger 1998, p. 18-24).

The backlash ideally took many forms, which included the formation of a strong Islamic Salvation Army, an established militant group that linked with the FIS (Michael 1996). However, the separate and radical GIA soon gained an exceptionally notorious reputation for murder and mayhem with a target on the people and groups affiliated-even remotely-with the government and the military, as well as foreign and innocent nationals (Muriel 1995, p. 56). Conversely, the GIA vowed to ideally, raze the secular Algerian government, in its place, establishing a Muslim state that would be ruled by the Islamic law or Sharia.

The ensuing civil war particularly ranked as one of the highly violent wars in the world in the early 1990s (Hugh 2003, p. 269). It, however, petered generally out in 2002 after a cease-fire declared by the Salvation Army of the Islamic religion, a volatile group that at no time never condoned the civilian violence pull off by the GIA. In its highly active period, in the early 1990s, the GIA held its presence in Belgium, Britain, France, and Italy (Luis 1998, p. 6).

While the GIA is currently largely defunct, it still designates as a foreign terrorist organization marked so by the U. S. State Department. Western and Algerian counterterrorism officials currently claim that many members may still have defected recently and joined al-Qaeda or its sister organization Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) pursuing the same motive and practices (Roger 1998, p. 18-24). StructureThe Armed Islamic Group (GIA) of Algeria's background includes a disdain for liberated women. These are women not wearing the headscarf also known as Hijab.

These are the women in their professional careers or those women who refused mu'ta, that is, the temporary practice of marriages of pleasure, often murdered. The GIA received much criticism for using their tactics of killing the female children and relatives of the military (Hugh 2003, p. 269). However, the group justified this act by citing an extremist concept named takfir, one of the tactics regarded as a form of ex-communication (William 1998, p. 5). In these cases, the concept takfir was of use to label a Muslim associated ideally with the military regime precisely as an infidel and thus game for attack (Roger 1998, p. 18-24). Stephen (2002, p. 11) argued that the group also in its tactics expressed vehement opposition to the established presence of foreigners in Algeria.

In the event of civil conflict, this Islamist group killed over 120 foreign nationals in the country. France, which was a leading supporter of the military government, also became a target. The utmost tactic was to fight any foreign country, or group, which was in support of the established government in order to weaken the government’ s operations and conquer over (Muriel 1995, p. 56).

The GIA also orchestrated international terrorist attacks, as a major tactic in the country to threaten these vital and superpowers that have an interest in supporting the government, most notably is the 1994 Air France plane hijacking and the later bombing of two Metro stations in Paris the following year (William 1998, p. 5).


Hugh, R 2003, The Battlefield Algeria 1988–2002: studies in a broken polity, Verso: London 2003, p. 269

Luis, M 1998, The Algerian Civil War 1990–1998, London: Hurst & Co, p.6

Michael, W 1996, the Islamist Challenge in Algeria: A Political History, New York: NYU Press

Muriel, M 1995, “The case of the GIA: Afghanis out of the theater.” Executive Intelligence Review, October 13, 1995, p.56

Roger, K 1998, “The Libel of Moral Equivalence” The Atlantic Monthly Boston: August 1998. Vol. 282 (2) p.18-24

Stephen, S 2002, The Two Faces of Islam: the House of Saud from Tradition to Terror, Doubleday, New York, 2002, p.11

William, B 1998, Between Ballots and Bullets: Algeria's Transition from Authoritarianism, Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press, p.5

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