Jamā’at Nuṣrat al-Islām wa-l-Muslimīn: a propaganda analysis of al-Qaeda’s project for the Sahel

By Sergio Altuna

First published by Elcano Royal Institute

Original version in Spanish: Jamā’at Nuṣrat al-Islām wa-l-Muslimīn: análisis del proyecto de al-Qaeda para el Sahel a través de su propaganda


The lessons that al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has learnt after years of activity in the Sahel have crystallised in the creation of Jamā’at Nuṣrat al-Islām wa-l-Muslimīn, or JNIM. This paper analyses JNIM propaganda to shed light on this new alliance and its relationship with the regional organisational structure of AQIM.


Through an analysis of its official propaganda, this paper undertakes an analysis of Jamā’at Nuṣrat al-Islām wa-l-Muslimīn (JNIM), a new alliance made up of groups loyal to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in the Sahel region. With this movement, AQIM not only seeks to extend the reach of its influence in the Sahel and West Africa, but also to establish a secure refuge far from Algeria. Among the four thematic categories into which, for the moment, the audiovisual production of this group can be divided, the battle theme is dominant, leaving the ideological terrain to AQIM. Furthermore, the creation of JNIM allows the regional structure of AQIM to project –propagandistically– levels of violence that would otherwise be impossible currently. The presence of foreign actors in the region, including Spain, has increased significantly in recent years and both the rhetoric used by the organisation in its communiques and the terrorist actions carried out during its first year of existence make clear that this contingent of foreigners is a priority objective.

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