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Mokhtar Belmokhtar

Recently the Associate Press discovered a number of Al-Qaeda documents in Timbuktu. Among those documents was a letter written from Shura Council of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) to Mokhtar Belmokhtar a veteran Jihadist fighter. What I find interesting is the administrative tone of the letter.

The letter is written in a very bureaucratic and corporate manner. Parts of the letter would fit in perfectly with a performance review of an employee. Belmokhtar is chided for failing to submit financial reports, not answering his phone, failing to attend meetings and causing divisions among different groups.

Note: In the letter Belmokhtar is referred to as Abu Abbas and Khaled.

3) The armaments file: The armaments file has been given particular attention by the Emirate of the organization and it contributed greatly to stepping up the buying of weapons and military equipment, whether by direction or organizing or supplying. Its instructions on this issue were constant. It ordered the forming of special committees to oversee this issue from the start. It even put the organization’s share of ransoms under the control of the emirs to use in this. A reminder: It gave Abu Abbas a considerable amount of money to buy military materiel, despite its own great need for money at the time.
Despite all that, the practical reality testifies to the fact that Abu Abbas did not contribute to increasing weapons purchases, despite the historical and social weight he has in the region enabling him to play an important role in this field. To the contrary, we found the other emirs’ contributions to be much more effective and greater in size than Khaled’s, which was negligible.

That sounds like a supervisor asking why the project is over-budget and late. They are criticizing his competence to manage and achieve results. This could fit in perfectly in corporate America.

We cite just one of these kidnappings: the kidnapping of the Canadians that the Masked Brigade carried out. The organization paid particular attention to this abduction because of the nature of the Canadian captives _ one of them was the personal representative of the U.N. secretary
general. We strove to give this case an international dimension. We tried to coordinate with the leadership in Khorasan [Afghanistan/Pakistan]. But unfortunately, we met the obstacle of Khaled. Rather than walking with us in the plan we outlined, he managed the case however he liked, despite our repeated insistence that the case should be under the administration of the organization. He chose to step outside the organization and reach an agreement in his own way, he did not follow the organization’s instructions, and if not for God Almighty’s leniency and the reasonableness of the brother emirs, the problem would have escalated.
 This sounds just like a supervisor informing an employee that they are not a team player. That their actions cost the organization because the employee refused to work with the rest of the team. At the same time Belmokhtar is being chided for stepping outside of the organizational structure just the same as an employee being written up for going around their boss’s authority.
And calling the meetings useless is a mockery of the emirs’
orders. The reality proved the use of this meeting, since the proposed
committee was formed, it discussed your document and it passed a number of recommendations and decisions. A copy of these recommendations was passed to the Emirate and it responded. It put
out another document which gave the broad outlines of the program to be followed in the Sahara in light of the emergency situation on the ground. The Shura Council of al Qaida in the Sahara and out brothers in Ansar Eddin adopted these outlines.
The Emirate did not know that you raised a complaint to the central Emirate and that you demanded its adjudication in the case of any violation of the agreement between you. If the Emirate had known, it would have rejected it because it ignored the organizational
structure and made a mockery of the basics of administration.
 It appears that even al Qaeda holds meets to form committees and make recommendations. I think we can all agree that frequently those meetings are worthless but the organizational structure requires that we attend if requested by a superior. Here Belmokhtar is refusing to attend such meetings and being criticized for failing to abide by the organizational structure.
I find this letter very interesting because it demonstrates a almost corporate-like organizational structure with decisions being made at the top and handed down. Al-Qaeda is holding meetings and forming committees to address concerns and situations. They also demonstrate a concern for the effective use of resources to the point of demanding financial reports.
This letter would fit in with any other employee performance review. The tone and language is very much like memos and reports found in the business world. The concerns over the behavior of subordinates focus on the same issues corporate America does such as being a team player, being accountable for the successful execution of projects and obeying directions given by supervisors.