Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Related Groups [Updated March 27, 2018] [open pdf - 536KB]
From the Document: "AQIM [Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb], a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), was formed when the Algerian-led Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat formally joined with Al Qaeda and renamed itself in 2006-2007. AQIM's leader reportedly remains in Algeria, but the group's center of gravity has moved southward into West Africa's impoverished Sahel region, and east toward Libya. AQIM has long pursued criminal activities such as kidnapping for ransom and smuggling. In recent years, it also has claimed a siege at a gas plant in Algeria (2013) and mass shootings at hotels, restaurants, and resorts in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Côte d'Ivoire (2015-2017). In March 2018, a Mali-based, AQIMaligned coalition claimed a relatively sophisticated attack in Burkina Faso's capital that targeted the military headquarters and the French Embassy."
CRS In Focus, IF10172
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/