Militant Movements in North Africa After the Arab Spring

AQIMs area of influence (Source U.S. Africa Command, The Washington Post)

Militant Movements in North Africa

After the Arab Spring


* * *


Thursday, April 25, 2013 

9:00 AM to 3:45 PM 



The University Club of Washington, D.C.

1135 Sixteenth Street, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20036  


Conference Description: 

Continuing instability in North Africa resulting from the Arab Spring has created an arc of crisis that has toppled long-standing governments in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya in the past two years. The collapse of these regimes has led to a rise in militant movements across the region, resulting in an attack on an American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 followed a year later by the January 25 takeover of the In-Aménas refinery that resulted in the deaths of dozens of Western hostages by the al-Qaeda offshoot Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).  

The proliferation of weapons from arms depots in Libya has galvanized militant groups across the region, setting the stage for French military intervention in Mali and the emergence of militant activities from the Sinai to the Sahel.  Understanding the dynamics of these militant movements in North Africa and the threats they pose to regime stability from Egypt to Algeria is foremost in the minds of Western policymakers as they struggle to grasp the dramatic changes unfolding in Africa.




8:30 AM – 9:00 AM.  


Opening Address   

9:00 AM – 9:30 AM    

General Sameh Seif al-Yazel (Ret.)   

“The Future of Militant Groups in Egypt and North Africa After the Arab Spring”   

Director of Defense and Security Studies al-Goumhorya Center  

Cairo, Egypt   


Panel One: Instability in Egypt   

9:30 AM – 10:15 AM   

Michael Ryan   

“The Muslim Brotherhood and Non-State Actor Threats to Egypt’s Stability” 

Senior Fellow, The Jamestown Foundation   

Andrew McGregor   

“The Sinai Insurgency and the Survival of the Morsi Regime”  

 Senior Editor, Jamestown’s Global Terrorism Analysis program 

Q & A  


Coffee Break:    

10:15 AM – 10:30 AM 


Panel Two: Militant Threats and Regional Reactions After the Arab Spring  

10:30 AM – 12:30 PM   

Anouar Boukhars   

“Algeria’s Response to the Fallout from the Arab Spring”   

Nonresident scholar in Carnegie’s Middle East Program   

Jean-Luc Marret   

“AQIM: An Anthropology of Violence”   

Senior Fellow, Fondation pour la recherche stratégique (Paris)  

Frederic Wehrey 

“The Militia Menace and the Struggle for Security in Libya” 

Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment  

William Lawrence   

“The Rise of Salafist Groups in Libya and Tunisia”   

North Africa Director, International Crisis Group   

Moderator: Andrew Black   

Navanti Group   

Q & A  



12:30 PM – 1:15 PM   


Panel Three: Counter-Terrorism Responses and Future Militant Threats in North Africa 

1:15 PM – 2:45 PM 

David Kilcullen  

President, Caerus and Associates,  

Former Counter-Terrorism Coordinator at U.S. State Department  

Justin Siberell 

Deputy Coordinator for Regional Affairs and Programs (North Africa) 

Bureau of Counterterrorism, U.S. Department of State   

Moderator: Theresa Marie Whelan 

National Intelligence Officer for Africa on the Director for National Intelligence’s National Intelligence Council   

Q & A  



2:45 PM – 3:00 PM  


Concluding Remarks  

3:00 PM – 3:45 PM   

Michael V. Hayden  

Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency & Jamestown Board Member 


Q & A  



3:45 PM

Participant Bios


Andrew Black  


Andrew Black is the CEO of Navanti Group and has worked for 10 years in the intelligence and special operations community as an advisor, analyst, and planner focusing on counter-terrorism and irregular warfare in Africa. Andrew’s work experience also includes supporting SOF in Iraq and Afghanistan with intelligence analysis, planning and executing various red team exercises for facilities and critical infrastructure, composing the strategy and plan for social media CVE interventions in Africa, and authoring strategic intelligence products on threats to the U.S. homeland. Andrew has an MA from Georgetown University and an MA from the University of St Andrews and is a regular contributor to Jamestown Terrorism Monitor.  He has been quoted in the NY Times, USA Today, and the Associated Press, and he has also presented at numerous international forums and the satellite television stations al-Jazeera and France24. 



Anouar Boukhars  


Anouar Boukhars is a nonresident scholar in Carnegie’s Middle East Program. He is an assistant professor of international relations at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland, and the author of Politics in Morocco: Executive Monarchy and Enlightened Authoritarianism (Routledge, 2010). Boukhars was co-project leader of Carnegie’s Mauritania Working Group, in which scholars and policymakers gathered in four roundtables between January and June 2012 to discuss critical issues faced by the country and the response of the international community. Boukhars is a former fellow at the Brookings Doha Center, where he published “Political Violence in North Africa: The Perils of Incomplete Liberalization” and “Fighting the Growth of Terrorist Networks on the Maghreb.” His other publications have appeared in a large number of journals and leading newspapers, including Journal of Conflict StudiesInternational Political Science ReviewEuropean SecurityTerrorism Monitor and Columbia International Affairs Online. 



Michael V.  Hayden  


General Michael V. Hayden (USAF Ret.) served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2006 to 2009 and was responsible for overseeing the collection of information concerning the plans, intentions and capabilities of America’s adversaries, producing timely analysis for decision makers, and conducting covert operations to thwart terrorists and other enemies of the United States. Before becoming Director of the CIA, General Hayden served as the country’s first Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence—and was the highest-ranking intelligence officer in the armed forces. Earlier, he served as Commander of the Air Intelligence Agency, Director of the Joint Command and Control Warfare Center, Director of the National Security Agency from 1999 to 2005, and Chief of the Central Security Service. General Hayden graduated from Duquesne University with a bachelor’s degree in history in 1967 and a master’s degree in modern American history in 1969. He was a distinguished graduate of the university’s ROTC program, and began his active military service in 1969. General Hayden is currently a principal at the Chertoff Group in Washington, D.C., and a Board Member at The Jamestown Foundation.  



David Kilcullen  


Dr. David Kilcullen is one of the world’s leading experts on insurgencies and counter-insurgencies. He is the founding President and CEO of Caerus Associates, a strategic design consultancy with a focus on the overlapping problems of conflict, climate change, energy, health and governance. Dr. Kilcullen also serves as an advisor to NATO and a consultant to the U.S. and allied governments, international institutions, industry and NGOs, in conflict and post-conflict environments and the developing world. Dr. Kilcullen is also an Adjunct Professor at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. Before joining the private sector, Dr. Kilcullen had a distinguished career in the Australian and United States governments, including 22 years as a light infantry officer in the Australian Army, during which he served in counterinsurgency, stability operations, peace operations and military advisory roles in Southeast Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East.  


After leaving the Army, Dr. Kilcullen served in Australia’s Office of National Assessments, then with the U.S. State Department. He first served as Chief Strategist in the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism and then as Special Adviser for Counterinsurgency to the Secretary of State. He served in the Iraq War as Senior Counterinsurgency Adviser to General David Petraeus during the successful 2007 “surge” and in Afghanistan as Counterinsurgency Adviser to the NATO International Security Assistance Force during 2009–2010. He was a member of the White House review of Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy in 2008, and he has advised the highest levels of the Bush and Obama administrations.  


Dr. Kilcullen’s academic background is in the political anthropology of conflict in traditional societies. His doctoral dissertation, completed in 2000, is a study of the impact of insurgency on political development, and it draws on extended residential fieldwork with guerrillas, militias and local people in remote parts of Indonesia, New Guinea and East Timor. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, regularly teaches and presents at academic institutions and industry conferences worldwide, and he is the author of numerous scholarly articles and books, including The Accidental Guerrilla (2009), Counterinsurgency (2010) and Out of the Mountains(forthcoming), all from Oxford University Press.

William Lawrence  


Dr. Bill Lawrence directs the North Africa Project for the International Crisis Group and has twenty-six years experience working in and on the Maghreb and Egypt. Until recently, he was Senior Advisor for Global Engagement in the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES). There he co-created and implemented the U.S. Science Envoy Program and advised the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on core elements of President Obama’s Global Engagement Initiative following the Cairo speech.  He was Co-Chair of the U.S.-Egypt Science and Technology Development Fund for four years, which tripled in size under his stewardship.  He directed programs under Science and Technology Cooperation Agreements with every North African state and served as NATO Project Director for Sahara Winds in Morocco and Mauritania.  


He traveled to Libya frequently in recent years, including helping negotiate and implement the first bilateral agreement with Libya in several decades and serving at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli.  He served as the State Department’s officer in charge of Libyan and Tunisian Affairs (2005-2006) and of Iraq reconstruction (2003-2004) and as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Research (2006).  In addition, Dr. Lawrence was the 2008-9 Goldman Sachs Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University and has taught at Georgetown University, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and Cadi Ayyad University in Marrakesh.  He has an MALD and PhD in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School, where he specialized in North African History, Politics, and Culture; Comparative and Developmental Political Analysis; Economic Development; and Islamic Law and Social Change, with half of his masters-level and PhD coursework at Harvard University Center for Middle East Studies and Harvard Law School.   



Jean-Luc Marret  


Jean-Luc Marret is a senior fellow at Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique (Paris) and senior fellow in residence at the Center for Transatlantic relations (SAIS-Johns Hopkins University). He works on terrorism and political violence since the mid-1990s and has published several books and articles on these issues. 



Andrew McGregor 


Dr. Andrew McGregor is a Senior Editor for Jamestown’s Global Terrorism Analysis program. He is also the Director of Aberfoyle International Security, a Toronto-based agency specializing in security issues related to the Islamic world. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto’s Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations in 2000 and is a former Research Associate of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs. In October 2007, McGregor took over as managing editor of the Jamestown Foundation’s Global Terrorism Analysis publications. He is the author of an archaeological history of Darfur published by Cambridge University in 2001 and publishes frequently on international security issues. His latest book is A Military History of Modern Egypt, published by Praeger Security International in 2006. McGregor provides commentary on military and security issues for newspapers (including The New York Times, USA Today, and The Financial Times), as well as making frequent appearances on radio (BBC, CBC Radio, VOA, Radio Canada International) and television (CBC Newsworld, CTV Newsnet, Foxnews and others).  



Michael W. S. Ryan  


Dr. Michael W.S. Ryan is a Senior Fellow at The Jamestown Foundation and an adjunct scholar at the Middle East Institute.  He is the author of the forthcoming book, Decoding al-Qaeda’s Strategy: The Deep Battle Against America, to be published by Columbia University Press.  The book examines al-Qaeda’s political military strategy based upon Arabic-language sources. Dr. Ryan also acts as an independent consultant and researcher on Middle Eastern security issues.  


Dr. Ryan served as Senior Vice President at The Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C. (2008–2009). The White House appointed him as Vice President in The Millennium Challenge Corporation (2006–2008). Previously, Dr. Ryan held senior positions in the Departments of State, Defense, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency after joining the U.S. federal government in 1979 as a Middle East/North Africa analyst for the Department of Defense.  


In 1981, Dr. Ryan earned a Ph.D. from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University. During his graduate study, he spent three years in Egypt under Fulbright, Smithsonian, and Center for Arabic Study Abroad fellowships. He was also a fellow at The American Research Center in Egypt during this period. He received his undergraduate degree from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. 



Justin Siberell  


Justin Siberell is the Deputy Coordinator for Regional Affairs and Programs in the Bureau of Counterterrorism at the U.S. Department of State. He joined the State Department Foreign Service in March 1993 and assumed this position in July 2012.Mr. Siberell was most recently Consul General in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Other overseas assignments include service at U.S. Embassies and Consulates in Baghdad, Iraq; Amman, Jordan; Alexandria, Egypt; and Panama City, Panama .In Washington, Mr. Siberell completed tours in the State Department Operations Center and Executive Secretariat; as Desk Officer for Iran in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs; and as Executive Assistant to the National Security Advisor at the White House. Mr. Siberell was raised in the U.S. State of California and attended the University of California at Berkeley where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History. Mr. Siberell is a 2002 graduate of the State Department’s Arabic Language Field School in Tunis, Tunisia. He is married to the former Arnavaz Motiwalla, and has three children. Mr. Siberell speaks Arabic and Spanish.




Frederic Wehrey


Frederic Wehrey is a senior associate in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His research focuses on political reform and security issues in the Arab Gulf states, Libya, and U.S. policy in the Middle East more broadly.    


His most recent Carnegie publications include: The Struggle for Security in Eastern Libya (2012); The Precarious Ally: Bahrain’s Impasse and U.S. Policy (2013); and Perilous Desert: Sources of Saharan Insecurity, co-edited with Anouar Boukhars (2013). 


Prior to joining Carnegie, he was a senior policy analyst at the RAND Corporation, where he was the lead author of monographs on Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, Saudi-Iranian relations, and the strategic impact of the Iraq War in the Middle East. In 2008, he led a RAND strategic advisory team to Baghdad, Iraq, focusing on post-surge challenges in support of Multinational Forces–Iraq. Wehrey is also a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and has completed tours in Turkey, Uganda, Libya, Algeria, and Iraq, where he earned the Bronze Star in 2003.


His articles have appeared in Foreign AffairsWashington QuarterlyCurrent History, the International Herald TribuneSurvival, SadaSmall Wars and Insurgencies, the Christian Science MonitorFinancial Times, and the Chicago Journal of International Law. He has been interviewed by major media outlets such as the New York TimesWashington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, PBSNewsHour, NPR, BBC, and CNN.  He is the author of a forthcoming monograph with Columbia University Press entitled Sectarian Politics in the Gulf: From the Iraq War to the Arab Uprising



Theresa Marie Whelan  


Theresa Whelan currently serves as the National Intelligence Officer for Africa on the Director for National Intelligence’s National Intelligence Council.  Ms. Whelan brings to her position over twenty-five years of experience in the defense intelligence and defense policy communities, nineteen of which have been focused exclusively on African issues.  


Prior to assuming her current position, Ms. Whelan, a Defense Department Career Civilian, served in three separate Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) positions within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy during both the Obama and Bush Administrations. From June 2009 to November 2011, she served first as DASD for Homeland Defense Domains and Defense Support to Civil Authorities and then as DASD for Defense Continuity and Crisis Management.  From September 2003 to June 2009 she served as DASD for African Affairs and for two years prior to that she served as the Principal Director of that same office.  Before her selection to be a member of the Defense Department’s Senior Executive Service, Ms. Whelan was assigned to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy’s Balkans Task Force, from June 1998 to November 2000, where she served first as the NATO Team Chief throughout the Kosovo crisis and then as the Task Force Deputy Chief of Staff.  She was also a Defense Department representative on the US negotiating team at the Kosovo Talks in Rambouillet and Paris, France from February to March 1999.  Her prior positions in the Office of the Secretary Defense include those of Senior Program Director for the US/South Africa Joint Defense Committee from January to August 1997, Countries Director for Southern Africa from January 1994 to January 1997 and Countries Director for West Africa from September 1991 to January 1994.  From 1987 to 1991 Ms. Whelan served as an African Military Capabilities Analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency covering West, Central and East African countries.   


Ms. Whelan holds a Master of Arts in National Security Studies from Georgetown University, a Master of Science in National Security Strategy from the National War College and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with a minor in Russian Studies from the College of William and Mary.  She has earned two Presidential Rank Executive Awards, at the Distinguished and Meritorious levels, two Department of Defense Medals for Distinguished Civilian Service, the American University Roger W. Jones Award for Executive Leadership, the Paul H. Nitze Award for Excellence in International Security Affairs and the French National Order of Merit. 



General Sameh Seif al-Yazel (ret.)  


General Sameh Seif al-Yazel (retired) is a former army general and former intelligence officer. Currently, he is the chairman of al-Gomhourya Center for Political and Security Studies and member of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs. He joined the Egyptian military in 1965 and participated in the 1967 and 1973 wars against Israel. General al-Yazal worked in Egypt’s embassies in the United Kingdom as Minister Plenipotentiary and North Korea as Political Counselor. Since retiring he has been working as a security expert giving advice and participating in discussions with local and international media organizations.