BAMAKO, Mali — Former Al-Qaeda franchisee Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has been officially disenfranchised by Al-Qaeda central for failing to meet certain basic franchisee obligations. The local Saharan terrorist cell had established itself as an important player in the Islamic Maghreb, the Mali-based branch of Al-Qaeda that has been developing alarmingly quickly of late. According to sources, the group was kicked out of the official organization for, among other things, failing to mention Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in several of its videos, receiving weapons from unauthorized dictators, and not participating in key seasonal Jihadist promotional attacks.
This occurrence, the splitting of official relations between a terrorist startup and Al-Qaeda HQ, does not stand alone, and it speaks to the major changes that have taken place in the Al-Qaeda command structure in recent years. The term “Al-Qaeda” actually translates to “the base,” and this base has been interpreted in turn as an ideological foundation, a physical training compound and even a Pentagon-like central authority. It is unclear to experts whether the Algerian and Malian terrorist’s receive funding, supplies, direction and standardized training from a vast and regulated Al-Qaeda network or if the diverse terrorist groups merely share an ideology and loose common methodology.
“This is exactly why we had to end that particular franchise,” said Abdel Rehman al-Sahab, an Al-Qaeda spokesperson in Pakistan. “If we have these franchisees everywhere flaunting regulation and ignoring our standards then the infidels will think we are weak, disorganized, and that terrorist franchise contracts are not binding. I know the idea is to destroy capitalism ultimately, but until then, branding is very important.”
The Malian group that was let go by Al-Qaeda still exists, and is in the difficult process of transitioning to an independent operation. An unidentified source told reporters that the group is finding new arms dealers and sources of income, and that infidels can expect innovative new tactics in the future.
“For now though,” said the unnamed source, “we still have to change the sign out front.”