While the events of the 'Arab Spring' have so far had limited impact on Algeria, the country's stability is threatened by its most prominent armed Islamist group, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and its associated offshoots, which have established operational centres in the remote terrain of the Kabilya region and the Sahara desert.
1Born out of Algeria's civil war in the 1990s, in which Islamist rebels attempted to overthrow the country's government, AQIM and its allies present the most serious threat to security and stability in Algeria and neighbouring states in North Africa and the Sahel.
2These groups may also attempt to raise their profile by targeting foreign interests and civilians in Algeria, as was seen in the attack on In Amenas in January 2013 and the murder of Hervé Gourdel in September 2014.
3In late 2014, Jund al-Khilafa, one offshoot of the group, declared allegiance to ISIS, raising the prospect of a greater internationalisation of the conflict in Algeria, and an increased threat to foreign citizens and interests.
4The proliferating splinter groups of AQIM, its transnational sphere of activities, and weak capacities of neighbouring states in the Sahel are likely to pose difficult dilemmas for European states, especially France, over whether to engage directly in counter-terrorism actions on the ground.