Djallil Lounnas is an assistant professor of international studies in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Al-Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco. He received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Montreal in Canada. His research is mainly focused on Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and how this originally Algerian organization became, within a matter of a few years, one of the strongest Al-Qaeda affiliates. He spoke to Diwan on the margins of a conference held at the Carnegie Middle East Center on October 26, titled “Sahel and Security in the Mediterranean.”