Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb was operating as the Salafi Group of Preaching and Combat (GSPC) until Ayman al Zawahri announced in a videotape released on Sept. 11, 2006 that Osama Bin Laden had approved of the group's merger with al Qaeda.
The GSPC was established by Hassan Hattab in 1998 after he had broken ranks with the GIA. In September 2003, he was removed as national leader and replaced by Nabil Sahraoui, who like Hattab, was also a former GIA commander.
Sahraoui pledged allegiance to al Qaeda as early as 2003; he was then killed in June 2004 and replaced by the current leader of the al Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb Abu Musaab Abdul Wadud. It is rumoured that Osama Bin Laden funded the Algerian Islamist groups in the 1990s and was instrumental in the formation of the GSPC.
Al Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb threatens to turn into a global Jihadi group. The group has claimed responsibility for several attacks, including a number of suicide attacks in Algeria which killed dozens.