Results tagged “Algeria”
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A court sentenced Mokhtar Belmokhtar and four other jihadists to death in absentia. Four other defendants were sentenced to 13 years in prison. The government denied that Ansar Dine is seeking refuge on Algerian soil as military operations are underway in Mali.
Security forces in Ardrar province in southwestern Algeria intercepted a shipment of arms from Sabha, Libya destined for al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb forces in the Malian city of Khalil, and killed five members of the allied Islamist group MUJAO who were protecting the shipment. Security forces dismantled a terrorist cell in the southern province of Tamranasset and destroyed two smugglers' cars laden with ammunition. Algeria offered to help the Libyan military and police. The separatist Polisario front denied allegations that Islamist militants from Mali had infiltrated the group's Sahrawi refugee camps in western Algeria.
Meeting in Algiers, interior ministers from Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Tunisia, Spain, France, Italy, Malta, and Portugal planned increasing cooperation on border security, refusal to pay ransoms to terrorists, and efforts against cybercrime "as an engine for the spread of terrorism." Interior Minister Kablia said that "[a]ny terrorist who wants to attack Algeria has only two options: surrender or death." President Bouteflika has asked a panel to begin work on revising the constitution.
The governor of Medea escaped an al Qaeda assassination attempt in Mezghena on April 3; one policeman was killed and two were wounded in the attack, which also involved a bombing and the commandeering of four civilian vehicles. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb called the French claim that the terror group's Saharan emir had been killed a "blatant fallacy."
The army has launched its biggest offensive so far this year against al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, arresting a senior commander and several fighters who were planning to execute suicide attacks in Ghardaia. Operations are ongoing in the southern provinces of Bechar, Adrar, Tindouf, Ghardaia, Laghouat and al-Bayadh. Security forces also killed seven armed terrorists, and intercepted others trying to cross over into Mauritania.
After al Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) announced its support for unemployed Algerians in the south who have staged recent protests, the National Committee for Protection of the Rights of the Unemployed (CNDDC) issued a statement disavowing any connection with AQIM or other violent groups. The protesters stressed that their movement is peaceful, unlike that of the terrorists.
The Islamist Green Bloc is preparing to select a candidate to run for president in 2014, a plan which could "could stop the harassment and attacks against Algeria." Iraqi authorities are said to be considering the possibility of pardoning Algerian prisoners currently held in Iraq for crimes including terrorism.
Algeria condemned the recent bombing of the Al Iman mosque in Damascus, Syria. Iraq refused Algeria's request to free 11 Algerians held prisoner in Iraq because they are "criminals" involved in terrorism and corruption.
A Tizi Ouzou court sentenced al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb leader Abdelmalek Droukdel and 34 other terrorists in absentia to death for the April 2011 attack on an Algerian military camp in Azazga that killed 14 soldiers. Authorities are concerned about a steep rise in child kidnappings; there were 276 such cases in Algeria in 2012.
High-level Islamist officials linked to the Muslim Brotherhood are meeting this weekend to discuss plans, including possible unification of factions as an educational organization or a political party. The government has permitted a group of moderate imams to form their own union to promote moderate Islam and combat the rise of the Salafist movement; the group has been trying to unionize since 1999. Algeria is now the sixth-largest arms importer in the world.