Results tagged “Algeria”
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Foreign Minister Medelci said Algeria and Tunisia are coordinating to secure their shared border, under a security plan implemented three weeks ago. Some 20 key border crossings in the southern region have been identified among over 80 used by terrorists and weapons smugglers. Interior Minister Kabila said Tunisia is now confronting al Qaeda-linked militants near its southern border with Algeria who entered Tunisia from Mali, but that "Algeria doesn't intervene in Tunisian affairs."
Security forces arrested three Tunisian members of Ansar al Sharia in El Taref as they attempted to enter Algerian territory using false passports and traveling in two vehicles. They were wanted in connection with recent events in Kairouan and Ettadhamen City. Four men who kidnapped 32 European tourists and broke into an Algerian prison in 1994, freeing 1,200 prisoners, will appear in court on May 28; the four said the attacks were planned by a terrorist group headed by Nabil Sahraoui alias Abu Ibrahim.
A court sentenced 14 Malians from Kidal and Gao to 20 years in prison for joining a terrorist group that targets Algeria, ostensibly al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. The fighters had tried to enter Algeria in Illizi in January, and were arrested by authorities, who seized 74 Kalashnikovs, 41 FMs, 2 RPGs, 185 RPG missiles, and 123 anti-tank missiles. The suspects claimed they had obtained the weapons in Libya and were on their way to Mali as AZAWAD members to fight the French.
Interpol warned that some of the funds from Algeria's 1.5 billion-euro illegal trading, which includes counterfeiting, black market transactions, and tax evasion, are being used to fund international terrorism. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb issued a statement claiming five attacks in the past six weeks, in Bouira, Boumerdes, and Tizi Ouzou provinces.
The Religious Affairs Ministry noted the emergence of Salafist, Wahhabi, Shiite, Ahmadi, and Takfirist movements in Algeria in recent years, and warned about the influence of the Ahmadi sect and international Zionism. The Algerian military claimed that in 2012 it killed 200 insurgents active in al Qaeda battalions, including emirs and senior leaders, and another 120 insurgents who were involved in al Qaeda's support and logistics networks.
The opposition Islamist Movement for a Peaceful Society (MSP) party chose hardliner Abderrezak Mokri as its new leader during the fifth party congress, held over the weekend in Algiers. The congress was attended by Islamist leaders from Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Egypt, and the Palestinian group Hamas. Military forces killed four Islamist militants in Tizi Ouzou province and three in Boumerdes province, and seized weapons and ammunition.
A court in Algiers sentenced Djilali Kouri, 32, and Antar Ali, 35, to death for "founding and running a terrorist group that killed and spread terror among the population and that murdered hundreds of civilians and soldiers" during the Algerian civil war between 1996 and 2004. The two men belonged to an Islamist group that fought in the Chlef region and elsewhere.
Security forces have arrested four persons in Chlef province linked to the Islamic Salvation Army (AIS) who are accused of recruiting for the Al Nusrah Front in Syria. One of the four suspects is the leader of the AIS, the armed wing of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS); he is also believed to have links with Libyan and Tunisian jihadist groups. Authorities have been cracking down on jihadist recruiting networks in Algiers, Ghardaia, Tebessa, Tlemcen, Oued Souf, Djelfa, Tiaret, Biskara, and IIlizi.
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.
Security forces dismantled an al Qaeda-linked terrorist cell during an operation in Bordj Badji Mokhtar; seven suspects were detained, including two Malians. The cell was involved in helping jihadists escape from Mali into Algeria. Kamel Kadkadi, the main suspect in the assassination of Chokri Belaid, was extradited to Tunisia after being arrested near the Tunisian border. Security forces killed two terrorists in the Benbadis region near Constantine.