Results tagged “Algeria”
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Authorities claimed that 2012 saw the lowest number of terrorist attacks in the country since 2002, and attributed the relative quiet to strong pressure by Algerian security forces, including the increased presence of counterterrorism units on the Libyan border, a new focus on intelligence work, the use of advanced monitoring technologies, and a shift toward targeting terrorist ringleaders. Foreign Minister Medelci announced an agreement between Algeria and Tunisia to enhance security cooperation, and called for Libya to be part of the effort. Some 10,000 Algerian soldiers are said to be monitoring Tunisia's border to ensure that Islamist militants in the Jebel Chaambi area do not escape into Algeria.
Interior Minister Kablia said Algeria is stepping up security measures along the Tunisian border after the murder of eight Tunisian soldiers by jihadists in the Jebel Chaambi area. The Foreign Ministry strongly condemned "appallingly false" allegations by "some circles" in the Tunisian media seeking to cast blame on Algeria for Tunisia's deteriorating security situtation and aimed at "misleading the Tunisian people in the moment when they mobilize to counter the terrorism."
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb killed four soldiers in two separate attacks. A captain was gunned down in Kabylie, while three soldiers were killed in an IED attack in Meziraa.
Security forces ambushed a car carrying four terrorists in Bouira province on July 19, killing all four when the vehicle caught fire. Among the dead were Bourihan Rabah a.k.a. Ayadh Abou Aberrahmane, who was head of inter-zonal communications for al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb; and AQIM communications officer and Rabah deputy Lafi Lakhdar a.k.a. Aboulwalid Touhami, a close associate of AQIM leader Abdelmalek Droukdel. On the same day, security forces in El Oued province destroyed a vehicle laden with weapons from Libya and killed three gunmen aboard it.
Unnamed officials claimed that security forces killed Abu Al Walid Tuhami, a deputy emir in al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, during an ambush. Tuhami has served with Algerian jihadists since 2002.
Two bombs were set by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in advance of Prime Minister Sellal's visit to Tizi Ouzou; one bomb detonated but caused no injuries and the other was dismantled. In desert operations, security forces recently killed 22 militants from the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) and Ansar Dine. Five militants trying to infiltrate the country at Bordj Badji Mokhtar were killed by police. President Bouteflika returned to Algeria after nearly three months in a French hospital. Locals in the Kaybylie region have complained about the recent incursion of Salafist imams.
Authorities announced increased counterterrorism measures to be taken throughout the country during Ramadan and later this summer. At least 10 members of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb were killed by security forces in recent operations in Bouira, Bordj Bou Arreridj, and Drâa Ben Khedda.
At the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum, presidential advisor Kamel Rezzag Bara stressed the global implications of growing terrorist activity in the Sahel. African Union envoy Francisco Caetano Jose Madeira urged greater participation by the UN, the AU, and the European Union in addressing the problem. EU envoy Gilles De Kerchove warned that interactions between terrorists and criminal networks were making both stronger, and said the EU was sending 60 border control trainers to southern Libya, which is becoming a "sanctuary for terrorist groups."
The Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), an al Qaeda splinter group, offered to swap a kidnapped Algerian diplomat for three Islamist fighters being held in Algeria. Presidential advisor Kamal Rezzag Bara refused the offer, saying that Algeria does not negotiate with or make concessions to terrorists. MUJAO kidnapped seven Algerian consular staff members in Mali in April 2012; one has been killed, three have been released, and three are still being held captive.
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.