government refused to allow Islamic terrorists, who had accepted amnesty and
disarmed, to form political parties. The
former terrorists had asked politely. Islamic political parties won national
elections in 1992, but the government, dominated by revolutionaries who led the
fight for independence from France in the 1950s and 60s, refused to allow the
Islamic politicians to take over. The Islamic parties won by promising to
eliminate the massive corruption in the government, which had allowed the
economy to stagnate, was unjust and the usual stuff. The Islamic radicals tried
to use terror to overthrow the government, but the old revolutionaries proved
too tough. Nearly 200,000 people died during over a decade of violence. The
Islamic terror tactics were based on the idea that any Moslem who did cooperate
was not a real Moslem, and should be killed, along with their family, if
possible. Entire families were often slaughtered in a campaign that eventually
saw the population choose the corrupt politicians over the pure, but murderous,
Islamic radicals. Same pattern played out in Egypt, at about the same time, and
later in Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Meanwhile, the mismanagement of the Algerian
economy has left the majority of young (under 30) Algerians unemployed and
unhappy. This creates another generation of rebels. Actually, it already has.
Although most Algerians oppose al Qaeda and Islamic terrorism, the corruption
and mismanagement of the government angers enough people, especially unemployed
young men, to staff the current force of several hundred Islamic terrorists.
This is a pattern common throughout the Arab world, where the inability to
create effective governments, and the propensity for dictatorships, has created
Islamic radicals desperate to try anything to change the situation. That
eventually led to attacks on the West, seen as enemies of Islam and somehow
responsible for all the ills of the Arab world.
September 8, 2007: A hundred kilometers east of the capital, a
car bomb went off outside a navy base, killing 27 sailors and police, and three
civilians. About fifty were wounded.
September 7, 2007: Some 430
kilometers east of the capital, a suicide bomber walked into a crowd awaiting a
visit from the president, and detonated his explosives. Some twenty were killed
and over a hundred wounded.
September 3, 2007: Some 600
kilometers east of the capital, several dozen Islamic terrorists rushed into a
town, murdered an elderly man, and then rigged the neighborhood with booby
traps. These killed five of the policemen who responded. Other police picked up
the trail of the terrorists, who had fled into the forest. Eventually, at least
seven of the terrorists were trapped and killed.
August 26, 2007: A roadside bomb went off outside the capital,
wounding five people. The target was a police patrol. It was a crude bomb, which damaged the police
car and injuring the two police officers.