Al Qaeda survives in remote
camps, in mountain forests along the coast, by simultaneously bribing and
terrorizing locals. During the peak of the Islamic terror campaign, in the
1990s, terror tactics, to obtain support from the population, often included
the murder of entire families. These memories remain, and rural residents are
willing to keep quiet if the threat, or the cash bribe, is large enough. But
the police have been able to find some rural residents who will talk, and that
has made it necessary for the terrorist groups to switch camps frequently.
There are a few dozen of these terrorists cells, usually with less than ten
members. The terrorists spend most of their time dealing with survival in these
rural areas, and planning their next attack. This process takes several months,
and some cells get discouraged and dissolve, or try to move to Europe, where
living conditions are better, and the environment is less hostile to Islamic
radicals. More cells are being run down
by the security forces. All this accounts for the small number of attacks,
given the number of terrorists who are active.
September 25, 2007: In the last two days, there
have been half a dozen attacks by al Qaeda terrorists. These included several
crude bombs. The other attacks were with guns and knives. All of this left five
dead and five injured.
September 22, 2007: A suicide car bomb, using over
500 pounds of explosives, failed in an attack on a police convoy carrying
foreign workers. Nine people were injured, including three foreigners, but only
the suicide bomber was killed. Al Qaeda claimed that more attacks would follow,
in Algeria as well as France and Spain. Al Qaeda is making a big deal about
driving all non-Moslems out of North Africa, and reclaiming Spain (conquered by
Moslem armies 1200 years ago, and reclaimed by local Christians 500 years ago)
for Islam. Most Moslems want to go to Spain for jobs, though, not re-conquest.