December 4, 2007:
armed Islamic terrorists have all been killed, or decided to go into hiding for
the moment. But the terrorist PR specialists are much in evidence. Police are
capturing many al Qaeda members carrying propaganda material (CD, cassettes,
printed), and prepared to recruit anyone interested. But what the police are
really looking for are the mysterious "al Qaeda training camps."
There have been several cases recently, of al Qaeda members being arrested in
Europe and Africa (Nigeria) and saying they had been trained in "Algerian
terrorist camps." Few of these non-Algerians can provide precise locations
for these camps. Some appear to be ones that have been captured and destroyed
in the past few months. But others remain a bit mysterious. Do they exist?
Apparently foreign Islamic terrorist recruits think so. Tunisians and Moroccans
are being caught entering Algeria, and arrested, saying they are on their way
to "al Qaeda training camps." First they have to make contact with their
al Qaeda guides, which they usually have not done yet, when they are arrested.
Algeria is a big place, with lots of sparsely populated areas where you could
do just about anything, without being noticed. This is especially true if you
had the cooperation of the few locals. These tend to be religiously
conservative, or amenable to bribes or threats.