In the last six months, police and soldiers have killed or captured some 450 Islamic terrorists. Most of that activity occurred late last year, and that caused severe damage to the North African branch of al Qaeda. The group is much weakened, and spending most of its efforts on rebuilding cash reserves and finding more secure hideouts.
The government has allowed 22 of 26 Christian churches to reopen, after being closed last year because the Christians involved were accused to trying to convert Moslems. Although Moslems demand the right to establish mosques and convert Christians in Western countries, they do not reciprocate in their own homelands. This is because Islam sees itself, as many religions do, as the one true faith. But Moslems has always been more aggressive about this than other religions, thus they see no contradiction in restricting non-Islamic religions in countries with a Moslem majority.
Over 2,000 kilometers south of the capital, on the Mali and Niger borders, police are having a growing problem with thousands of Africans illegally crossing the border and then trying to make their way north, across the Sahara desert, to the Mediterranean, and then to Europe in search of jobs. Algerians living along the border are demanding that police do something about the African migrants, who compete for scarce resources and commit crimes in the dry border region.
For the first three months of the year, oil exports (97 percent of all exports) declined 42 percent in value compared to last year. This has caused more unemployment and unrest. But not as much as one would expect, because so much of the oil revenue is stolen by senior government officials. Thus the chief victims of the lower oil price and demand, is the net worth of the wealthiest families.
April 22, 2009: Islamic terrorists in Mali have released two Canadian and two European captives, in return for a $7 million ransom. The terrorists had earlier insisted on the release of several dozen imprisoned Islamic terrorists, but the governments holding these men refused to cooperate. One or more European nations paid the ransom, which will now go to financing more terrorist activity in Mali and Algeria. One of the activities getting some of this money are religious schools that indoctrinate children to become suicide bombers. Al Qaeda is quite proud of this, and featured some of these kids in a recent video. Meanwhile, two more foreign tourists (a Brit and a Swiss) are being held, and the freedom of a prominent terrorist leader is demanded, although cash ransom is probably being negotiated.
Police killed five Islamic terrorists some 560 kilometers east of the capital.
April 16, 2009: Police, operating 300-600 kilometers east of the capital, killed seven Islamic terrorists in several incidents.
April 12, 2009: Police arrested an al Qaeda leader, and several of his followers, 80 kilometers east of the capital. The al Qaeda group had been raising money by kidnapping local people, and obtaining ransoms of up to $4,000 per person.