Algeria: September 24, 2003


At the request of the German government, Algeria has provided names of the rebels it is believed were involved in kidnapping 32 European (including 15 German) tourists in southern Algeria. The Germans taken captive, and later released, said that their captors were interested in ransom from the beginning. The German government has denied that it paid random, but is charging the kidnappers with blackmail and are issuing international arrest warrants. News reports in Germany say the government did pay ransom, but discreetly. The Algerian government has been warning Europeans for years that many of the Islamic radicals in Algeria have fled and are operating in Europe. Some of these Algerian radicals have been arrested in the post-911 sweeps. The Germans are now going after Islamic radicals with a bit more enthusiasm, as the kidnapping incident was huge news in Europe, especially Germany, for months.


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