An assassination attempt on a former Islamic terrorist leader last week
has left everyone wondering who did it. The target of the attack, Madani
Mezrag, is one of several Islamic terrorist leaders who accepted amnesty, and
he is now forming a political party to oppose the military dictatorship in
promised elections. Most Algerians are still unhappy with their corrupt and
ineffective government, run mainly by the families of men who led the rebellion
against France in the 1960s. It was the victory of Islamic parties in early
1990s elections that triggered the Islamic terrorism (after the government
refused to recognize it, and the army took over.) The Islamic radicals are not as popular as
they were in the 1990s. The savagery of the Islamic terrorists took care of
that. But the people still want honest and efficient government, and the
Islamic conservatives are still offering it.
Meanwhile, the government has agreed to participate
in joint counter-terror exercises next month, with the U.S. and forces from
other nations in the region. These operations will be in the desert south,
where several small groups of Islamic terrorists are hiding out.
After al Qaeda insisted that it did not try to
kill Madani Mezrag with a car bomb, many
now suspect the government, because the current rulers have to the most to lose
if the Islamic parties win a new election.