Algeria: Terrorists Seeking Safety


September 27, 2007: 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.


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