October 5, 2007:
terrorist leader, Hassan Hattab, has surrendered and accepted amnesty. Hattab
was one of the founders of the GSPC, and did not agree with many other GSPC
leaders, who decided to form an al Qaeda franchise. Hattab also lost faith in the ability of
terrorism to bring meaningful change to Algeria.
Police have determined that
the suicide bombing attempt on the Algerian president last month, was the work
of a terrorist leader who had been released from prison under the amnesty deal.
Some of these jailed terrorists were expected to go back to their violent ways.
The few hundred Islamic
terrorists left are being hunted down by soldiers and police, and are finding
civilians reluctant to hide them. There are several incidents a week when
terrorists make contact with the security forces, resulting in several dozen
casualties and arrests each week. Given the high unemployment among young
Algerians, there are plenty of new recruits for the terrorists, but a growing
shortage of older, more experienced, leaders. These terrorists, of an earlier
generation, are not only getting picked off by police activity, but are getting
out of the terrorism business (through exile, surrender or just fading into
obscurity.) The shortage of good leadership makes it easier to catch the
terrorists, and more difficult to plan and carry out attacks.
September 30, 2007: Since
Ramadan began two weeks ago, terrorist violence has killed 37 security
personnel, terrorists and civilians.