Algeria: The Camps of Legend


December 4, 2007: The armed Islamic terrorists have all been killed, or decided to go into hiding for the moment. But the terrorist PR specialists are much in evidence. Police are capturing many al Qaeda members carrying propaganda material (CD, cassettes, printed), and prepared to recruit anyone interested. But what the police are really looking for are the mysterious "al Qaeda training camps." There have been several cases recently, of al Qaeda members being arrested in Europe and Africa (Nigeria) and saying they had been trained in "Algerian terrorist camps." Few of these non-Algerians can provide precise locations for these camps. Some appear to be ones that have been captured and destroyed in the past few months. But others remain a bit mysterious. Do they exist? Apparently foreign Islamic terrorist recruits think so. Tunisians and Moroccans are being caught entering Algeria, and arrested, saying they are on their way to "al Qaeda training camps." First they have to make contact with their al Qaeda guides, which they usually have not done yet, when they are arrested. Algeria is a big place, with lots of sparsely populated areas where you could do just about anything, without being noticed. This is especially true if you had the cooperation of the few locals. These tend to be religiously conservative, or amenable to bribes or threats.


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