Al Qaeda is taking a beating. Unable to carry out bombings, or evade the
thousands of police and troops searching for its rural hideouts, they have
pumped up their press release production. These denounce press reports of al
Qaeda losses, and claim unsubstantiated victories over security forces. The
only recent terrorist action, that could be confirmed, was the kidnapping of
two Austrian tourists, who were seized while they were crossing the Sahara near
the Tunisian border. Since Islamic terrorists have been hiding out in these
more remote areas over the last two years, tourists have been warned away. But
tourists are not forbidden to pass through these remote, desolated, areas.
2008: Over the last week, some 9,000 troops assembled 62 kilometers east of the
capital, trying to trap an al Qaeda leader, and his bodyguards, believed to be
hiding in the hills. Four of these men were killed. Later, another two dozen
men were caught setting up a roadside bomb. The terrorists fled to their base,
but were caught by helicopter gunships, and most died.