The government is locked in a
dispute with the U.S. over anti-Christian activities in Algeria. Moslems
consider it their right, and duty, to convert others, but deem it illegal for
anyone to try and convert them. This has long been a source of friction between
Moslems and non-Moslems. The government
has sided with Islamic clerics and pressure groups that oppose Christian
missionaries and any activity that might induce Moslems to convert. Some
Moslems are very touchy, often violent about conversions to other religions.
The government goes along with this violence in order to maintain the support
of moderate clerics, and avoid al Qaeda accusations of being a "puppet of
the West." That means Islamic militants can get away with murder, and
lesser crimes, when it comes to local Christians and any Moslems who have, or
might be considering, converting. Increasingly, Moslems are considering
converting, seeing Islam as the religion of failure.
23, 2008: Al Qaeda's North Africa leader
(Abu Musab Abdul Wadud), released a 29 minute long video, where he took responsibility for a recent attack in Mauritania and all the bombings over the last
few months in Algeria. Wadud called for the people to rise up and overthrow the
governments of North Africa. Even though many North Africans would like to do
this, they are not a majority and they are faced with police state situations
which make rebellion very difficult. Moreover, al Qaeda is supported by an even
smaller proportion of the population. While this provides al Qaeda with
millions of Algerian supporters, it's the millions of anti-terrorist Algerians
with cell phones that pose the biggest threat to al Qaeda. The cell phone has
become a major obstacle for Islamic terrorists (who tend to antagonize many
people with their seemingly indiscriminate bombings.)
18, 2008: Police arrested fourteen
suspected terrorists, and broke up a plot to bomb the presidential palace.
Throughout the country, the police have become more alert to terrorist
operations, motivated by the bombings over the Summer. In the south, troops on
the Mauritanian border have been warned by Mauritania that Islamic terrorists,
who killed twelve soldiers three days earlier, may try to cross the border.