Algeria: Another Victim Of The Libyan Revolution

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September 14, 2011: Islamic terrorists have been paying more attention to making money than making bombs of late. Some 80 percent of the cocaine reaching Europe is coming in via Africa. Al Qaeda has become the security arm of drug smugglers, who bring cocaine (flown or shipped in from South America) and hashish (produced in West Africa) north, where most of it is smuggled into Europe. At the same time, the Arab states of North Africa have become more hostile to Islamic terrorism, but still receptive to new ways of making a lot of money. Thus a growing number of al Qaeda activists are being corrupted by all this new wealth. It’s an old problem with zealots, and it means the activists keep the same brand name, but slip into a new business model.

The new rulers in neighboring Libya have growing evidence that Algeria allowed weapons and other supplies to be smuggled into Libya during the last few months, as a NATO air and sea blockade prevented any legal access. China is believed responsible for some of the arms shipments, which came in via Algeria before being trucked across the border. The Algerian government is believed to have facilitated this, and is now denying everything.

September 13, 2011: The government has agreed to allow competing electronic (radio and TV) media. But there was no date mentioned, when commercial stations could start broadcasting. Thus it may never happen. The strict libel laws against journalists will also been dropped, eventually. Government control of the media has long hobbled reform efforts. But the Internet and cell phones have changed that. Commercial radio and TV will change it further, and put more pressure on the current military dictatorship to loosen up. Some day. Maybe.

September 8, 2011:  The Sahel countries (Algeria, Mali, Niger and Mauritania) concluded a meeting in Algeria where they agreed to continue cooperation in the fight against al Qaeda activity (mainly drug smuggling, and all the attendant violence and corruption) in the region. The U.S. has been supplying money, trainers, weapons and equipment to this effort.

September 6, 2011:  The twelve members of deposed Libyan dictator Moamar Kaddafi’s family, who arrived in Algeria last week, have been moved to the Clube des Pins resort west of the capital. This is a luxury facility, normally only used by the ruling elite of Algeria. The government wants to keep the Kaddafis out of sight until a decision is made on what to do with them. The Libyan government wants these refugees returned, for criminal investigations and possible indictment of the adults. Algeria has refused this demand, for now.

September 4, 2011: Algeria has refused members of Kaddafi’s armed forces or intelligence services permission to enter Algeria. The Algerian border has been closed to all traffic, to ensure that any further illegal shipments into Libya are at least reduced. The Algerian government is trying to undo the damage it caused by backing Kaddafi after NATO and the UN declared Kaddafi’s government off-limits last March.

September 2, 2011: Algerian leaders announced that they will recognize the new Libyan government, once it has announced who its top officials are.

 

 

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