The government has identified 146 Algerian Islamic terrorists working in Mali for AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) and MUJAO (Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa), which is basically a Mauritanian faction of AQIM. Al Qaeda has the most money and weapons and uses this to exercise control over the other Islamic radicals in Mali. AQIM and MUJAO are sometimes at odds with Ansar Dine, which feels it should be in charge because it is Malian. But for the moment all three groups cooperate in order to maintain their control of northern Mali. The Algerian terrorists are among the most experienced, many having survived the 1990s war against the Algerian government (which the terrorists lost, killing over 100,000 civilians, terrorists, police, and soldiers in the process). The movement of so many Algerian Islamic terrorists to Mali in the last six months is the main reason there have been so few Islamic terror attacks in Algeria this year.
There is a debate within the government whether or not to back armed intervention in Mali. ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) has organized an intervention force of 3,300 troops, and France and other Western nations are willing to help. UN approval is being sought. Algeria has long opposed such interventions, especially if its former colonial rule France was involved. But the Islamic terrorist control of northern Mali directly threatens Algeria and the Mail government is not able to deal with the situation. Self-interest is expected to prevail when the UN asks Algeria if it approves of this intervention on its border.
September 30, 2012: Islamic terrorists (MUJAO) in northern Mali announced that they had killed an Algerian diplomat they kidnapped five months ago. MUJAO had demanded that Algeria release three Islamic terrorists they had (and pay lots of money) in return for the diplomat. The Algerians refused and the terrorists killed the diplomat yesterday.
September 29, 2012: In the capital several hundred people demonstrated, demanding to know who took their family members during the 1990s war with Islamic terrorists. As many as 10,000 people just disappeared. Six years ago the government got 6,146 families to accept compensation and stop demanding that the government admit that the army or police kidnapped and killed people suspected of supporting terrorists. Many families did not accept the money and still insist on the government admitting it secretly kidnapped and killed people. So did the Islamic terrorists, and it was never clear in some cases which side was responsible for someone disappearing.
September 9, 2012: A senior AQIM commander, Algerian Nabil Makhloufi, was killed in a car accident in northern Mali.