January 17, 2013

Mokhtar Belmokhtar: The One-Eyed Jihadi

Peter Beaumont, Guardian UK

AP Photo

For a man whose death in combat in the Malian city of Gao was announced last June, Mokhtar Belmokhtar – the Islamist militant allegedly behind the raid on the Ansema gas field in Algeria – has been surprisingly busy.

Since that raid – which saw the deaths of several foreign oil workers, including a Briton, and the kidnapping of 41 more – Belmokhtar has been described in journalistic shorthand as "al-Qaida".

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TAGGED: Algeria, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Mokhtar Belmokhtar


January 18, 2013
What Was Behind the Algeria Plot?
Bruce Crumley, Time
Algerian extremists are well acquainted with their government’s rigid approach to hostage situations, leading some expert observers to speculate that the In Amenas attack was a de facto suicide mission designed to achieve... more ››
January 18, 2013
France Has Inflamed Saharan Africa
Michael Shurkin, USA Today
The kidnapping of American and other Western hostages at a natural gas plant in Algeria by Islamic militants possibly in retaliation for France's military intervention in neighboring Mali, illuminates an unfortunate reality:... more ››
January 20, 2013
Algerian Bloodbath -- and Trouble Ahead
London Evening Standard
The latest Algerian episode effectively expands al Qaeda’s North African front, threatening to draw Western powers into a new round of intervention and war. Algerian al Qaeda affiliates have thus far been suppressed by the... more ››
January 17, 2013
Is Algeria Hostage Crisis Really al-Qaeda?
Max Fisher, Washington Post
As is often the case with militant groups operating in the Arabic-speaking world, the one that seized a gas field in eastern Algeria appears to have some links to al-Qaeda. But those links, based on the currently available... more ››
January 21, 2013
Don't Panic: Al-Qaeda Is Still Losing
Jason Burke, The Guardian
Cameron is wrong to call north African militants an 'existential threat' -- the tide has turned against al-Qaida and its offshoots. more ››