January 18, 2013

What Was Behind the Algeria Plot?

Bruce Crumley, Time

AP Photo

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 several objectives. The attack is believed to be the work of Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a notorious jihadist who learned his trade fighting in Afghanistan and who has said his al-Mulathameen militia staged the hostage raid — in retaliation, he claims, for France’s intervention in Mali. It is not known whether Belhmokhtar himself is at the site. But the French antiterrorism official is skeptical that the raid was conceived and executed in response to a French action that began just a week ago.

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TAGGED: Mokhtar Belmokhtar, Algeria


January 17, 2013
Mokhtar Belmokhtar: The One-Eyed Jihadi
Peter Beaumont, Guardian
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... more ››
January 20, 2013
N. Africa Chaos Reveals Grim Side of Arab Spring
Robert Worth, NYT
In Mali, French paratroopers arrived this month to battle an advancing force of jihadi fighters who already control an area twice the size of Germany. In Algeria, a one-eyed Islamist bandit organized the brazen takeover of an... more ››
January 19, 2013
Why Algeria Struck Without Warning
Eli Lake, The Daily Beast
That Algeria didn’t inform the U.S.—much less collaborate with it—before launching the raid should come as no surprise. Since 9/11, both the Bush and Obama administrations have tried to cultivate a relationship... 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 ››
Events in Africa are a vivid illustration of what happens when the west forgets all that has gone before. more ››