Attrition: The High Cost of Fighting Islamic Terrorism

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July 27, 2007: Algeria has revealed that during their war with Islamic terrorists during the 1990s, about six percent of the police force was killed. That would be about 5,000 dead. During that period, over 150,000 people died in Algeria, most of them civilians and terrorists. Algeria has not released much in the way of official statistics on that conflict, so this announcement, that six percent of the police force was killed, was something of a first.

In 2000, there was a national referendum, and an amnesty program was approved. The population had soured on the Islamic terrorists, even though the corrupt government was not very popular either. The Islamic radicals erred by using mass murder (often killing entire families, or villages) to terrorize people who did not support them. Even many of the Islamic radicals were eventually repelled by this, and thousands accepted the amnesty. Terrorist activity declined sharply after that, as did the number of Islamic radicals. In addition, the police force has been expanded, from about 80,000 in the 1990s, to 111,000 today. Over the next three years, another 45,000 police will be added. Most Algerians do not want the Islamic terrorists to make a comeback. Many of the surviving Islamic terrorists have fled to Europe, or other Moslem nations. Only a few hundred are still operating in Algeria.

 


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