Algeria: Suicide Surge Succeeds

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January 13, 2008: Islamic terrorism killed 491 people in 2007, up sharply from 126 in 2006. In reaction to their defeat in Iraq (where 500 terrorism deaths a month is a low figure), many al Qaeda operators are moving to North Africa, where it's safer (American soldiers and marines are farther away). December saw a spike in terrorism related deaths; 56 (versus six in November).

A year ago, a six month amnesty for Islamic terrorists attracted 300 people who turned themselves in. The amnesty did not cover those who committed murder, which may be why some 800 Islamic terrorists remained active. As part of the amnesty deal, some 2,200 imprisoned terrorists were freed. A few of these have since been found involved in Islamic terrorism again. Some 15 years of Islamic terrorism left over 200,000 dead and caused some $20 billion in economic damage. Thousands of Islamic radicals have fled the country, and continue to plan and carry out terrorist acts in Europe and the Middle East.

The remaining terrorists in Algeria have little popular support, and survive by terrorizing civilians into providing food and other necessities. The army has located several groups of Islamic terrorists in mountains and forests, and continues to try and bring the terrorists in, or kill them. In response, the terrorists have switched tactics, concentrating on fewer attacks, each designed to kill the maximum number of people. These attacks also feature the use of suicide bombers, something rarely encountered in Algeria before 2006.

January 11, 2008: In Guinea-Bissau, two al Qaeda members were arrested and charged with the December murder, in Mauritania, of four French tourists. This crime caused alarm in the region, which has benefitted from a growing number of tourists. Islamic terrorists hate Western tourists, although Moslems are a minority in West Africa. This widespread contact between Moslems and non-Moslems (mostly Christians) has caused a lot of violence, mostly the result of Islamic clergy preaching the need to attack infidels (non-Moslems).

January 9, 2008: Terrorists ambushed an army patrol 110 kilometers east of the capital, killing five soldiers and wounding ten.

January 8, 2008: The government will double the number of special counter-terrorism troops, who are used to hunt down and capture or kill Islamic terrorists.

January 2, 2008: A suicide truck bomb, using half a ton of explosives, destroyed a police station east of the capital, killing four police officers.

 

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