American "counter-terrorism" cooperation with Algeria will intensify at a time when an Algerian Islamic guerrilla group pledged its loyalty to the al Qaeda network. Washington budgeted another $700,000 to help Algeria train soldiers.
The few hundred remaining rebels (including the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, or GSPC, which is now publicly tied to the al Qaeda network) are getting desperate, since their numbers are down from the estimated 25,000 rebels in the 1990s. Life in Algeria is almost returning to normal, with only 90 murders during Ramadan in 2002 (compared to 1,200 a few years prior). Back in the 1990s, Ramadan had become known as the "Jihad month" for being Algeria's bloodiest time of the year. - Adam Geibel