Algeria: June 4, 2004

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GSPC leader Amari Saifi was apparently bought from his Chadian captors by the Algerian government. The Chad rebels who held Saifi, and 16 other GSPC men, offered their captives to interested parties and, in effect, auctioned them off. One of more groups representing Islamic radical groups were in the bidding. Saifi and two other senior GSPC officials, were turned over to Algerian troops in northern Niger. Algeria holds Saifi and the GSPC responsible for the deaths of thousands of Algerian civilians, soldiers and police. There will probably be a trial, preceded by a lengthily interrogation. Negotiations continue with the Chad rebels to obtain the other 14 GSPC men held captive. No one has mentioned how much money is involved here, but the Algerians have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on fighting the GSPC, and  Amari Saifi is the last notable leader the GSPC has produced. A price of $5-10 million for Saifi would not be out of line.

 

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