Algeria: Another al Qaeda Franchise

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January31, 2007: The government is increasing the use of anti-terrorist ads, including appeals for tips about suspected terrorist activity. The growing number of such tips, over the past few years, has led to many arrests of Islamic terrorists. As a result, the last few hundred of these terrorists are mainly out in the countryside, where few civilians can spot them.

January 30, 2007: Some 400 kilometers east of the capital, clashes between troops and Islamic terrorists have left five soldiers and ten terrorists dead. The army and police are constantly patrolling rural areas in eastern Algeria, seeking the remote camps where the few remaining al Qaeda terrorists hide out.

January 28, 2007: Over the weekend, there were several clashes 500 kilometers east of the capital, leaving one policeman and one terrorist dead. At least one al Qaeda terrorist was wounded as well.

January 27, 2007: The GSPC (Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat), the primary Islamic terrorist organization in Algeria, has officially changed its name to Al Qaeda (or the Al Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb). The Maghreb is the Arabic word for North Africa. This recognizes several new realities. First, GSPC leadership can no longer operate from Algeria. There are too few members left in the country, and too many police and irate citizens out looking for Islamic terrorists. Second, the GSPC leadership has dispersed to several European and Arab countries, where it now works with many non-Algerians. Since GSPC is associated with an Algerian organization, it makes sense to adopt a more international name.

January 23, 2007: Roadside bombs are becoming more popular with Islamic terrorists in Algeria, as one went off 360 kilometers east of the capital, killing a soldier and wounding eight others. The police believe GSPC terrorists planted the bomb, and set it off.

 

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