Algeria: Where Islamic Terrorists Are Not The Biggest Problem


February10, 2007: Government corruption, and use of police to stifle opposing views, keeps the population restless. There are still enough desperate young men around to maintain the strength (a few hundred men) of the al Qaeda (formerly GSPC) terrorists in eastern Algeria. Another hundred or so GSPC (now al Qaeda) diehards hang on in the south, moving across the desert border between Mali and Algeria. 

Getting to Europe is still a goal for many young Algerians, and when they get there, they have little incentive to get involved in Islamic terrorism. In the last five years, European police have arrested over 4,000 terrorist suspects, and nearly all have been guys talking big and doing little. Some of those picked up were hard core, and most of them are now out of circulation. Rather than plot bombings in Europe, many of the terrorists recruited young men to go train and fight in Pakistan and Iraq. Those going to Iraq usually didn't come back. Those going to Pakistan were more likely to survive, and to be watched by the police when they came back to Europe. 

The major problem in Algeria is no longer Islamic terrorists, but corrupt, inefficient government. The next rebellion will likely be based on desire for a better government, or ethnic grievances (the Berbers), not Islamic radicalism.



beggar Help Keep Us Online!

Yep, we have been forced to beg for your support. We want our readers to have a good experience while they are here. We avoid video ads and populating the pages with more than three ads unlike other sites, but this has a consequence for us -- lower revenues. We are bringing in a third of the revenue we brought in just a few years ago. We are not quite homeless yet, but we need your support to keep going. There are three ways you can help:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..

Drake appreciates any help you can give him.

Subscribe   Contribute   Close