Terrorist violence in June (25 dead)
was up a bit from May (when fifteen died). Last month, 19 rebels and six
soldiers were killed. Thus for the first half of the year, 207 have died.
While Islamic terrorists continue to be active, their operations are way down
from what they were a few years ago. In addition to those killed or captured in
Algeria, many have been caught in neighboring countries and in Europe. Iraq has
become a death trap for Algerian Islamic radicals. Those that go to Iraq usually
die, or return and leave the terrorist life. Many Algerian Islamic radicals
have become demoralized because, well, most Moslems hate them. All those dead
Moslems, especially the women and children, has a lot to do with it. Since the
early 1990s, when Islamic terrorists became very active in Algeria, some
200,000 have died, most of the them civilians slaughtered by Islamic radicals
(often entire families or villages), who used mass murder to encourage
civilians to support them. This eventually backfired, as it is doing in Iraq as
July 7, 2007: In a secret trial, a local journalist
was sentenced to ten years in prison for spying for Israel. The journalist,
Said Sahnoun, was accused of providing Israel with information on the Algerian
armed forces and local Islamic terrorist activity. Israel has long used Arab
journalists as sources of information, and many of these reporters didn't even
know they were working for Israeli intelligence, as they passed their
information on to another Arab, who had a cover story (usually involving
"working for another Arab country.") Since the trial was held in
secret, it was not known how Said Sahnoun was caught.
July 5, 2007: The governor of a Berber
region, about a hundred kilometers east of the capital, escaped unharmed when a
roadside bomb was used against him. The bomb went off too late. Islamic
terrorists have been hiding out in the area, but have also suffered many
reverses of late.
July 4, 2007: The treasurer of al Qaeda in
North Africa (Zakaria) was captured a hundred kilometers east of the capital.
Three other terrorists with him were killed. Also seized was $27,000 in
local currency. Documents captured with Zakaria indicate he had raised six
million dollars in the last few months.
June 28, 2007: Mauritania arrested six men and
accused them of working for al Qaeda. The men were caught using an Internet
cafe to communicate with other terrorists. Three of the prisoners were from
Morocco and three from Mauritania. This makes 31 terrorist suspects arrested
in the last month.
June 27, 2007: In the hilly forests 500 kilometers
east of the capital, troops have cornered several dozen Islamic
terrorists, and some family members. However, one member of the group was
captured, and said that the fifteen terrorists plan to use women and children
as human shields if they are cornered. In another action, 260 kilometers east
of the capital, troops killed Ali Abu Dahdah (the number three man in the North
African branch of al Qaeda) and two of his bodyguards.