Al Qaeda has at least one death squad that is hunting down and killing clerics
who speak out against Islamic terrorism, or are otherwise cooperating with the
government. Several clerics have been murdered, and many more threatened.
2008: A multi-billion dollar Russian jet fighter purchase deal is unraveling.
Algeria has already cancelled the purchase 35 MiG-29s, and now Russia is
cancelling delivery of 34 Su-30 fighters, because Algeria has not made required
down-payments. The collapse of this deal is believed to be more about improving
relations with Europe, and particularly France, rather than the quality of the
Russian warplanes. France would like to sell Algeria Rafael fighters.
2008: The government signed a deal with China to obtain technical help in
building nuclear power plants.
2008: In Mali, several vehicles full of Tuareg rebels drove up and fired on an
army camp in a town near the Algerian border. This attack took place in the
area where al Qaeda is believing to hold two Austrian kidnapping victims.
2008: For the last few days, the army
has been chasing dozens of al Qaeda terrorists around a mountainous area 430 kilometers
east of the capital. At least five of terrorists have been killed, and more
were wounded. These terrorists appear to be from Mali, Chad and Mauritania.
2008: In northern Mali, near the
Algerian border, Tuareg (non-Arab tribesmen who were the first inhabitants of
North Africa) rebels ambushed an army convoy and killed three soldiers (and
captured over twenty). The Tuareg have been in sporadic rebellion since
colonial rule ended and the African majority in Mali asserted its power. This
attack took place in the area where al Qaeda is believing to hold two Austrian
kidnapping victims who were seized in Tunisia. The terrorists keep extending
the negotiations deadline, and now April 6th is the deadline.
Austria says it will not pay a ransom.
2008: East of the capital, an army patrol was ambushed, leaving two soldiers
dead and 17 wounded. In the south, the government forces two Christian churches
to close. There are about 11,000 Christians in Algeria, and a lot more
conversion efforts going on lately. The Islamic clergy has demanded that this
be stopped. Islam is a very intolerant religion, with a death penalty for those
who convert, and all other religions banned in some countries. Islamic clergy
see no problem with demanding other religions be regulated or expelled.
2008: Al Qaeda has dropped its demand for a mass prisoner swap, and now demands
a ransom of $8.4 million, and the release of ten jailed terrorists, for the two
Austrian tourists it holds. Austria refuses to negotiate.
2008: Al Qaeda demanded that hundreds of jailed terrorists in Algeria and
Tunisia be freed in return for the release of two kidnapped Austrians. Austria
refused to back such a demand. Algeria and Tunisia refused to cooperate.