Algeria: Killing Clerics For The Cause

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March 29,2008: 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.

March 28, 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.

March 27, 2008: The government signed a deal with China to obtain technical help in building nuclear power plants.

March 26, 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.

March 25, 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.

March 20, 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.

March 17, 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.

March 16, 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.

March 14, 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.

 

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