Last month, Islamic terrorist
violence left eight dead. In October, the death toll was 13 and 31 in the month
before that. There aren't many Islamic radicals left in Algeria, and many of
those are fleeing to Europe, or south into the desert and across the southern
borders into Black Africa. Despite the large amount of uninhabited mountains
and forests along the eastern coast, the police and army have been operating
there for so long that it's difficult to stay hidden. Too many civilians are
hostile to Islamic radicalism, and will phone in a tip. Algeria has become a
very dangerous place for Islamic terrorists.
brought with it despair, as Algerians realize that their government is
basically a corrupt military dictatorship that uses the national oil wealth to
buy enough votes to get elected again and again. So more Algerians are fleeing.
As Morocco and Libya have cracked down on illegal migration (by boat) to
Europe, Algeria, and its long coastline, has become the source of most illegal
migration from Africa to Europe (perhaps as many as 100,000 people a year). And
most of those migrants appear to be Algerian. It's not just the corruption and
unemployment. The collapse in oil prices (which have fallen over 60 percent
this year) means a lot less money for Algeria, and even less economic opportunity.
A recent opinion poll found half of all Algerian males aged 15-34 wanted to get
out of the country, permanently.
2008: Soldiers killed four Islamic terrorists on a road 140 kilometers east of
the capital. Every week, there is some incident in this region, where a hundred
or more Islamic terrorists are believed to be hiding. The terrorists rob and
steal, and are increasingly getting caught by the security forces, or even
armed civilians. As a result of that, the Islamic terrorists often travel in
groups of four or more, along with a few weapons. Just in case. This makes them
easier to spot, and catch, when they are travelling. Despite the success, the
police know that these terrorists are still planning attacks, and will
eventually carry them out if not caught first.