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Algeria arrests AQIM judge

By Walid Ramzi for Magharebia in Algiers – 23/08/12

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An Algerian army Special Forces unit last week arrested one of the most dangerous members of al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) following a large-scale search operation in Berriane, Ghardaia province, central Algeria.

Three alleged terrorists were arrested during the August 15th operation, including the head of the judicial commission and member of AQIM's council of notables, Necib Tayeb, alias Abderrahmane Abou Ishak Essoufi. The three were captured at a checkpoint at the entrance to Berriane while en route to the Sahel.

APS cited a security source as saying that the group was captured while they were preparing for a mission described as "highly important" by the organisational leadership. It noted that the three had been tasked by national emir Abou Moussaab Abdelouadoud (aka Abdelmalek Droukdel) to travel to AQIM leaders in the Sahel as part of efforts "to put an end to the rebellion and mutiny of some of them against the organisation's central leadership".

The operation led to the recovery of a significant quantity of weapons and ammunition as well as the seizure of important documents and messages belonging to many leading members of the terrorist organisation. Fake Algerian and foreign passports, and more than 400 bullets and hand grenades carefully hidden inside the vehicle were also discovered.

Tayeb was one of the first to join the Armed Islamic Group (GIA); he has appeared on the list of wanted terrorists since 1995. The investigation into his arrest revealed he was tasked by Droukdel with traveling to the Sahel to smooth over cracks in the ranks of AQIM's leadership.

The regional al-Qaeda affiliate has been suffering from leadership disputes and a rebellion against the group's senior leadership, particularly from Mokhtar Belmokhtar (alias Khaled Abou Al-Abass or "Laaouar"), emir of the Moulethemine Brigade, Abdel Hamid Abou Zeid, emir of the Tariq ibn Ziyad brigade, and Nabil Makhloufi, alias Nabil Abu Alqama, the new head of the Sahara emirate who succeeded Yahya Jawadi.

Analysts ascribe differences between the leaders in the desert to the management war between emirs and attempts to control the huge amount of money brought in by ransoms. Official estimates have indicated that the organisation has received more than $100 million in ransom, enabling the terrorist group to purchase large quantities of smuggled weapons.

These conflicts over the spoils of kidnapping have led to internal strife and targeted killings of mediators seeking the release of foreign hostages. The cracks have also led to splinter groups such as the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO).

A previous attempt to co-ordinate between the terror brigades in the desert has failed although Abu Alqama was appointed to this task.

"The arrest of senior al-Qaeda leaders represents a painful blow to the organisation given the precious information in the possession of head of judicial commission and member of AQIM's council of notables who is close to organisation leader," Adel Mahdi, a specialist of security affairs, told Magharebia.

Mahdi said that the arrest confirmed the penetration of al-Qaeda's communication network between Algeria and northern Mali, adding that it was "a security response to the suicide bombings in Warfalla and Tamanrasset and the storming of Algerian consulate in Gao and the kidnapping of its staff members".

The arrest of the al-Qaeda leading member can be added to the list of carefully planned operations carried out by security agencies in the last 10 days of Ramadan. Thirty terrorists, including five emirs, were reportedly killed, in addition to several thwarted plans. One disrupted plot included an al-Qaeda attempt to transfer terrorists to northern Mali by forging IDs for wanted members and some newly recruited elements.

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  1. Anonymous thumb

    ناستراداموس 2012-9-20

    Nastradamos, return. I have advised our American brothers,dear ones and allies that Khawarej, al-Qaeda, the army of Gog and Magog are a divine curse. They will kill any individual, American, Algerian, Jewish or Muslim because it is sedition. However, America didn’t listen to me at all. I have warned since last year and the year before the last that the access of Khawarej, rats and al-Qaeda to power will destroy the world, the happy life and tranquillity and will make the world return to the nineties. Why, o sons of Uncle Sam??? In Algeria we have been fighting global terrorism from the Gulf, al-Qaeda and Khawarej for twenty years along with Kadhafi, Al Assad and Ben Ali. After Algeria eliminated all terrorists of all kinds, our ally America made an alliance with the French Sarkozy and toppled the men who were protecting the world such as the martyr Kadhafi. Why America? As Algerians, we won’t recognise the dogs of Libya, its new rats as well as the islamicised dogs who kill people and diplomats such as the consul of Algeria in Magalli, the consul and his vice-consul in Iraq. They were all killed by the dogs of Saudi Arabia, al-Qaeda and NATO rats from Libya. Why did you deceive us America, hit stability and destroy what Algeria did in terms of eliminating world terrorism? Is it because your president is not mature or the operation wasn’t well-calculated? Greetings of Nastradamos, the return, bye-bye the sons of uncle Sam.


  2. Anonymous thumb

    Anonymous 2012-9-2

    To Foskifo – I doubt that you have a good definition of Islamist terrorism (the ideology, financing, commanders, aims), but to be brief, they are the legions of the empire. I doubt that BO is our man!!! Throwing all these Islamic terrorists to the sea and to the fish would provoke an unprecedented ecological catastrophe because it is established that their DNA is a pastiche near to that of the rabid boars of the snowy Western and American mountain as well as to that of the jackals of the Gulf sands. It is very harmful to the marine flora and fauna and fatal for human species. You are of course driven by the best intentions in wishing to rid our peoples of this scourge, but you are not proposing the right remedy, logic since you do not properly define the disease!


  3. Anonymous thumb

    I never believe in papanoel ! 2012-9-1

    The only “snag” here is that of Barak Obama, where Ben Laden, the “boss of Al Qaida” was captured under the nose of the media, and then thrown to the fish. This is a tall tale for the exclusive use of Western civilisation, like that of Santa Claus. All the rest of humankind – all 85% - are definitively impermeable to this, and draw what lessons they need to from it.


  4. Anonymous thumb

    foskifo 2012-8-26

    I agree with Dr Abou. In the United States, it is a Muslim who is not hesitating to propose to B.O. to destroy the terrorist targets in Pakistan and Afghanistan. If Europe is not capable of making its voice heard in the Sahel civil society, which only knows how to talk about interference and re-colonisation, then we need to let B.O. take care of them with his drones. AQIM is not a cancer, it is AIDS! All means are good.


  5. Anonymous thumb

    abou aissa maghrebi 2012-8-24

    Terrorists do not have a religion. They live in caved and are thirsty for blood. These poor vermin have dark faces. They slit the throats of children, women and men. They soil Islam in the name of Allah. They are made desperate by their lives. They take themselves for heroes, when they are former convicts and, moreover, junkies, who know nothing about Islam. They are recruited for murder. They are completely off the path of God.


  6. Anonymous thumb

    mehdi assem 2012-8-24

    It is up to the terrorists to lay down their weapons to avoid their own deaths by bullets or explosives, and it is up to the top Algerians, Bouteflika and the generals, to enforce the Qur’an 100% in order to avoid their deaths by explosives, traffic accidents, floods and earthquakes and to avoid the raid of blood that has just fallen in India; otherwise, American explosives will hit Algeria or worse. Time will tell.


  7. Anonymous thumb

    Dr.Abou madjoub 2012-8-23

    I salute the Algerian soldiers and secret agents. Thank you so much for this blow you dealt against these dogs, by God. I pray to Allah that they fall one by one into the trap that is the Algerian army. These Al Qaida dogs deserve to be killed. These vermins, who have plunged many innocent Algerian families into grief, deserve to be massacred like rats. In reality, Droukdel and his bloodthirsty men are not Muslims. We need to kill them without fear of Allah. If you kill a terrorist, you go to Heaven because these dogs are destroying Islam throughout the world. – Abou Madjoub