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2013-01-08

Terrorist attacks drop in Algeria

By Walid Ramzi for Magharebia in Algiers – 08/01/12

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Algerian security reports describe 2012 as the calmest year in the last decade. Armed attacks fell to their lowest level since 2002, with the most significant decrease found in the traditional strongholds of terrorism in the east.

Carefully planned security operations succeeded in neutralising top leaders of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Algerian forces also stopped AQIM plots against parliament and the Cherchell Joint Military Academy, as well as plans to abduct foreign nationals during Ramadan.

It was not al-Qaeda, in fact, behind the two main terror attacks of 2012, but rather a splinter group operating out of Mali.

The Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing of the Algerian National Gendarmerie regional command centre in downtown Ouargla last June. The Tamanrasset suicide attack last March was also the work of the MUJAO.

Algerian counter-terrorism agencies killed 161 militants and arrested 309 in 2012, Tout sur l'Algerie quoted an unnamed military official as saying on December 31st. More than 30 repentant terrorists also took advantage last year of the amnesty offered under the 2005 Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation.

The year saw a total of 65 terror attacks. With most of the danger emanating from Boumerdès, Tizi Ouzou, Bouira and Béjaïa, army forces have focused on the Kabylie region.

"The decline in armed attacks in 2012 is due to the pressure exerted by the security services on the strongholds of armed groups," the military source said.

Counter-terrorism units have also increased their presence on the border with Libya. The move led to the arrest of 40 of AQIM fighters on the Libyan border.

Officials attribute the drop in armed attacks to pressures imposed by security agencies. Last year witnessed a major shift in counter-terrorism strategy, with a new focus on the leaders of armed groups.

Counter-terrorism units sought to target the "grey matter" of the terrorist organization, starting with the Ghardaia arrest of AQIM's judicial commission head Necib Tayeb, (aka Abderrahmane Abou Ishak Essoufi).

The most recent blow to al-Qaeda came on December 16th, when security forces arrested the group's number 2 man, Salah Gasmi (aka Salah Abou Mohamed), in Sharfa, Bouira province.

Other important AQIM figures caught in 2012 include field commander Sidi Mohand Ouramdane (aka El Khechkhache), foreign relations specialist Ahmed Bakai, and dangerous emir Abdelmalek Salami. Special Forces also eliminated Makhfi Rabah, 45, a prominent al-Qaeda leader in Kabylie.

"These operations have greatly confused al-Qaeda because of their accuracy," security analyst Kamal Hadef told Magharebia.

It was clear to the al-Qaeda hierarchy that "classified information was leaking from within the group", he said.

"This created an atmosphere of suspicion and doubt within the group," he added.

According to former military officer Taher Ben Thamer, "Experience acquired over two decades has helped Algerian security forces deal with these groups, especially by targeting their heads and reaching the sources of information."

Algeria's war on terror also entered a new stage in 2012 by focusing on intelligence work and using advanced monitoring technologies. Security agencies created a data centre to identify specific targets.

The drop in the number of terrorist operations in recent months is proof that al-Qaeda has been caught off guard by such intelligence achievements, especially in the eastern region of Algeria, Ben Thamer added.

Al-Qaeda's failure in Kabylie made it shift gears to exploit the unrest in northern Mali, the analyst said.

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  1. Anonymous thumb

    aucun complot 2013-2-26

    The leadership is alienating any Algerian who has a legitimate and loyal criticism of his own government out of the fear of being labelled a collaborator or bearded. This alienation festers and becomes contempt, and once enough people feel contemptuous of the leadership, it only takes one straw to break the camel’s back. This was the tragedy of Mohamed Bouaziz for the Tunisians and this was the Tunisian Revolution for much of the Arabic-speaking world. If you are worried about the destabilisation of Algeria, then you should better ignore the propaganda the Algerian regime uses to silence its own citizens.

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    aucun complot 2013-2-26

    To Trucker– Apart from the irony of your choosing an English word for your pseudonym when the main purpose of your comment is to attack the West, has it ever occurred to you that these channels report mainly on the Arabic-speaking world because they are Arabic-speaking news shows? (And yes, I know that many people also speak Berber/Tamazigh in this region, but most everyone knows how to speak Arabic or an Arabic creole.) Being critical of a policy or a politician in an Arabic-speaking country does not equate to being on the payroll of Zionists, Saudis, Qataris, the West, etc.; quite often it just equates to not liking a policy or a politician. In my opinion, people who are doing the most to destabilise Algeria are Algeria’s leaders themselves. Any time someone ctiticises Algeria’s politics or politicians, the leadership labels them as Zionist, Saudi, Qatari or Western collaborators or even a salafist, Islamist, fanatic, beardy, etc. (since the leadership is still trying to justify the cancellation of the elections, its oppression and arrest of FIS supporters and the civil war after the leadership came to power because of this cancellation and this oppression). And there are plenty of Algerian conscientious dissenters who are victims of this repressive propaganda.

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    ASSEZ DE SENSATIONALISME 2013-2-23

    Continuation to Trucker– What the leadership is doing is alienating any Algerian who has a legitimate and loyal criticism of his own country out of the fear of being labelled a collaborator or “beardy”. This alienation festers and becomes contempt, and once enough people feel contemptuous of the leadership, it only takes one straw to break the camel’s back just like the tragedy of Mohamed Bouaziz was for the Tunisians and just like the Tunisian Revolution was for much of the Arabic-speaking world. If you were truly worried about the destabilisation of Algeria, then you would do well to stop parroting the propaganda the Algerian regime uses to silence its own citizens.

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    ASSEZ DE SENSATIONALISME 2013-2-23

    To Trucker– Besides the sheer irony that you chose an English word for your pseudonym all while attacking the West, has it ever occurred to you that these channels report mainly on the Arabic-speaking world because they are Arabic-speaking news channels? (And yes, I know that many people also speak Berber/Tamazigh in this region, but most everyone knows how to speak Arabic or an Arabic creole rather proficiently.) Being critical of a policy or a politician in an Arabic-speaking country does not necessarily mean being in the pay of Zionists, Saudis, Qataris, the West, etc.; sometimes (perhaps most of the time) it quite simply means not liking a policy or a politician who enacted the policy. As far as I can tell, the people who are doing the most to destabilise Algeria are Algeria’s leaders themselves. Any time someone has a criticism of Algeria’s politics or politicians, the leadership labels them a Zionist, Saudi, Qatari or Western collaborator or even a salafist, Islamist, fanatic, “beardy” or whatever other synonym (since the leadership is still trying to justify the cancellation of the elections that the FIS won, its oppression and arrest of FIS supporters and the eventual civil war that the leadership caused because of this cancellation and oppression). And there are plenty of Algerian conscientious dissenters who are victims of this repressive propaganda.

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    trucker 2013-2-19

    There are channels—terrorist ones—that want to destabilise Algeria. Al-Jazeera (the pig), is financed by the emir of Qatar and has the support of the Zionists. Almaghrabia (the terrorist), that belongs to the son of Abassi, is financed by drugs and Qatar and Zionist technology. Al Arabia (the Jewish), is financed by the Saudis and the Zionists. These stations never criticise the Zionists or the West, just the Arab countries.

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    hamdi 2013-2-17

    The situation is annoying, everywhere.

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    محمد الجزائري 2013-2-7

    In the name of the One and only God. Algeria is bigger than to be destabilized by a news channel or even states conferences. However, we hope there is an opposition Algerian channel to control and offer constructive criticism that serves the public interest and doesn't harm the higher interest of the state. Islamists in Algeria though I hate this word since all Algerian people are Muslims from father to son and not a specific category. However, are we really up to this challenge and capable of restoring the true Islamic state at the forefront of the world? If we accept the challenge and say yes, we then have to ask ourselves: do we have means and capabilities to achieve this? Or are we talking and speculating with each other to win the general sympathy of people in order to achieve narrow personal or party interests. Being a leader in this world, does not mean allowing the killing of people, destroying properties and carrying out agendas the secret of which are only known by God, nor does it mean separating religion from the state as some allege and say that Islam is the problem. It is rather through science, action, unity, holding on to the rope of God, following the instructions of our true tolerant religion, the living conscience, solidarity and all noble values that make humans merciful, compassionate, helpful, preaching goodness and forbidding evils.Doing so would make other people realize that we are good and make them follow us as they have followed our prophet Mohamed, peace and blessings of God be upon him. last but not least, salam.

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    khatab al mojahed 2013-2-6

    In the name of God the most gracious, the most merciful. Peace and blessings be upon the most honourable messenger. O Algerian people, you don't know what goes behind this malicious war created by Israel and France by proxy and largely funded by the Algerian government. Let's look into this. The government refused to intervene in Mali so that the people think that it is a state with sovereignty and power. Once Israel put together the plan, it was carried out by proxy, meaning France, then the shoe, meaning the Algerian government, by allowing the military intervention and opening the airspace to French war airplanes. This is the reality. Peace, mercy and blessings of God be upon you.

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  9. Anonymous thumb

    BOUAMOUCHE 2013-2-4

    My beloved Algeria!

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  10. Anonymous thumb

    سالم سومر 2013-2-3

    I don't agree with the thought that the weakness of Al Qaeda in Algeria is due to the pressure made by Algerian security forces. In my opinion it is rather due to the awareness of the Algerian people and their rejection of all forms of violence and terrorism. When Al Qaeda lost its popular base, it became isolated, executing its terrorist acts just like violent incidents isolated from any support or approval. Staying in isolation will certainly eventually kill the organisation. Security forces in Arab regimes are still carrying out their activity within the context of defending their existence and securing their continuity without taking into consideration the interest of its people. They can seek their interests even if this means sacrificing the interests of the people and future of generations to preserve the continuity and continuance of regimes.

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    linda 2013-1-28

    Long live Algeria with its army and people. I am against opening the air space to France.

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    ezel44 2013-1-25

    Curse all princes of the Gulf! O Lord support Syria!

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    ezel44 2013-1-25

    The reality, which is denied by everyone, is that the Arab Spring was invented by the West and Gulf regimes' blessing, funding and embellishing it with its satellite channels, in favour of Israel. Events in Syria are an Arab, Gulf crime 100%. I hope that the Syrian people will keep its resistance. Then the Gulf territory should be liberated from the effeminate Emirs.

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    dknouch 2013-1-24

    If the Maghreb countries don't take care of education, and make it possible for young people and children to learn more than one language in order to be open to other cultures in the world, while staying away from parrot learning of tabloids full of rubbish, nonsense and ignorance, I think that the terrorist danger will continue to threaten them and even increase. We have an example in Tunisia to illustrate this. Before 1985, Tunisia was a Muslim country with the highest level of civilization, awareness and co-existence. In 2013, it has become an exporter of terrorism to Syria and Algeria? From this forum, I call upon courageous and audacious intellectuals to tackle this issue without fear, emotions and without reverting to hailing the past in a world that has become but a small village.

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    جمال 2013-1-24

    Long live Algeria! Viva the Algerian army, the army of lions and virile men! Thank God I am Algerian and belong to this land which gave birth to real men. Long live my master and the crown on my head, my president Abdelaziz Bouteflika!

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    حسين الورية 2013-1-23

    All Arab people endure unemployment, bureaucracy, illiteracy, mismanagement and monopoly of power. However, Algeria is different from you Arabs. We have a margin of democracy, freedom of expression and love for the homeland.

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    loyfi 2013-1-23

    Interesting!

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    اسماعيل 2013-1-22

    In the name of God the most gracious the most merciful. Algeria of pride and dignity won't be tolerant of those who have personal interests in this dear land, the state of a million and half a million martyrs. Viva free and authentic!

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    :زغباط 2013-1-22

    Hello! To Qatar channel which opened it to Abbas Madani in order to undermine the stability and security of Algeria, from the fog capital on behalf of Israel and its allies. Wake up mules!

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    hamza 2013-1-21

    We want more solidarity between the Maghreb people.

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  21. Anonymous thumb

    blida 2013-1-20

    Unfortunately, all Arab regimes are repressive dictator regimes.

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    fateh kedari 2013-1-19

    The solution in Algeria lies in closing all land borders to fight all forms of crimes.

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    عثمان ا 2013-1-16

    Only 10% of conditions you mentioned is true. In Algeria, there is humiliation, marginalisation, robbery, unemployment and bribery. However, in the great Algeria, no one denies the blood of martyrs. The security of the country is a red line. Problems in Algeria are limited to unemployment and housing; that's all. In Tunisia and Morocco, it is the same thing. As for Libya, it is a different story. The injustice of Kadhafi, the exploitation of the West, America and France to control the resources of Libya. Wake up Arabs and Muslims! As they have ruined Iraq and Syria, now they are paralysing Egypt to weaken Arabs and Muslims. The war of your enemy is through ruse not honesty. The West knows the weakness of Arabs. Don't give them this opportunity! I am Muslim and I love Islam. The best way is the one that the Egyptian people are going through. God will support them whether you like it or not. This is the only solution.

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    younsi djamel 2013-1-9

    In the Libya page, you speak poorly of Algeria! At least put this information or, rather, propaganda on the Algeria page! Hatred is blinding you!

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