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Terrorism 2013-04-24

Algeria cracks down on Syria recruiting networks

By Walid Ramzi for Magharebia in Algiers – 24/03/2013

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Jihadist networks recruiting Maghreb youth to fight in Syria and northern Mali have found a new front. They are now setting their sights on Algeria.

Algerian security services arrested four individuals affiliated with the Islamic Salvation Army (AIS) in Chlef province for alleged links with jihadist groups in Syria, Echourouk reported last Thursday (April 18th).

They were accused of recruiting Algerians to fight under the banner of Jabhat al-Nusra, which has recently declared allegiance to al-Qaeda.

The leader of the AIS, the armed wing of the banned Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), was among the four. He is also suspected of establishing ties with jihadist groups in Libya and Tunisia, according to the Algerian daily.

"The networks which recruit Algerians, and Maghreb young people in general, use religious discourse and hadiths about the advantages of jihad in the Levant to convince young people to go to Syria," commented Mohamed Saadi, a researcher in Islamic sciences.

The war in Syria has revived the sleeping cells that were organising the entry of jihadists to Iraq through Syria, he added. They now use almost the same networks and mediators to transport Algerians and Tunisians to Syria, taking advantage of decade-long relations.

For more than a year now, the Algerian security agencies have been cracking down on elements engaged in recruiting jihadists to Syria. Last year, security forces detained one person suspecting of transporting Algerians through Libya.

The investigations focused on networks operating in eight provinces: Algiers, Ghardaia, Tebessa, Tlemcen, Oued Souf, Djelfa, Tiaret, Biskara, and IIlizi.

Algerians who moved to Syria were mostly recruited through internet forums, security investigations found.

The security authorities compiled a list of 10 Algerians who travelled during that period to Syria through Turkey, and before it through Libya and Tunisia, El Khabar reported last July. They also received notifications about disappearance of 7 Algerians within two months.

"Networks recruiting jihadists for fighting in Syria are trying to bring in fighters who have military experience, including Algerians given the years of terrorism that Algeria has been through," said Mohamed Smiem, an academic specialising in security affairs.

"These networks use religious discourse first and then financial incentives to bring in fighters to Syria," he said.

While the number of Algerian fighters in Syria remains unknown, Lebanese daily Al Diyar alleged that there were about 10,000 Algerians fighting against Bashar al-Assad's regime.

But Algerian observers doubt these numbers.

"It's unlikely, if not impossible, that there are 10,000 Algerians in Syria. The number of Algerians there is much less," Smiem said. He blamed some media outlets for "rushing to promote unfounded information" without verifying it.

Still, putting an end to recruiting cells for jihadists in Syria "requires co-ordination among security agencies in Algeria, Tunisia and Libya", the analyst said.

According to the analyst, co-operation will help "identify the networks that recruit Maghreb young people and provide them with money and necessary documents to go to Syria".

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  1. Anonymous thumb

    بلقاسم 2013-8-10

    Arabs are criminals from the Ocean to the Gulf. They want to wage war in our dear country, the state of martyrs, they envy us for our security and development! Here are are criminal and treacherous Arabs showing that they are real terrorists! Viva Algeria forever, the state of a million and half a million martyrs.


  2. Anonymous thumb

    saidi yazid 2013-5-24

    I am against dictatorship. We need to cut him down during the day and before the night.


  3. Anonymous thumb

    mehdi assem 2013-5-12

    After the genocide of Bashar Assad, the earthquakes in Iran, the flood of the SARS virus in Saudi Arabia, the tornado in Djelfa, Algeria, it is up to the Muslim countries to enforce the Islamic Sharia today and put and end to Bashar Assad and Iran and put an end to the Satanic code of Shi'ism in order to avoid the extermination of the Muslim countries by God's punishments—hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, meteorites and SRAS. It is up to the puppets of Satan, Al-Qaida and AQIM to put down their weapons. If Satan is dead, it will be the end of the world.


  4. Anonymous thumb

    nourddin. abdoudaoui 2013-5-11



  5. Anonymous thumb

    مينة 2013-5-11

    I am an Algerian woman. All Syrians in our country Algeria.


    • Anonymous thumb

      alilou 2013-9-1

      Yes, our Syrian brothers are welcome here.


  6. Anonymous thumb

    amara 2013-5-11

    Where are these sermons and this indoctrination coming from—at the neighbourhood mosques or are the jihadists doing them at home? There is no counteroffensive at the level of our educational institutions, the high schools, colleges and courses, where young people need to start being put on guard. One indoctrination should bar the route to another. Warning them is better than running away from it. If you let it go, you are overrun. It's always the same mistake.


  7. Anonymous thumb

    Dina 2013-5-9

    You do not negotiate with the children of Algeria. They are the children of a million and a half martyrs. They are worth more than this. Stay where you are. Keep to yourself. Our country is not like yours. It is not the East or Afghanistan.


  8. Anonymous thumb

    aoued algerie 2013-5-8

    Stop the fire of sedition! Stop this drain!


  9. Anonymous thumb

    aoued algerie 2013-5-8

    Quell the fire of sedition in the country of authenticity!


  10. Anonymous thumb

    ali 2013-5-6

    God damn you! You are fighting on the side of the Zionists!—and you take this for jihad!?!


  11. Anonymous thumb

    yamina algérie 2013-5-1

    Hunt down and destroy these networks. We do not want our young people fighting Syria; we are a single Islamic umma of the Prophet (PBUH) told his children, "Be a single hzma (wooden box)." So, young people of the Maghreb and of Syria, be a united umma and brothers. Companions, I implore God for peace for the Syrians, Egyptians, Tunisians, Libyans, Iraqis, and our Palestinian brothers. So, look at the Americans and the other Western countries. What if they went on a rampage like you Muslims. Think hard on this and understand: We ask God for our countries and all Muslim countries to be safe and God to strengthen Islam and Muslims -From Algeria, Yamina


  12. Anonymous thumb

    younsi djamel 2013-4-30

    Is this propaganda or news? Why did you leave out the Moroccans, huh??? Does that mean that we Moroccans are good and the others are bad??? Answer, please!


  13. Anonymous thumb

    سمير 2013-4-28

    Everything is possible in Algeria the state of wonders and oddities.


    • Anonymous thumb

      Rach 2013-5-28

      Yes, Alice, Algeria is a country of marvels and of men, who do not bow to foreigners.


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