Tagged: Algeria

Infographic: ISIS fighters proliferate in North Africa, Al-Wasat (Libya), 27 November 2014

Infographic: ISIS fighters proliferate in North Africa

The influence of ISIS is gradually expanding from its stronghold in the Syrian city of Raqqa to extremist groups which have taken North Africa as their headquarters.

Red: Areas of ISIS influence (estimate)

  1. Egypt: Ansar Beit al-Maqdis – formed in 2011, it is made up of 2,000 fighters; after announcing it joined ISIS in November, it is now known as Wilayat Sina’ (Sinai Province)
  2. Eastern Libya: Extremists in the coastal city of Derna – population 80,000 – announced their alliance with and allegiance to ISIS and the establishment of Wilayat Barqa (Cyrenaica Proince) in October
  3. Tripoli: Since August, the Libyan capital has fallen under the control of the Libya Dawn extremist militia, designated as a terrorist organisation; Mitiga International Airport is used as the centre for thousands of fighters from Europe and Africa seeking to join the fighters in Syria
  4. Tunisia: Birthplace of the Arab Spring, source of the largest number of foreign fighters joining ISIS and al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, estimated at about 3,000 fighters; the cause is believed to be their resentment with the political process in Tunisia
  5. Algeria: Extremist group Soldiers of the Caliphate in Algeria allied itself with ISIS in September after breaking off from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb
  6. Morocco: The terrorist organisation affiliated with al-Qaeda calling itself Salafiyya Jihadiyya may have influenced the recent announcement of loyalty to ISIS by Moroccan fighters in Syria

Translated by Kevin Moore.

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Makhzen returns to its old habits, al-Massar (Algeria), 19 October 2014

Makhzen

The Moroccan Foreign Ministry summoned the Algerian ambassador in Rabat in protest for an Algerian soldier firing along the shared border between the two countries at Moroccan citizens, leading to one injury. Algeria demanded “clarifications” on the issue of the incident, which it described as serious.

The Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (Salaheddine Mezouar) announced the call for the Algerian ambassador to officially inform him of Morocco’s protest to the incident; however, the Algerian diplomat – according to the Moroccan online newspaper “Hibapress” – denied knowledge of the shooting incident and Mezouar communicated the kingdom’s protest against the incident in a recording, noting “the Moroccan government’s great displeasure and concern toward the serious incident.”

According to the Moroccan Foreign Ministry’s statement, a 28-year-old Moroccan was injured in his face following gunfire from a member of the Algerian army upon a dozen Moroccan civilians along the Morocco-Algeria border at Beni Khaled. The Moroccan citizen is in critical condition.

The statement said that the government “strongly protests” this “irresponsible and unjustified” action, which adds to other provocative practices along the border,” calling on Algeria to take responsibility and provide the necessary clarifications to the Moroccan authorities regarding the incident.


*Note: Makhzen refers to the Moroccan ruling elite, with the king at its centre


Translated by Kevin Moore.

Original article available here.

Dismantled terrorist cell adopted the name “Supporters of the Islamic State in Morocco,” Menara (Morocco), 29 September 2014”

Islamic State militantsOngoing research into a dismantled terrorist cell revealed that its members had named themselves ‘Anṣār ad-Dawla al-Islāmiyya fīl-Maghrib al-Aqṣa’ (Supporters of the Islamic State in Morocco).

Research into the dismantled group, which it was active in Nador and Melilla to attract and recruit Moroccan militants with the intent of strengthening ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Iraq, indicated that its members had given themselves the name Supporters of the Islamic State in Morocco.

A statement from the Interior Ministry on Sunday explained that elements of this cell had “recently resolved to join the ranks of ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Syria, after making contact with Moroccan jihadists who are part of this terrorist organization and have vowed to return to the kingdom to undertake the same brutal and barbaric actions that they are perpetrating against Iraqi and Syrian soldiers, and anyone who stands in their way.”

However, in the wake of intensified airstrikes by coalition forces in parts of Iraq and Syria and the accompanying security restrictions on volunteers for jihad in this region, the statement adds, members of this cell decided to “join the so-called ‘Jund al-Khilafa’ (Soldiers of the Caliphate) in Algeria, which recently announced its allegiance to ‘Islamic State’ after taking responsibility for the execution of French hostage Hervé Gourdel in response to France’s decision to join the aforementioned coalition.”

The same source indicated that research shows that the members of this cell “intended to transport the experience of ‘Islamic State’ by spreading an atmosphere of terror and panic inside the kingdom, as apparent through their circulation of terrible images of the corpses of Iraqi and Syrian soldiers distributed by militants of this terrorist organization.”

The source confirmed that the suspects will be brought to justice immediately after the ongoing investigation, overseen by the competent public prosecutor.


Translated by Kevin Moore.

Access original article here.

French citizen kidnapped in a mountainous region of Tizi Ouzou in eastern Algeria, France24 Arabic, 22 September 2014

The French Foreign Ministry confirmed the kidnapping of a French citizen in the mountainous Tikjda region where he was on vacation in an area near Tizi Ouzou in eastern Algeria. The Foreign Ministry did not mention that the kidnappers were from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which operates in the area, or another gang.

French citizen kidnapped in AlgeriaIn a Monday statement, the French Foreign Ministry confirmed the kidnapping of a French citizen in the mountainous Tikjda region, located between the Tizi Ouzou and Bouira provinces (120 km east of Algiers), on Sunday evening as he was on vacation in the area.

The ministry confirmed that “a French citizen was kidnapped in the Tizi Ouzou region that he was visiting,” and that there had been no declaration of responsibility.

The ministry said that “all efforts are being made to find our citizen. The authorities have been mobilized and nothing is out of the question,” adding that “we are in constant contact with the Algerian authorities who are cooperating with us and supporting us fully.”

Security sources previously confirmed that the matter is related to a French tourist who was on a tour in the Tikjda region, the highest summit of of the Djurdjura mountain range.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb operates in the area
Sources did not mention that that kidnappers were from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which operates in the area, or if the issue was related to armed gangs that have previously kidnapped Algerian citizens for the purpose of demanding a ransom.

According to the “al-Hadath al-Djazaïri” news website, the victim “entered Algeria two days prior where him and his Algerian friends rented a chalet in Tikjda.”

The site added that, according to a high-level security source, the French citizen “went out last night for a tourist outing with his friends, when a terrorist group from Aït Ourban surprised them after confirmed that he was a French national. They kidnapped him a released the Algerians.”

Over the last ten years, approximately 80 people have been kidnapped to Tizi Ouzou, all of them Algerians. Most of them were released after a ransom was  payed, while three were killed according to the press.

The most recent victim was a 19-year-old man who was found dead a week after being kidnapped in October 2012.

The three perpetrators were arrested and sentenced to death in November 2013 on charges of murder and kidnap for ransom.

In 2011, Algerian security forces arrested members of a criminal organization charged with being behind a number of kidnapping incidents in the Kabylie region.

The members of this gang were charged with belonging to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and placing fake security barriers in the Aghrib region, near Azeffoun.

Investigation revealed that the members of the gang were responsible for three kidnappings and  the killing of a contractor who tried to escape his capture in 2010.

The had been no news of the kidnapping of a foreigner in the region prior to this incident, which comes hours after the Islamic State released a call to kill every citizen affiliated with the countries of the coalition (including France), which have formed to fight this group in Syria and Iraq.


Translated by Kevin Moore.

Original article available here.

‘Sisi will visit Algeria,’ El Bilad (Algeria), 17 June 2014

An Algerian diplomat expects that newly elected Egyptian president Abdel Fatah al-Sisi will visit Algeria in the near future because of its regional and international importance. Sisi was elected at the end of May after orchestrating the overthrow of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi in July 2013 and has initiated a “war on terrorism” targeting Islamist groups in the country. Sisi caused a stir earlier this year when he stated that the Egyptian army could invade Algeria in three days. The comment sparked confusion in Algeria. Continue reading

‘Red Crescent fully prepared to carry out its humanitarian duty to displaced Africans,’ Annahar (Algeria), 26 May 2014

Algeria is prepared to carry out its humanitarian duty to African refugees in its territory, according to the head of the Algerian Red Crescent, who also criticized European policies in dealing with refugees. Continue reading

‘Polisario dissidents form Youth Movement for Change,’ Al Arabiya (UAE), 17 May 2014

The recently formed “Youth Movement for Change” has declared the creation of its military wing in order to defend itself against attempts by the Polisario to disband the group. The movement, established in the past few months in the Tindouf camps in southern Algeria for Saharwi refugees, is calling for Polisario’s leadership to make way for younger members in light of rampant corruption.

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‘This is Iran’s strategy to expand Shi’a influence in Morocco,’ Al-Hadate (Morocco), 18 May 2014

Moroccan daily newspaper Alittihad has reported that Iran is attempting to spread the influence of Shi’a Islam to North Africa, using Lebanese communities in Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon and Sierra Leone to financially support Shi’as in Maghreb states. Continue reading

‘Moroccan subjected to gunfire from Algerian army along border,’ Akhbarona (Morocco), 7 May 2014

The fate of a Moroccan citizen in an Algerian hospital is unknown after the Algerian army fired upon the suspected smuggler along the border between the two countries. Continue reading

‘Algerian army kills 10 militants in south,’ Aljazeera (Qatar), 6 May 2014

Algerian security forces killed 10 militants in an operation launched in the south while authorities remain concerned about the influx of weapons and fighters from neighbouring Mali and Libya. Continue reading