Tagged: Syria

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.

‘Explanatory statement about rumours of Jabhat al-Nusra’s announcement of an Islamic Emirate,’ 12 July 2014

The extremist group Jabhat al-Nusra (JaN), al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria, reportedly declared an Islamic Emirate, two weeks after the rival Islamic State (IS) announced the establishment of a Caliphate. In the following statement, JaN explains the current situation surround rumours of its declaration. Continue reading

‘Jabhat al-Nusra announces its withdrawal from Sharia Council,’ Aleppo Media Centre (Syria), 8 July 2014

Jabhat al-Nusrah li-Ahl al-Sham (Eng: The Front for the Protection of the People of the Levant) announced via social networking websites that it is withdrawing from the Aleppo Sharia Council due to internal disputes with other members. Continue reading

‘Ansar Beit al-Maqdis pledges allegiance to ISIS emir Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,’ el-Balad (Egypt), 30 June 2014

The militant Islamist group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis has pledged bay’ah (allegiance) to the emir of the newly declared Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (now also known as Caliph Ibrahim). In the past, the group has been responsible for multiple terrorist attacks on Egyptian soil, mainly in the restive Sinai peninsula. In addition to this pledge of allegiance, the group has also claimed responsibility for the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank. The new Islamic State, declared after major territorial gains were achieved in Iraq  over the past three weeks, has called on all Muslims to pledge allegiance to its leader, which will certainly cause a strain with mainstream al-Qaeda, which disavowed the group earlier this year over its tactics. Continue reading

‘Al-Assad warns that terrorism will spread to countries “supporting and developing” it,’ El Watan (Egypt), 18 June 2014

While meeting with a North Korean delegation in Damascus, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned the West and Arab Gulf monarchies that their support for “terrorist groups” in the ongoing Syrian conflict will bring terrorism to their countries. Continue reading

‘Battle near the Golan, Israel announces Military Zone’, al-Sharq al-Awsat (UK), 12th May 2014

Israel closes the border and announces a military zone after clashes break out between the forces of Bashar al Assad and the Syrian Opposition

Continue reading

‘Number of Moroccans in Syria surpasses 8,000 fighters,’ Al-Massae (Morocco), 12 May 2014

A new report suggests that there could be over 8,000 Moroccans fighting in Syria against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Previous reports suggested a number between 1,000 and 1,500 Moroccans were in Syria, mainly fighting in a unit called “Sham al-Islam,” led by former Guantanamo Bay prisoner and Moroccan national Ibrahim Benchekroun. Continue reading

‘Syrian crisis: Implementation of Homs truce delayed for logistical reasons,’ BBC Arabic (London), 6 May 2014

Reports out of Syria say that the implementation of a truce and the exit of fighters from the Old City of Homs has been delayed. Continue reading

‘Maghreb and European states exchange lists of Jihadists,’ Hespress (Morocco), 5 May 2014

Western European and North African countries have begun to regularly exchange intelligence related to “jihadist” fighters making their way to Syria. Continue reading

‘Death of Moroccan football player Ayoub Shatof in the ongoing war in Syria,’ Ariffino (Morocco), 27 April 2014

A young Moroccan footballer from the German Bundesliga died fighting in Syria last week. Ayoub Shatof underwent training in Turkey before joining the fight against Bashar al-Assad’s forces. Continue reading