Terror "Merger" Opens New Front for Al-Qaeda in Algeria

[Scotland on Sunday] Souad Mekhennet - Hiding in caves and woodlands, Algerian insurgents were all but finished a few years ago. Then the leader of the group, Abdelmalek Droukdal, sent a secret message to Iraq in the autumn of 2004. The recipient was Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia, and the two men engaged in what one observer describes as a corporate merger. Today, as Islamist violence wanes in some parts of the world, the Algerian militants - renamed al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb - have grown into one of the most potent bin Laden affiliates, reinvigorated with fresh recruits and a zeal for Western targets. Its most audacious attack came last December when suicide bombers struck UN and court offices in Algiers, killing 41 people and injuring 170 others.

2008-09-05 01:00:00

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