Terror in North Africa: are Westerners pulling the strings?

by DANIEL HOWDEN, The Independent  |  published on January 23, 2013

north Africa

Canada is investigating an allegation by the Algerian Prime Minister that one of its citizens co-ordinated the terror raid at the Saharan gas plant in which dozens of hostages were killed.

Westerners, including a man with blond hair and blue eyes, are believed to have been among the Islamist militants who launched last week’s attack on the Tigantourine complex near Algeria’s border with Libya.

A French jihadist, previously unknown to authorities, and two Canadians are suspected to have been involved in the hostage-taking, and reports also claim that a man with a Western accent was among the extremists who lured terrified gas workers from their rooms during the hostage crisis.

Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal told reporters that a man, judged “by his English accent” to have been Canadian, was among the 32 Islamists whose raid on the Algerian refinery prompted a global crisis. One of the Canadians, identified only as “Shaddad”, is alleged to have played a leading role in the attack which left 58 hostages – including 37 Westerners – dead after a four-day battle with Algerian forces. Five further Western workers are still unaccounted for. “A Canadian was among the militants,” Mr Sellal said. “He was co-ordinating the attack.”

The militant group also included men from Tunisia, Egypt, Mauritania and Niger, Mr Sellal said. At least 29 Islamists from eight nationalities were killed in the operation to end the siege, with the remaining three captured alive. The make up of the attacking group – an al-Qa’ida splinter brigade who call themselves “Those Who Signed in Blood” – will be carefully examined as security experts try to assess the scale of the terror threat across North and West Africa.

Concern at the international composition of the Algerian kidnap brigade will be compounded by reports from residents in Diabaly, Mali, that Islamists who overran the town last week contained English-speakers and militants of European appearance. Speaking to The Independent yesterday after French and Malian forces had retaken the town, student Amadu Dumbia said: “I definitely heard them and there’s no chance that I made a mistake with another language. They spoke like they were from England, but had darker skins.”

No comments yet - you can be the first!

Comments are closed.

Do you Love your country but hate your government?

Join your fellow Libertarians who seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others. Join over 500,000 Americans who get their daily dose of minimal government and maximum freedom with The New Liberty Movement.

We know how important your privacy is and your information is SAFE with us. We’ll never sell
your email address and you can unsubscribe at any time directly from your inbox.
View our full privacy policy.