Plus ça change. . . . Algeria, ever obedient to the wishes of the army and Security Services, reelected its ailing and elderly president in a landslide on April 17. Abdelaziz Bouteflika, known as Boutef for short, garnered 82 percent of the vote in a virtually uncontested race. Ali Benflis, who came second with 12 percent, decried massive fraud—possibly including an official turnout of 52 percent, high considering the numerous calls for a boycott.Read more
An unclassified version of a September report from the Director of National Intelligence reveals that another five former Guantanamo Bay detainees have either been confirmed as reengaging in terrorism or are suspected of doing so. The report comes just as a judge in Algeria has approved parole of two detainees recently transferred to Algerian custody from the Cuba-based detention facility.Read more
Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika returned to Algiers on July 16 after three months in a hospital in Paris. His health will prevent him from running for reelection in April, and it’s unclear whether he can run the country until then. As a result, the contest over his succession is already gearing up, and the Islamists are first out of the starting blocks. The United States and the European Union—along with China, a major presence in energy-rich Algeria—are closely monitoring this latest round in the continuing struggle over the Islamists’ role in government and society.Read more
The White House press secretary announced that the Obama administration will be sending two Gitmo inmates to Algeria.
"As the President has said, the United States remains determined to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. In support of those efforts, today the Department of Defense certified to Congress its intent to repatriate an additional two detainees to Algeria. We are taking this step in consultation with the Congress, and in a responsible manner that protects our national security," Carney's statement reads.Read more
One thing Hillary Clinton got right in her testimony before Congress last week: “When America is absent,” she said, “there are consequences.” But the administration she served has chosen to be absent, and we are seeing the consequences play out, from North Africa to the Levant, where the unchecked flow of weapons, experienced jihadist fighters, and Salafist ideology is reshaping the regional balance of power—and tilting it agaiRead more
It should come as no surprise that a notorious jihadist named Mokhtar Belmokhtar is suspected of ordering the raid on a BP oil field in eastern Algeria and the subsequent kidnapping of dozens. Belmokhtar has been at this game for a while. His career shows that jihadist ideology and criminality can comingle. Belmokhtar’s operations have run the gamut, from cigarette smuggling to gunrunning to kidnappings to outright murder.Read more
At least two American hostages (and possibly several more) are being held hostage at a gas plant in Algeria, but there's been no word on unfolding the situation from either President Barack Obama or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In fact, the only official word to come from the Obama administration is confirmation from the State Department that indeed Americans are being held hostage there.Read more
Steve Hayes, with Juan Williams and Charles Krauthammer, last night on Fox News:
The Algerian novelist Boualem Sansal is the author of The German Mujahid. The book addresses a unique theme for an Arab author: the Holocaust. Via the reflections of two young brothers in a Parisian banlieue, it tells the story of Hans Schiller: a German SS officer who immigrates to Algeria, converts to Islam, and becomes a hero of the Algerian war of independence.Read more
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