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(Update) The GSPC and the Terror War in Europe

12:05 PM, Oct 5, 2006 • By DANIEL MCKIVERGAN
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In recent years, authorities have foiled an alarming number of terrorist plots across Europe and uncovered cells - many linked in one way or another to the GSPC - in Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Britain. Some of the high profile operations planned included a plot to blow up the U.S. Embassies in Paris and Rome, and attacks on the Christmas market in Strasbourg, France and the G-8 summit in Genoa.

Bensakhria was arrested in Spain in June 2002. Maaroufi is wanted in Italy but remains free because of his Belgian citizenship, which prevents his extradition to Italy. Meanwhile, Abu Doha has been connected to Ahmed Ressam, the Algerian convicted for trying to attack Los Angeles International Airport during the millennium changeover, and is currently in British custody fighting extradition to the United States.

Although European and allied authorities have now begun to unearth the myriad connections between these groups and expose their plots, the struggle continues. Most recently French officials arrested four people, two Algerians and two Moroccans, on Dec. 16, 2002, in possession of chemicals and a military personal-protection suit. French authorities say they appear to have been planning a chemical attack. The four were later linked to the GSPC Frankfurt cell.

The group's possible contact with Saddam's regime was touched on in the January 2006 Weekly Standard cover piece, "Saddam's Terror Training Camps." Regarding the training of Algerian terrorists, in particular, Stephen Hayes wrote:

The secret training took place primarily at three camps--in Samarra, Ramadi, and Salman Pak--and was directed by elite Iraqi military units. Interviews by U.S. government interrogators with Iraqi regime officials and military leaders corroborate the documentary evidence. Many of the fighters were drawn from terrorist groups in northern Africa with close ties to al Qaeda, chief among them Algeria's GSPC and the Sudanese Islamic Army.