Spanish Pundit (II)

abril 11, 2007

Several terrorist attacks in the Maghreb

Several weeks ago I was writing about the Al-Qaeda new franchise in North Africa -in that case about the consequences for Spain-. And we had had the horrible proof these last days.



Moroccan police kills a terrorist and another one suicides himself in a persecution. After that, a female suicide terrorist has exploded the charge that she had tied to her body. Two policeman and a boy had been hurt in the explosion, according to police sources.



According to CNN:

Three suspected members of a terrorist group blew up themselves, and police shot a fourth after a chase in Casablanca’s al Fida neighborhood, security services said, according to Morocco’s state-run news agency, Maghreb Arabe Presse.

As police closed in on the suspects, one of them threatened police officers with a sword, pushing the officers to open fire, eventually killing him, said Casablanca governor Mokhtar Bekkali Kassimi.

The others blew themselves up — one apparently by accident during the escape, another while breaking through a police checkpoint, and the last, as police were pursuing him early Tuesday in al Fida, Kassimi said. The checkpoint explosion killed a policeman and wounded another, the governor added.

Security services had tracked the suspects thanks to an ongoing investigation stemming from the March 11 suicide bombing at an Internet cafe in the Sidi Moumen neighborhood, Kassimi said. (Watch how terrorism is on the rise in northern Africa Video)

In that incident, the shop owner had noticed two people logging on to a Web site that advocated terrorism, and they were “behaving in a violent manner,” MAP reported. When the shop owner threatened to call police, one of the suspects blew himself up. The other escaped, the agency said.

More than 30 suspects have been arrested so far, among them the man who escaped the bombed Internet cafe on March 11, MAP reported. All have appeared before a magistrate on terrorism-related charges.

Remember the explosion in a cyber café when its owner forbid two people to read Islamist websites. The Counter-terrorism blog underlines that “the most credible explanation for what happened last night -for the day of those explosions, not the last ones- is that the two terrorists wanted to consult Internet to receive their orders for an attack against another target.



The Moroccan Security forces are in red alert after the suicide terrorist attacks.





And then they want to go nuclear. And Socialist Candidate to the Canary Islands’ Autonomous Government has asked for respect for this measure, because “that is a part of the strategic alternatives of a neighbour country that merits as respect as any other” (h/t Bonobus). Looks like they want another Iran but now just here, just around the corner…



And today nearly 25 people had been killed and more than 220 hurt in Algeria after two explosions, one aimed against the Primer Minister and another one against a police station. [Don’t worry, WaPo calls them “insurgents“].



By the way, according to Le Monde:

L’attaque de mardi attribuée aux islamistes intervient à cinq mois des élections législatives, où le Parti de la justice et du développement (PJD, islamiste modéré, dénoncé par les groupes djihadistes) est donné pour favori. Selon le récit de la police marocaine, les événements de mardi ont débuté au petit matin, alors que les forces de l’ordre encerclaient une maison où quatre hommes suspectés de préparer de nouveaux attentats passaient la nuit, dans le quartier populaire de Hay Farah.


Translation: The attack on Tuesday blamed on Islamists, happened 5 months before the legislative elections, when the Justice and Development Party (PJD, “moderate” Islamist, denounced by the Jihadist groups) is the favourite. According the Moroccan Police, what happened on Tuesday, happened in the morning, as the police surrounded the home where the 4 suspects were to prepare new attacks, in the popular district of Hay Farah.





The attacks were a devastating setback for the North African nation’s efforts to close the chapter on its Islamic insurgency that has killed 200,000 people. After years of relative calm, the al-Qaida affiliate recently has recently waged several smaller attacks in the oil- and gas-rich nation.



According to Arab broadcaster Al-Jazeera, a spokesman for al-Qaida in Islamic North Africa claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying they were carried out by three suicide bombers in trucks packed with explosives. The spokesman said the bombers targeted three sites: the government headquarters in Algiers and the Interpol offices and a special police forces building in the suburb of Bab Ezzouar.

[foto de la noticia]

The Al Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb claimed responsibility for the bombings in an Internet statement, which also included a claim of responsibility for attacks in neighboring Morocco and pictures of three “martyrs”.






ABC.es, El Mundo.es, Le Monde.es, Corriere della Sera, Deustche Welle, FT.com, Google News, Der Spiegel.



Of course, Spain is also worried about possible attacks (Counterterrorism Blog):

The Spanish ministry of Foreign Affairs recently sent a note to its embassies in the Maghreb inviting them to:

Take “all necessary precautions”

To raise the level of alert in the consulates, and companies w/ Spanish stakes.

Why these measures???

A relatively new terrorist structure, named the “Organization for Liberation of Andalusia” (OLA) is said to be ready to strike against Spanish interests in the Maghreb.

About OLA:

1 year ago, the OLA issued a statement on the web in Algeria, inviting Al Qaeda elements:

To go to Iraq

To carry out the “jihad” in Andalusia against the “apostate State” “to liberate Sebta and Melilla” [two Spanish enclaves near Morocco]

This call is intended “to declare a long war with Spain by creating a powerful front” and not “to carry out a few operations”

Not very amazing, but has anyone heard about this??? Has La Primera mentioned this??



Spanish State Secretary for Security, Mr. Camacho, has stated that “we should pay attention to the suicide attacks in Casablanca“, but has denied that the Government had activated any special measures.



Algerian writer Mohammed Sifaoui, author of “Combatting the Islamist terrorism“, considers that Al-Qaeda wants to unite [federate] some violent salafist movements in North Africa, as a way to strike both there and in Europe.



But this is the very best of all:

Alors que les autorités ont présenté l’attentat de mars comme un “produit purement marocain”, le politologue marocain Mohammed Darif qualifie les kamikazes de “salafistes djihadistes” endoctrinés pour servir de martyrs. “Je ne dis pas qu’ils sont membres d’Al-Qaida, mais tout tend à montrer que nous sommes face à un réseau organisé qui vise le Maroc et dont les têtes pensantes ont des liens avec l’étranger”, analyse-t-il. A ses yeux, la montée dans l’opinion du PJD répond à la stratégie de la monarchie marocaine visant à intégrer ces islamistes modérés pour contrer les djihadistes.

When all the Moroccan authorities have rushed to present the attack last Tuesday as “Purely Moroccan product“, the Moroccan politologue Mohammed Darif considers that the kamikazes are “jihadist salafists“, indoctrinated to serve as martyrs. “I am not saying they are from Al-Qaeda, but everything has shown us that there is an organised base in Morocco but whose thinking brains have foreign links“, he analyses. In his eyes, this is a move from the Moroccan Monarchy who seeks to integres the moderate Islamists to win over the Jihadists.



Others writing about this: Algeria: Clarity and Resolve. The Jawa Report.



Atlas Shrugs, , has more.



Extreme Centre.org cites Walid Phares: “This is an additional evidence that the War on Terror is global and not linked directly and exclusively to U.S. Foreign Policy. The Jihadists in Algeria are targeting Algerians from all backgrounds while there are no US troops in that country. It is a struggle that began before 9/11 and is resuming today“. He also says “In the current debate on the War on Terror, and while voices in the US Congress -as well as in the European Parliament- have called for banning the term “Global War on Terror,” the attacks in Algeria today demonstrate (with blood and statements) that many in the West haven’t yet understood the Global aim of the Jihadists. In my book, I argue that the War of Ideas has to be won at home first, so that the Global Conflict with the Jihadist can be won as well“.



Sarkozy: “The main terrorist menace to France comes from Algeria“. [link in Spanish]



Christian Science Monitor:

Political parties based on religion are banned in Morocco, but parties with “an Islamic reference” are permitted to run in elections as long as they follow the monarchy’s rules. That means acknowledging the authority of the king and submitting to election laws that make it impossible for any one group to dominate the parliament. Some groups are participating in elections and gaining limited political power, while others reject the system entirely but maintain grass-roots support.

“In the Islamic world, the Islamist movements are close to the people because the governments aren’t there. The people go with the Islamists. In every small place, every alley, there is [The] Justice and Charity Organization,” in Morocco, which rejects political participation, says Mohammed Darif, a political science professor at the Hassan II University in Mohammedia, Morocco. “Any Islamist group that supports the government will lose their popular support.”

Another group, The Justice and Development Party, is taking a different route. It is the third-largest political party in the Moroccan parliament and the leading group with an “Islamic reference.” It is expected to garner even more seats in parliamentary elections planned for September.


El Confidencial.com: Spanish firms with interests in Argelia are taking precautions after the Al-Qaeda attacks.



El Mundo: Policemen find in Argelia 500 kilos of dynamite near the house of the security state director. [El Economista.es]



Algeria bombings Raise Terror Fears in Europe. France is looking closer [everyone knows about French involvement in Iraq].



More on Counterterrorism Blog:

We bring good news to the larger Islamic nation and, in particular,

to our mujahideen brothers concerning the execution of special type of an operation for the very first time… We say to the apostates and their lords among the crusaders: behold the young Muslim men who are coming to you, behold those who cherish death more than life itself, and cherish martyrdom the same way that you cherish your corrupt lifestyle. We shall not put away our swords and we shall never live in peace until every last Muslim land is set free from the crusaders, the apostates, and the collaborators… O’ Allah, attack the Jews and Christians and their apostate collaborators and bring victory to the mujahideen everywhere
.”

Increasing evidence gathered by Western intelligence agencies seems to also suggest that Al-Qaida’s forces in Algeria are playing in role in fomenting Islamist violence in neighboring Morocco. If accurate, this would be the first official indication that the GSPC is actively seeking targets outside the borders of Algeria.


More on Michelle Malkin. She links to the Times:

The scenes in Algiers were grimly reminiscent of the terrorist war that

cost up to 200,000 lives between 1992 and 1998. That came after the

first multiparty elections since the country gained independence from

France in 1962. The army moved in to halt the poll when it became clear

that an Islamic party was on the way to victory and the military

quelled terrorist activity ruthlessly.

More about Morocco: The Daily Standard (h/t Barcepundit):

In their new book “Quand le Maroc sera islamiste” (When Morocco
will be Islamist), journalists Nicolas Beau and Catherine Graciet paint
a very bleak albeit realistic picture of the Kingdom. Indeed, one of
the top French anti-terrorism officials, cited by Beau and Graciet,
recently stated that Morocco is by far the most worrying country in
North Africa. The official’s comparison: “today, Morocco is 1916
Russia.” Also, according to Spanish anti-terror judge Baltazar Garzon:
“Morocco is the worst terrorist threat for Europe.” He estimated that
the al Qaeda-linked cells number more than 100 and that at least 1,000
terrorists are now being actively sought by Moroccan authorities.

In fact, Western intelligence agencies fear specific attacks on Western
interests in the country. Some are even warning of a “terrorist
tsunami.”


According to an article in the Algerian daily L’Expression, partially translated by The Croissant,
the CIA recently beefed up its presence in Morocco and Algeria. Also,
right before this latest incident, Moroccan authorities had closed in
on an armed group that was preparing its own attack. The group was
composed of 21 Algerians, eight of whom were subsequently arrested–the
others are still on the run.


______________________________


La prueba de que Al-Qaeda ha comenzado a operar a través de su franquicia del Norte de África la hemos tenido estos últimos días en Marruecos y en Argelia.

En Marruecos, la policía ha abortado un atentado suicida en el que han participado 4 terroristas (1 muerto por la policía y otros, una mujer y un hombre, se han suicidado, el 4º está huido). Pero lo interesante es que se produce a 5 meses de las “elecciones” en las que parte como favorito el Partido de la Justicia y del Desarrollo, “islamista moderado“, con los que quiere pactar el rey Mohamed VI para frenar a los islamistas. Las autoridades marroquíes niegan que sea islamista este atentado y dice que “es un producto marroquí“.

En  Argelia, 30 personas han sido ASESINADAS y más de 150 (decían antes que 220) han sido gravemente heridas, por la rama de Al-Qaeda en el Norte de África.

Pero si lo anterior es un horror, España está amenazada por un nuevo grupo terrorista islámico, según The Counterterrorism Blog:

Una relativamente nueva estructura llamada la “Organización para la Liberación de Andalucía” (OLA) que ha dicho estar preparada para atacar los intereses españoles en el Magreb.

Sobre el OLA:

Hace un año, el OLA hizo un comunicado en la web, invitando a los elementos de Al Qaeda:

Para ir a Irak

Para llevar a cabo la “jihad” en Andalucía contra el “Estado apóstata” “para liberar Ceuta y Melilla“.

Esta llamada tiene por objeto “para declarar una guerra larga contra España creando un frente poderoso” y no “sólo algunas pocas operaciones”.

Moratinos ya ha advertido a las embajadas y/o consulados que tomen las medidas oportunas.



Los del No a la Guerra, ¿a qué están esperando para ir en contra de la guerra de Afganistán? Ah que no, que ellos siguen con Iraq y el PP tiene la culpa…







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