Algeria: latest victim of false-flag ‘terrorism’


Richard Moore

Since we all know Al Qaeda is partly the fiction, and partly the 
asset, of the CIA, we can always recognize a false flag operation 
when Al Qaeda is blamed.


Original source URL:,0,4805154.story

     Car Bombs Kill at Least 22 in Algerian Capital
     By Jeffrey Fleishman
     The Los Angeles Times
     Tuesday 11 December 2007

Experts say the attacks appear to be the work of an Al Qaeda-linked 
group. UN workers are among the dead.

     Cairo - Two bombs killed at least 22 people, including United 
Nations workers, in the Algerian capital today, and experts said they 
appeared to be the work of an Al Qaeda-linked group seeking to 
overthrow the government of the long-troubled North African nation.

     No one claimed responsibility for the near-simultaneous 
explosions in Algiers, one in front of the Constitutional Council, 
the second near a U.N. compound. But the timing and targets suggest 
they were carried out by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, one of the 
region's most proficient terrorist organizations, according to 
political analysts and security experts.

     The Algerian press agency quoted Interior Minister Noureddine 
Yazid Zerhouni as saying the explosions occurred about 9:30 a.m., 
erupting from two vehicles. At least 10 people were killed when a bus 
carrying college students blew up in front of the new Constitutional 
Council building, near the Supreme Court. The council oversees the 
country's elections, which are often the scene of Islamist attacks.

     Minutes later, in a high-security neighborhood housing embassies, 
a blast from a small truck ripped through the U.N. compound. It 
destroyed the U.N.'s Development Program office and severely damaged 
offices of the High Commissioner for Refugees. The U.N. said at least 
12 staff members, some presumed dead, were missing under the debris.

     "For the attack which took place outside [the U.N. building], it 
seems that it was carried out by a suicide bomber," Zerhouni told 
state radio. He said 22 people were killed and 177 wounded in the 
attacks. Those figures were significantly lower than media reports, 
which quoted hospital and police sources as suggesting that as many 
as 67 people died.

     Prime Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem told reporters: "These are 
crimes that targeted innocent people. Students and schoolchildren 
were among the victims. Nothing can justify the crime."

     It appeared to be the worst violence to hit the Algerian capital 
in a decade. One Algerian journalist, who asked not to be named, said 
by telephone today: "The United Nations building was nearly destroyed 
and is falling apart. The fire brigades are here. There are still 
people trapped inside. Windows were smashed and there was blood in 
the streets."

     Mostafa Khalafy, a Morocco-based terrorism expert, told Al 
Jazeera cable news network, "The methodology, the timing and the 
tools say that the organization of Al Qaeda in Maghreb stands behind 
this operation."

     He added that "these political and security targets show that the 
organization is still strong and capable of hitting the furthest 
point inside Algeria, of upgrading its tools and of adapting with the 
security policies that Algerian government implements."

     The bombings occurred on the 11th day of the month, the day of 
other prominent Al Qaeda attacks, including the Sept. 11 attacks in 
the U.S. and the March 11, 2004, train bombings in Madrid.

     Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb was previously known as the 
Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC), which emerged from the 
remnants of anti-government militants from Algeria's 1990s civil war. 
The war, which killed an estimated 200,000 people, began after the 
government canceled elections the main Islamic party was expected to 
win. Many GSPC militants, including scores who trained in 
Afghanistan, accepted amnesty packages. The most committed members 
refused to surrender and are believed to be coordinating with radical 
networks across North Africa.

     "The GSPC is one of the few groups to effectively straddle the 
divide between local and international Islamist terrorism and to give 
equal priority to attacking both the 'near' and 'far' enemies," 
according to a report this year by the Washington Institute for Near 
East Policy. The report says the group has sent many fighters to Iraq 
and has vowed attacks in Europe, especially against French targets. 
Algeria was a French colony until its independence in 1962.

     Today's bombings come after a speech by Ayman Zawahiri, Al 
Qaeda's deputy leader, this year in which he asked attackers to 
target France, Spain and Algeria, according to Al Jazeera.

     The Algerian group has ideological ties to Al Qaeda, but its 
strategic and operational links to Osama bin Laden's network are 
unclear. Diaa Rashwan, a Cairo-based terrorism expert, said Al Qaeda 
in Islamic Maghreb was the only organization in Algeria capable of 
carrying out such well-coordinated attacks.

     "This is not the first time the U.N. has been targeted by Al 
Qaeda," said Rashwan, referring to the bombing of the U.N. 
headquarters in Baghdad in 2003. "Al Qaeda holds the U.N. as a party 
to the conflict and believes it is a tool in the hands of the U.S. 
This has always been clear in Bin Laden's and Ayman al Zawahiri's 

     He added that the explosions were meant to send a message: "Al 
Qaeda is retreating in important spots, namely in Iraq and Saudi 
Arabia.... It is left with only one region, which is the Maghreb in 
general and Algeria in particular, to make up for its weakness 
elsewhere and prove its presence. This has been proven by the series 
of bombings that occurred in the region throughout this year."

     Terrorist strikes across Algeria, including an attack by a 
suicide bomber that injured two French construction workers traveling 
in a convoy, have intensified. In April, triple suicide bombs killed 
33 in Algiers. In September, about 50 people died in separate 
attacks, including a bombing at a coast guard barracks and another in 
a crowd in southeast Algeria that was awaiting a visit by President 
Abdelaziz Bouteflika.


     Times staff writer Sebastian Rotella in Madrid, special 
correspondent Noha El-Hennawy in Cairo and a special correspondent in 
Algeria contributed to this report.

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