Jihadist sites are rumbling about Algeria, and the U.S. is on the move. Just as Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb (AQIM) upped its rhetoric, openly calling for action and foreign support, the commander of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), General Ham is dispatched to Algeria.
The SITE intelligence group reports: "A prominent jihadist incited Algerian protestors in the south and people throughout the country to launch a full-scale revolution against the Algerian government and end its policy of "apartheid" between nobles and slaves." "Redouane18" characterized Algerian President Abdulaziz Bouteflika's regime as Stalinist. He talked about now the oil revenues were not benefiting the people and the need for revolution to right the wrongs done to Algerians.
At the same time as "Redouane18" was posting, AQIM's Abu Abdul Ilah Ahmed was tweeting an entreaty to "the people of the "free world" to help Algerians from what they allegedly suffer of biased media agencies and poor internet access." Complaining of government censorship of the internet and the torturing of journalists who publish the truth he called for the people to remove the injustice.
Algeria's strong non-interventionist policy is evidently not enough to keep AQIM at bay, and pressure from the United Nations and U.S. policy makers may force President Bouteflika to take a more cooperative stance.The world has changed since his election in 1999.
General Carter Ham, head of US Africa Command, took a trip to Tamanrasset the other day. Located in the South of Algeria, it is a gateway to Mali. You remember Mali, where the U.S. said, "No" to getting involved before it got involved.When the Algerian hostage incident occurred the U.S. was constrained from introducing ground troops, and only allowed to use drones in Algerian air space. Perhaps General Ham is using the recent threats to negotiate a wider set of permissions.
Do you want to see U.S. forces on the ground in Algeria? Even to help stop an al-Qaeda takeover of the country? How far do you take your pacifism in the face of terrorist aggression? What U.S. policy do you favor?