Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Algerian Army Intensifies Operations to Thwart ISIS Sleeper Cells | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55351203

An Algerian military helicopter flies over Amenas city (Reuters)

Algeria- The Ministry of National Defense in Algeria announced on Friday that the national army had reportedly killed an extremist at the Bouïra area, a tribal region east of the capital city.

The extremist was killed by a military operation which had been launched a week ago, leaving three extremists dead. The army has stepped up its activities in Bouïra after the military authorities received information indicating ISIS sleeper cells being present in the area.

Special forces, partaking in the military campaign, were seen approaching thick forest zones believed to be the terrorists’ hideout. It was at the same location that a French hiker was abducted in September 2014.

The national army had reportedly killed, in 2014, ISIS prominent leader Abdelmalek Kore who was allegedly responsible for the kidnap.

Three girls have recently escaped from Bouïra to join ISIS in Libya. All three of them are believed to be wives of Algerian militants who were killed by the national army in the past.

On the other hand, the national army announced destroying three terrorist hideouts and neutralizing explosive mines in the Tizi Ouzou province, located 100 kilometers away from the capital.

Tizi Ouzou is known for containing al Qaeda strongholds in the Islamic Maghreb. Abdelmalek Droukdel leader of the Algerian Islamic militant group Al-Qaeda, who has been chased by military intelligence since 2005, is also assumed to be sited there.

The highly tribal area of Tizi Ouzou recently has been experiencing increased security measures aiming to foil any sleeper cells sought for recruitment. The terrorist rings have been gradually terminated over the last few years.

Security reports show that Libyan ISIS members have been transferring units into tribal zones, in hopes of rebooting what they call “Jihad” activities. Border regulation authorities note Libya as an untold threat, which led thousands of army soldiers to line up across borders in order to prevent terrorists from crossing over or traffic arms into Algeria.

Minister of Maghreb Affairs, African Union and Arab League Abdelkader Messahel discussed terrorism crossing the borders shared by Algeria, Libya and Tunisia in his meeting with British diplomat Mark Lyall Grant.

When Messahel spoke to media, he mentioned that the two-days long meeting had delved into security details and has sought out solutions for posed threats. The state-of-affairs of the Sahel area- the biogeographic zone of transition in Africa between the Sahara Desert to the north and the Sudanian Savanna to the south- currently has the focus of ongoing deliberations with the British delegation.

Terrorism, organized crime, border control and extremist groups such as ISIS, al Qaeda and Boko Haram, said Messahel.