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Algerian Police Foil Terrorist Plot to Attack Army Installations | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Amedy Coulibaly. Reuters photo

Algiers- Algerian security forces have foiled a “terrorist plot” masterminded by a militant with links to France-based Amedy Coulibaly, an ISIS member who in 2015 took hostages in a Jewish supermarket in Paris, the Al-Khabar daily reported Thursday.

Citing “well-placed security sources”, the newspaper said early results of an investigation “show a strong link between the head of the terrorist cell” and Coulibaly, who in January 2015 killed a municipal police officer then the four hostages before being killed.

The head of the Algerian cell, Mohamed Yacine Aknouche, a French-Algerian dual national, who is married to a Syrian woman.

The man was arrested Tuesday along with a minor and a third person whose identity has not been revealed, in Ain Tagourait, 60 kilometres west of Algiers, Al-Khabar said.

Aknouche was sentenced by a French court in 2004 to eight years in prison for taking part in a failed plan to blow up a Christmas market in the eastern city of Strasbourg, said the report.

During a raid on his apartment, security forces found “dozens of photos” of places he was hoping to attack, including army installations, it said.

According to the daily, Algerian security forces are “trying to determine the type of relationship” between Aknouche and Coulibaly after discovering electronic conversations between the two men.

It said the investigation had uncovered a link between Aknouche and “murderous attacks in European countries… committed by ISIS.”

Algerian authorities declined to give Agence France Presse further details.