Gulf News

Attacks point to revitalise­d Al Qaida

Expert believes events linked to recent formation of Maghreb cell of terror group

-

Suicide blasts by suspected Islamists in Algeria and Morocco which killed at least 28 people are the first signs of a re-emergent Al Qaida cell in North Africa, terrorism experts warned yesterday.

Twenty three people were killed when two car bombs exploded in the Algerian capital yesterday, a day after five died in Morocco in an incident that saw three militants blow themselves up.

“These events [in Casablanca] are linked to the recent formation of a Maghreb [or north African] Al Qaida cell,” Mohammad Darif, professor of political science at the Rabat university of Mohammedia, said.

“This wave of attacks will not be limited to Morocco. These networks are committed, if they have the means and the chance, to attacks not just in the kingdom, but also in Algeria, Tunisia and even Mauritania,” Darif warned. Magnus Ranstorp, research director of the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defence College echoed Darif's fears.

Part of explanatio­n

He said that after the authoritie­s in Morocco and Algeria seemed to have “broken the back of the islamist terrorist networks" it now seems that "these two fronts have been re-energised, revitalise­d.”

Part of the explanatio­n could be, he said, “the severity of the crackdowns. That is what we are seeing today essentiall­y: a sort of reaction to these offensives.”

Darif sees the hand of The Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) the main extremist outfit fighting in Algeria's long running Islamist rebellion.

 ?? EPA ?? A victim is given assistance by a passerby following the suicide bomb attack on the main government offices in Algiers.
EPA A victim is given assistance by a passerby following the suicide bomb attack on the main government offices in Algiers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Arab Emirates