Breakthrough: Algeria, Morocco to share intel on Al Qaida

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CAIRO — Algeria and Morocco have signed their first intelligence

The two North African neighbors have signed an agreement to exchange
intelligence on insurgency financing. The accord would commit the financial
intelligence units of both countries to also exchange information on
suspected money laundering and orgnaized crime.

Officials said the agreement was signed on Nov. 30 along the sidelines
of the Middle East and North Africa’s financial action group. The session
was held in Algiers amid lobbying by both France and the United States for
Algerian-Moroccan cooperation.

Algeria has long refused to cooperate on either border or security
issues with Morocco. Algiers has said any cooperation must be linked to a
resolution of the disputed Western Sahara, 80 percent of which is controlled
by Morocco.

Officials said the agreement — signed by Moroccan financial
intelligence director Hassan Alaoui Abdallaoui and his Algerian counterpart
Abdul Nour Hibouche — would seek to track and block funding to Al Qaida in
the Islamic Maghreb.

They said AQIM was reaping tens of millions of dollars
through arms and drug trafficking in North Africa in cooperation with
Polisario, which controls 20 percent of Western Sahara.

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