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Salafists Islamic insurgents threaten major Algerian cities

Special to World Tribune.com
MIDDLE EAST NEWSLINE
Wednesday, August 25, 2004

CAIRO Algeria's largest Islamic insurgency group has threatened to launch major attacks against the regime.

The Salafist Brigade for Combat and Call has warned Algerians to stay away from government installations in major cities. A Salafist statement said Islamic insurgents would launch a major strike against police stations.

The statement, posted on an Islamic Internet website on Aug. 21, warned Algerians to keep away from police stations and other security installations. The Salafists said they would not be responsible for passersby killed in these strikes.

"We are innocent before Allah of the blood shed of those innocents who walk near these places," the Salafist statement said.

Algerian authorities have taken the Salafist threat seriously. Security sources said more than 35 Salafist operatives were believed to have infiltrated Algiers over the past few weeks.

The sources said Algerian intelligence has assessed that Salafist operatives intend to steal cars, load them with explosives and blow them up near police and other government installations. They said police and security forces have been on high alert in Algiers and other major cities.

In its communique, the Salafist Brigade did not specify what kind of attacks was being planned. But the communique indicated the prospect of car bombings.

The Salafist warning came amid an assessment that the Al Qaida-aligned insurgency movement has been seriously weakened over the last few months. In June, Algeria reported that Salafist leader Nabil Sahrawi was killed in a firefight in mountainous region east of Algiers.


Copyright 2004 East West Services, Inc.

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