Algeria has concluded that a leading Al Qaida-linked
insurgency group has supported the Chechen revolt against Russia.
Algerian security sources said authorities have determined that the
Salafist Brigade for Combat and Call has forged strong links with the Al
Qaida-inspired insurgency in Chechnya. The sources said Salafist
operatives have recruited Algerians to fight in Chechnya as well as divert
money and other resources for the insurgency against Moscow.
Russia has reported that at least 10 of the 32 suicide attackers
involved in the bloody takeover of a high school in North Ossetia were Arab
nationals. So far, the nationals have been identified as Jordanians, Saudis
Still, Algerians have played a major role in the Arab contribution to
the Chechen revolt as well as that in Bosnia, Algerian sources said. They
said Salafist operatives also recruited Algerians to fight
in Bosnia as well as in Kosovo, Middle East Newsline reported.
The Salafist link to the Chechen revolt was said to have been
intensified under the policy set by the organization's late leader Nabil
Sahrawi. Sahrawi was appointed leader of the insurgency group in August 2003
and killed by Algerian troops in June 2004. Last week, the Salafist Brigade
acknowledged the death of Sahrawi.
The Algerian assessment was issued in wake of the arrest of 30 Salafist
operatives in June 2004. The sources said many of the operatives were found
to have received money to supply recruits and expertise to Islamic
insurgencies abroad, including that in Chechnya.
The sources said the Salafist operatives captured in June were found to
have possessed videos meant to recruit Muslims to join the revolt in
Chechnya. The videos showed suicide and other operations by Arab insurgents
against Russian troops in Chechnya.
The sources said the Salafist Brigade appears to have been financing
some of its activities by providing Arab recruits for the war in Chechnya.
Until 2004, the Salafists were regarded as the leading subcontractor of Al
Qaida, which has sponsored the pan-Arab contribution to the revolt against
On Monday, the Salafist Brigade announced the selection of a new leader
to replace Sahrawi. The new leader was identified as Abu Mussib Abdul Wadud,
a 32-year-old chemist and an explosives expert. Islamic sources said the
Salafists also appointed other senior commanders.