The State Department has asserted that Algeria improved its
counter-insurgency capability over the last four years. Department cables
released by WikiLeaks assessed that the Algerian rebound against Al Qaida
Organization in the Islamic Maghreb was detected in 2008.
"They [Algeria] are a prickly, paranoid group to work with," a cable
sent by the U.S. embassy in Algiers said. "But with them we have rolled up
several networks that sent Algerian jihadis to Iraq."
Also In This Edition
[On July 16, two suicide bombers blew themselves up at a security office in
Algiers in the first such attack since 2001. Security sources said at least
four people were killed and another 20 were injured.]
In 2007, the regime of Algerian President Abdul Aziz Bouteflika was
rocked by a series of AQIM bombings in Algiers and other cities. The cables
recalled that Bouteflika appealed for help from the European Union and the
United States for advanced technology for CI operations. The technology
included signals collection and explosive detection.
A key problem, the State Department said, was that Algeria was hesitant
to cooperate with the West on military and security issues. This included
Algeria's refusal to allow U.S. reconnaissance flights over the North
African state. By late 2009, however, Algeria became the coordinator of
regional efforts against AQIM.
"It is worth remembering that no country is more important than Algeria
in the fight against Al Qaida in the Sahel and Maghreb," U.S. ambassador to
Algiers David Pierce said.