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Tuesday, September 20, 2011     GET REAL

Report: Polisario working with Al Qaida in drug, weapons trafficking

WASHINGTON — The Algerian-backed Polisario is said to have expanded drug trafficking in North Africa.


A leading U.S. analyst asserted that Polisario was intensifying activities to transport and smuggle a range of illegal drugs in both North Africa and neighboring Europe. The lucrative drug trade was said to have divided Polisario into warring factions.

Yona Alexander, director of the International Center for Terrorism Studies, said Polisario was working with Al Qaida in both the drug and weapons trade. Alexander said North African states, particularly Morocco, have been monitoring the cooperation between the two insurgency groups.

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"This poses a serious threat to the Maghreb," Alexander said.

Over the last month, Polisario factions have clashed near the Mali border with Algeria in a struggle over the drug trade. Polisario and Al Qaida Organization in the Islamic Maghreb were said to have been moving cocaine from South America through the Sahel region.

Another analyst, Peter Pham, said the fighting within Polisario could increase as many fighters left Libya after the collapse of the regime of Col. Moammar Khaddafy in September. Pham, director at the Atlantic Council, said scores of Polisario mercenaries were now left without a source of income and could join the drug trade.

On Sept. 15, France convened 35 countries to discuss counter-insurgency. French Justice Minister Michel Mercier said his government was pleased with CI cooperation with Morocco as well as Spain and the United States.

"These groups are essential because they enable the exchange of operational information and the strengthening of mutual requests for legal assistance," Mercier said.


I have read the report “Polisario working with Al Qaida in drug, weapons trafficking” in which, once again, utterly inaccurate and preposterous accusations are levelled against the Frente POLISARIO, the internationally recognised national liberation movement of Western Sahara. The allegations attributed to “leading analysts” are regrettably nothing but recycled versions of the propaganda material that is being widely disseminated these days by the Moroccan media and pro-Morocco lobbyists in the US and elsewhere. The report openly accuses the Frente POLISARIO of being involved in “illegal drug smuggling” in both North Africa and neighbouring Europe, an accusation for which the “analyst” presents no empirical evidence whatsoever, aside from his own conjectures that have nothing to do with responsible scholarly research. The claim made by another “analyst”, known for his hostile views on the Frente POLISARIO, who associates our liberation movement with the conflict in Libya, is another feeble rehash of well-known Moroccan propaganda. The analyst seems, wittingly or unwittingly, unaware of the statement made by the President of the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC), Mustafa Abdeljalil, on 30 August 2011, in which he unequivocally denied any presence of elements of the Frente POLISARIO in Libya. In his own words, Mustafa Abdeljalil said that, “We are not aware of any presence of the POLISARIO Front or assistance to Muammar Gaddafi and we cannot accuse anyone in this regard”. Nevertheless, the “analyst” and the chorus of pro-Morocco lobbyists seem to know much better than the Libyans themselves do! In fine, it is well known that the Frente POLISARIO, the internationally recognised national liberation movement of Western Sahara, has never been associated with any form of terrorism, extremism or illicit trade. Any attempt to depict the movement as otherwise is simply to play into the hands of Morocco’s propagandistic machinery that has been engaged in a frenzied smear campaign against our national liberation movement in order to hide its widely documented and systematic violations of human rights in the Sahrawi territories under its illegal occupation as well as its rejection of the UN-supervised and organised referendum on self-determination.

Dr. Sidi M. Omar, Ambassador of the Sahrawi Republic to Ethiopia and the African Union, Addis Ababa      9:21 a.m. / Thursday, September 22, 2011

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