Posts Tagged ‘Algeria’


Al Qaeda offshoot demands record ransom

March 16, 2012

Ransom amounts demanded by jihadists to release their non-Muslim captives keep rising.  Why?  Because governments, particularly European ones, keep paying them behind the scenes.  In so doing, these governments are putting a bigger and bigger price tag on the heads of their own citizens when they travel abroad.  Foolhardy.  Dangerous.  Shameful.


AQIM urges Algerians to wage money jihad

January 31, 2012

In the jihadists’ latest salvo in the Arab Spring, al-Andalus Media, the public relations wing of Al Qaeda in North Africa (AQIM), has released a video message by Sheikh Abu Abdul Ilah Ahmed urging Algerians to rise up, fund, and fight against their government.

Unlike its Arab Spring neighbors, the Algerian government has managed to stave off the pressure to surrender to the Islamists.  AQIM hopes to reverse the government’s fortunes, and the Jan. 12 al-Andalus message called forgiving aid until we are ruled by the Sharia” in Algeria.

The video was geared to appeal to fervent, young Muslim men of Algeria, saying “O’ lions of the capital, Blida, Chlef, Médéa, Boumerdès, and Bouïra, this is your day go out to give support to your religion.”

The AQIM message reminded its audience of Koran 9:41, a favorite verse cited by jihadists when soliciting funds, which reads, “Go forth, light-armed and heavy-armed, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the way of Allah!”

The video shows once again how inseparable Islamic law is from contemporary terrorist financing.


French ransom payments boomerang

July 27, 2011

France brought it on itself. France’s payment of a $15 to $20 million ransom to the Taliban reported earlier this month has emboldened Al Qaeda to demand $90 million in ransom for four French hostages in Africa. La Belle France has turned its French citizens into merchandise over which to haggle at an Arab bazaar. For the West, horrifying; for al Qaeda, jackpot.

From Ansamed (h/t RoP):

TUNIS, JULY 25 – More than 300 days into an imprisonment that risks prolonging even further. The four French nationals who were captured in September of last year have literally disappeared into a “black hole” created by Al Qaeda in the Maghreb. The hostages appear to be an investment for the future of the terrorist organisation, which does not intend to lower the enormous ransom set at 90 million euros, according to the most recent reports. For Delie Larribe, Theirry Dole, Marc Feret and Pierre Legrand, a positive end to the story in a short period of time seems unlikely because they are pawns in a larger game being played by AQMI in the Sahel, which is perhaps the most potentially at risk zone on the global terrorism panorama. The situation has escalated to the point that the countries in the area (with Algeria leading the way) have allied themselves in their anti-terrorism efforts. But this is only true in terms of their military operations, and certainly does not involve searching for hostages swallowed up in the abyss that Al Qaida has succeeded in creating around their prisoners, like Italian national Maria Sandra Mariani, who disappeared in Algeria in February. It is difficult to say where the hostages are being held, even for French intelligence officials who are extremely active in the area and who have built up a solid collaboration with their Algerian counterparts. Recent events in the area have fuelled worries regarding the increasingly “professional” operations conducted by AQMI following their affiliation with the “mother ship”, which has translated into constant military pressure, especially along the border between Mali and Mauritania (with Algeria and Niger ready to collaborate) and into an attempt to manage the flourishing kidnapping industry, which, has raised the stakes with the four French hostages, and therefore, their potential revenue.

Ransom money could be reinvested to acquire weapons, especially after a thriving parallel market opened up with the war in Libya, for the most part regarding the weapons in the Libyan arsenal that have been recently acquired, mainly from Russia.


Terrorist “imposters” wage money jihad

February 16, 2011

“False checkpoints”?  The men were imposing the beloved checkpoint tax of Islam.  And they conducted kidnappings made to look like traditional Islamic abductions for ransom (fida’)

Yet, according to this article, the men were merely imposters “posing” as terrorists.  These Muslim men posed, it would seem, with extraordinary ease.  From Ennahar on Feb. 14 with thanks to Rantburg:

ALGIERS – A network of criminals responsible for several kidnappings for ransom in Kabylia and posing as members of a terrorist group, was disbanded late January, said the Algerian police quoted Monday by the press.

Seven people were arrested and three are actively hunted, according to the Criminal Investigation Brigade of the police who reported the seizure of several weapons on this occasion.

These men, who claimed to belong to the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (the forerunner of Al Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb-AQIM), made many false checkpoints in the area of Aghrib in the province of Tizi Ouzou, about a hundred kilometers east of Algiers.

They are accused for at least seven crimes in less than a year, including the recent assassination of a entrepreneur, kidnapping of the latter’s cousin and an attack against a police station in the region, said the gendarmerie.

Extorted funds to free their hostages were used to purchase weapons from smugglers in southern Algeria.


Insuring against the risks of sharia

February 1, 2011

Has your business been damaged or your loved one injured by a protester?  Worry no more, because civil unrest within the Islamic world has led to yet another insurance invention:  riot insurance.

From ANSAmed on Jan. 24 (h/t GoV):

Algeria: Insurance Firms Prepare Coverage against Riots

ALGIERS, JANUARY 24 – Insurance companies operating in Algeria are to ask the authorities for permission to launch a new product offering coverage to public customers against potential disorder and riots. Insurance of this kind currently exists only for businesses.

The announcement was made by the Director General of Alliance Assurances, Hassen Khelifati, during a press conference marking the launch of a new insurance contract with Renault. Demand for this type of product, he added, increased significantly after the latest unrest to break out across Algeria at the beginning of January. An official request will be made to the Ministry of Finance in the next few days.

Let’s just leapfrog over all these single-issue insurance policies and create comprehensive jihad insurance that would provide compensation to victims and their families for hijackings, beheadings, abductions for ransom, piracy, and wife beating.


Sharia banking gains steam in Algeria

November 29, 2010

Nacer Haidar, an Al-Baraka Bank executive, is calling on Algeria to “enact special laws for some Islamic banking products…”  Special laws, got it?  Not the same standards and laws for all banks.  Not one law for the whole country, but a second set of laws for the Islamists.  That would work out just fine for Al-Baraka, an Islamic banking network which is expanding its presence throughout North Africa.

From Magharebia on Nov. 12:

Islamic banking gains popularity in Algeria

For Algerian consumers seeking to avoid interest payments, sharia-compliant mortgages and other loans remain limited by an inadequate legal, institutional, and regulatory framework. An Islamic financing forum held Tuesday (November 9th) in Algiers examined how to satisfy these clients.

“The law on money and credit permits Islamic banking transactions and products, including mortgages, because these products don’t constitute any breach of the Algerian law, and not because these financial institutions are compliant with the principles of Sharia,” said Zoubir Ben Terdeyet of Isla Invest Consulting, which helped organise the conference.

Ben Terdeyet confirmed that this financial concept is deemed an important alternative solution, as it includes measures that can curb inflation and avoid financial crises that lead to bankruptcy.

Al-Baraka Bank chief Nacer Haidar highlighted the importance of the Islamic banking system in solving the problem financing private-sector businesses. He also emphasised the need to expand the scope of Islamic financing system in Algeria, calling for implementing murabaha (sale on profit) at the level of banks and for using funds to expand production and providing means of work.

”The share of the Algerian banking market doesn’t exceed 1% of the total assets circulated around the world,” Haider said, adding that measures included in the Islamic banking system would put an end to the tax problems with investments and riba-based practices that cause financial crises.

Algerian authorities need to “enact special laws for some Islamic banking products, as was the case with financing through musharaka (joint venture), which complies with the laws and procedures related to investment capital,” Haidar said.

I guess all the jihadi kidnappers in Algeria can’t tolerate depositing their funds into a secular bank.  Glad to know they’ll have new options shortly.


AQIM funds mother Al Qaeda

November 22, 2010

According to Moroccan terrorism expert Mohammed Benhammou, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (the Islamist term for North Africa) is doing well enough financially that it’s able to pump money back into the global Al Qaeda network.  This was reported by Magharebia in a Nov. 10 article entitled “Al-Qaeda looks to Sahel for new funding sources.”

As Al Qaeda’s money dries up in the Middle East, the timing for Bin Laden couldn’t be any better.  Relations between AQIM and Al Qaeda itself haven’t always been great.  But within the last month, Bin Laden went out of his way in an audio recording to endorse AQIM’s attacks against French nationals work and rebuild bridges with AQIM.

Kamel Rezzag Bara, an adviser to the president of Algeria, says that $150 million euros have been paid in ransoms (or fida’ in Koranic parlance) in the Sahel over the past five years.  That sounds like a good reason for Bin Laden to make kissy with AQIM.

Meanwhile, the West has yawned at the requests of African nations to stop lining AQIM’s pockets with ransom payments.