Countering Terrorist Recruitment: Algeria’s Troubles with Young Fighters

Written by | Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

Algeria continues to struggle with its numerous terrorist groups that have emerged since the 1990s and gradually developed alongside the international trends with the ISIS being the most recent terrorist organization to start its operations in the country. According to the London-based risk analysis publication, the Global Risk Insight, there are ongoing recurrent attacks on Algerian law enforcement authorities by armed men linked to terrorist groups. The latest one took place last June in the capital Algiers.

“Other high profile attacks claimed by the (Islamic State) include a thwarted suicide attack by two men in the city of Constantine in April, and two months before this, a jihadist tried to enter a police station in the center of the city. On this occasion, a police man on duty succeeded to disarm the bomber’s suicide device by firing on it and the perpetrator was shot,” commented Emily Boutler the author of the article “Algeria’s Battle Against Terror” that was published in the report.

Mrs. Boutler explains that there are a few terrorist groups currently operating in Algeria, most notably Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Mali-based organization Movement for United and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), al-Murabitoun, which claimed responsibility for the 2013 attack on the In Amenas gas facility in the south of the country, and Jund al-Khilafa (Soldiers of the Caliphate), which has declared its allegiance to the Islamic State. She also said that in Algeria, those who have opted for aligning themselves with the Islamic State often went fighting in the field for years. The country has had difficulties in dissuading young Algerian men from joining extremist organizations in the environment of high unemployment and social inequity that have been troubling the North African country for many years.

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