GSPC offers support to al-Qaeda
This is to be expected, now that they’ve merged. The Algerian gunnies are well on their way to even more international infamy than they’ve racked up ten years and 100,000 bodies after their civil war began.

An Algerian Islamic guerrilla group, which kidnapped 32 European tourists this year, offered its support to the al Qaeda network early on Thursday morning (NZT).

It was the first time the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) had publicly stated its backing for al Qaeda, and security experts in Algeria said it indicated they may collaborate in attacks.

Did these people miss all the "North Africans" who turned up in Europe earlier this year working for Zarqawi?

It was relatively unknown abroad until it claimed responsibility for kidnapping adventure tourists in separate incidents in the southern Algerian desert early this year.

That’s because most who run into the GIA or the GSPC generally don’t live to tell the tale ...

Although the GSPC has not publicly voiced support for Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network before, Algerian and US authorities have long suspected the two had links.

"We strongly and fully support Osama bin Laden’s jihad (holy war) against the heretic America as well as we support our brothers in Afghanistan, the Philippines, and Chechnya," GSPC leader Nabil Sahraoui, also known as Abou Ibrahim Mustafa, said in a communique obtained by Reuters.

And people still don’t believe that the Chechens or MILF are part of the terror network ...

Security analysts in Algeria said that in a change of strategy, linked to the recent removal of Hassan Hattab from the leadership, the GSPC was offering protection in Algeria to al Qaeda fighters and may also be planning fresh attacks.

"Sahraoui is the man who brought in a group of al Qaeda’s terrorists into Algeria a few months ago," a senior security specialist told Reuters.

Algeria’s armed forces have over the past year stepped up attacks on rebel pockets and, according to media reports, killed several members of al Qaeda.

They killed al-Qaeda’s ambassador last year, though I’m assuming he’s been replaced if Sahraoui is bringing in imports to fight for him. We also now have confirmation that Hassan Hattab is no longer the GSPC supremo.
Posted by: Dan Darling 2003-10-22