Algeria arrests AQIM 'number two'
[Magharebia] Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) suffered another major blow in Algeria on Sunday (December 16th) when its number two boss and main front man was captured near Bouira.
The arrest of Salah Gasmi, alias Salah Abou Mohamed, further weakens the leadership of the terrorist group, which is coming under heavy pressure from security forces and is hiding to limit its losses.
The operation took place in the village of Cheurfa in Bouira province, 100 kilometres east of Algiers, according to Tout Sur l'Algerie. Acting on reliable intelligence reports indicating that Gasmi was in the village, security forces laid a trap for him outside a restaurant where he was due to meet his followers.
According to security officers, his capture is important because of his importance to al-Qaeda emir Abdelmalik Droukdel.
... aka Abdel Wadoud, was a regional leader of the GSPC for several years before becoming the group's supremo in 2004 following the death of then-leader Nabil Sahraoui. Under Abdel Wadoud's leadership the GSPC has sought to develop itself from a largely domestic entity into a larger player on the international terror stage. In September 2006 it was announced that the GSPC had joined forces with al-Qaeda and in January 2007 the group officially changed its name to the
Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb....
The Droukdel lieutenant was responsible for the terrorist group's propaganda and the co-ordination of the various small groups operating in Kabylie. A computer and communications specialist by profession, he is the suspected criminal mastermind of the 2007 suicide kabooms in Algiers.
This security operation follows another carried out November 18th on the border between the provinces of Tizi-Ouzou and Bejaia (east of Algiers) in which three bad boyz were potted. They included the head of AQIM's military committee, who was also a member of its committee of dignitaries.
This dangerous terrorist, Makhfi Rabah (aka Cheikh Abdenacer), a former member of the Armed Islamist Group (GIA) had been actively sought since 1992.
Another recent operation on August 15th led to the arrest of the chairman of AQIM's judicial committee, Nacib Tayeb (aka Abderrahmane Abou Ishak Essoufi), and two of his henchmen at a Ghardaia checkpoint, reportedly as they were headed to a leadership meeting.
In October, Algerian forces killed Bekkai Boualem (aka Khaled El Mig, the head of external relations for al-Qaeda).
Aziz Hatem (aka Youssef Abou Youssef), the head of AQIM's El-Wenchir brigade, was also recently eliminated by Algerian troops.
These operations carried out by security forces are the fruit of intelligence efforts, stemming from confessions of captured terrorists, the infiltration of terror groups and citizens' tips.
Posted by: Fred 2012-12-19