U.S. mulls putting Algeria militant on 'kill' list: report
Senior members of US President Barack Obama's administration want to put the mastermind of last month's attack on an Algerian natural-gas facility on a secret "kill" list, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

Adding Algerian militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar to a US list for targeted killing would entail a significant US military expansion into northwestern Africa, the newspaper said, citing unnamed US officials.

It would mean extending drone strikes and other lethal counterterrorism operations to the region, the paper added.

Thirty-seven foreign hostages, including three Americans, were killed when gunmen last month stormed the In Amenas gas plant and the Algerian army launched a military assault in response. One Algerian and 29 of the insurgents were also killed.

The push to target Belmokhtar is being led by US military and intelligence officials, the Journal reported.

And some were pressing for a more direct involvement in the hunt for Belmokhtar, whether with drones, other aircraft or American forces, the paper added.

Posted by: tipper 2013-02-09