Thursday, October 05, 2006

Al Qaeda, Algeria, France

Interesting article in today's Washington Post about the change in objectives of Algerian Islamists. Essentially defeated at home, they have teamed up with al Qaeda and are providing terror training camps in Algeria and fighters for Iraq and elsewhere. The new Algerian group is "one of the most serious threats currently facing France" according to the French Anti-Terrorist Coordination Unit.

In a possibly related story, today's Daily Telegraph reports from France
that nearly 2,500 officers had been wounded this year, a police union declared that its members were "in a state of civil war" with Muslims in the most depressed "banlieue" estates which are heavily populated by unemployed youths of north African origin.
As I said during last year's riots, I was open to the idea that the riots were an intifada, but also open to the idea that these riots were not much different than Brixton or Watts, etc.

Obviously, those in the French police forces are in a better position to judge this than I am and if this French intifada is or becomes the majority position among the French police then I'd be more inclined to accept the intifada arguments.

The combination of the unrest in the Muslim neighborhoods and this new Algerian threat is a real worry for the French.