Monday, November 14, 2011

Algeria says Boko Haram Has Ties With Al Qaeda

Algeria's Deputy Foreign Minister, Abdelkader Messahel, Sunday said there was strong coordination between Boko Haram and the Algerian-based north African branch of al Qaeda.

Reuters quoted Messahel as saying: "We have no doubts that coordination exists between Boko Haram and al Qaeda. The way both groups operate and intelligence reports show that there is cooperation."

Reuters also reported that Western security experts said any link-up with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) could make it a more potent threat, especially to Nigeria's energy sector since the group had killed dozens of people over time.

AQIM grew out of a conflict in Algeria between the government and Islamist militants.

In the past few years it has expanded its activities to include Mali, Niger and Mauritania but was not thought to have reached as far south as Nigeria.

The Reuters also stated that Algeria's assessment of ties between AQIM and Boko Haram carried authority because Algeria has the biggest intelligence-gathering operation on al Qaeda of any country in the region.

It tallies with the view of some in the nation's military, who said Boko Haram was increasingly linking up with global jihadist movements.

This Day

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