First Published: 2013-01-21

 

Qaeda Islamists behind Algeria attack vow more attacks

 

Stern warning appears to be targeted at France as well as nine African nations that have pledged troops to join Mali campaign.

 

Middle East Online

Belmokhtar masterminded attack but did not participate

NOUAKCHOTT - An Al-Qaeda-linked group which shocked the world with its audacious hostage attack in Algeria threatened on Sunday to stage strikes on nations involved in chasing out Islamists from neighbouring Mali.

The stern warning, published by the Mauritanian news agency ANI, appeared to be targeted at France -- which is leading the offensive in Mali against jihadists occupying the north -- as well as nine African nations that have pledged troops to join the campaign, and anyone else helping out.

"We promise more operations in all the countries which have taken part in the crusade against Azawad if they do not review their decision," the "Signatories in Blood" group said in a statement, referring to northern Mali.

Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the one-eyed Islamist who formed his own brigade after a series of bitter feuds saw him cut ties with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, masterminded the attack on an Algerian gas plant that ended in scores dying.

"We remind our Muslim brothers of the need to clear out from sites run by foreign companies, especially the French ones, to save their lives," the statement said.

The group said it had tried to negotiate with the Algerian army to seek an "immediate end to the aggression against Muslims in Mali and the liberation of our brothers being held by the crusaders."

It added: "But the Algerian army did not respond, ... preferring to stage an attack which led to the elimination of the hostages."

Islamist militants and Tuareg separatist groups seized Mali's vast desert north in March last year. The two sides then had a falling out and the Islamists have since gained the upper hand.

France has been leading a military campaign in Mali for over a week to halt the Islamists' push southwards into government-controlled territory.

 

Gunmen kidnap 17 Turks in Iraq capital

US carries out secret drone campaign in Syria

Netanyahu threatens to shoot stone-throwers

Car bomb kills 10 in Syria regime bastion Latakia

White House wins enough Senate support for Iran deal

Suicide bombers hit Shiite mosque in Yemen capital: witnesses

David Petraeus: Use Al-Qaeda fighters to battle IS

12 Syrian migrants die off Turkish coast

Saudi top cleric slams Iran prophet movie

Iran police to confiscate cars of 'poorly veiled' women

Libya's Tripoli authorities undecided on joining peace talks

Lebanon protesters escalate “You Stink” campaign

Turkey transfers British reporters to new jail

Two Yemeni Red Cross staff killed

Qatar to begin enforcing key labour reform law from November

Syria war takes its toll on heritage riches

Turkey government says it 'had no role' in reporters' arrest

IS claims Tripoli car bomb near oil firm

Dispute with Israel government keeps Christian schools shut

Kuwait charges 24 'linked to Iran' with plotting attacks

Turkey police raid anti-Erdogan media group after British reporters jailed

New Turkey caretaker government holds first meeting

Dozens of Lebanon protesters occupy environment ministry

Shebab attack Somalia AU base

Will Erdogan's political gamble solve Turkey poll impasse?

UN confirms Palmyra temple destroyed

Over 10,000 Icelanders ready to welcome Syrians

Libya loyalist forces battle IS jihadists in Benghazi

South Sudan peace deal in jeopardy

Pressure builds on Europe as refugee crisis exposes splits

Israel confirms jail for Druze ex-MP over visit to Syria

Egypt much delayed elections to start on October 17

Palmyra temple appears ‘largely intact’ after ISIS blast

Turkey to offer cash rewards for tips on ‘terrorists’

Yemen children's hospital on the verge of shutting down

In gruesome video, ISIS shows burning alive of Iraq Shiite fighters

Four years after famine, situation in Somalia remains alarming

A year on, recapture of Yazidi hub remains a distant prospect

IS jihadists move closer than ever to central Damascus

EU leaders call for action to defend migrants’ 'dignity'

IS blows up parts of famed Palmyra temple

Deadly fire at housing complex of Aramco in Saudi Arabia

In historic first, Saudi Arabia allows women to run in local elections

Israel repels protesters with tear gas at separation barrier in West Bank

ISIS brutality in Syria: Over 90 people executed in one month