Last Updated: Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:24 pm (KSA) 09:24 am (GMT)

Algeria foils Qaeda attempt to attack foreign ships sailing in the Mediterranean

Algerian security foiled an al-Qaeda plot to carry out suicidal attacks on U.S. and European ships in the Mediterranean from the eastern costs of Algeria. (File photo)
Algerian security foiled an al-Qaeda plot to carry out suicidal attacks on U.S. and European ships in the Mediterranean from the eastern costs of Algeria. (File photo)

Algerian security foiled a terrorist al-Qaeda plot to carry out suicidal attacks on U.S. and European ships in the Mediterranean from the eastern costs of Algeria.

The aborted plan, which was to be implemented by al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb, aimed at destabilizing Algerian national economy as well as attracting expansive media coverage, sources told the Algerian newspaper Echorouk.

According to the sources, a cell working under the leadership of the spokesman of al-Qaeda’s wing in the Maghreb Qassemi Salah al-Din, also known as Mohamed Abu Salah, is behind he plot.

The cell, sources add, purchased a boat with a powerful engine and was planning to load it with explosives. A suicidal operative was to sail with the boat towards the targeted foreign ships. The terrorist who was to carry out the operation was granted the right to choose the target.

Available information denote that one of the suspects, called H. Rabeh and currently detained by Algerian authorities, got in touch with a man nicknamed Abbie, wanted by authorities, and who is known for his activities in illegal immigration.

Abbie provided Rabeh with detailed information about prices of boats and locations from which they can carry out the operation and which are basically centered around the Algerian east coast.

The abortion of the terrorist plot dealt a severe blow to al-Qaeda in the Maghreb especially that the suspects’ confessions confirmed that they dealt directly with Abu Mohamed Salah, judicial sources told Echorouk.

The cell involved in the plot was made up of three members — H. Rabeh, T. Belal, and M. Tarek — who all hail from the city of Annaba in northeastern Algeria.

Investigations revealed that the three cell members used to frequent internet cafes and browse Jihadist websites and used fake names. After arousing suspicion with their strange behavior, electronic crime authorities started tracking them down.

According to the investigations, members of the now disbanded cell were originally recruited by now detained terrorist A. Soufian, also known as Abu Muslim al-Jazaeiri and who also hails from Annaba.

Soufian was in touch with terrorist Daghdagh Ahmed, also known as Abdel Illah, the head of the political and foreign relations committee in al-Qaeda.

Based on the detainees’ confessions, Soufian is trusted in all Jihadist forums for the inciting articles he posts on websites popular among Jihadists especial Menbar al-Tawhid and al-Jihad, run by Abu Mohamed al-Maqdissi, one of the most prominent jihadists known for inciting terrorist activists.

(This article was first printed in Echorouk Online and translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)

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