In a chilling video message, the militant Islamist leader, nicknamed ‘Mr Marlboro’ for his illicit cigarette empire, said: ‘We in Al Qaeda announce this blessed operation.’
He said he was ready to negotiate with Algeria and Western countries if they stop bombing North Mali. His message came as 25 burnt bodies have been discovered inside a gas plant today.
Five terrorists have been captured alive at the Algerian gas plant, security sources have confirmed, as officials uncovered a huge cache of weapons stashed by the militants.
The developments came after theÂ one-eyed master of terror,Â Mokhtar Belmokhtar, claimed responsibility for the hostage crisis which ended in a murderous bloodshed yesterday.—The Â DailyMail has moreÂ below the fold.
Teachers of real Islam:
Lesson learned. “Hostages Dead in Bloody Climax to Siege in Algeria,” by Adam Nossiter for theÂ New York Times, January 19: (JW)
BAMAKO, Mali â€” The four-day hostage crisis in the Sahara reached a bloody conclusion on Saturday as the Algerian Army carried out a final assault on the gas field taken over by Islamist militants, killing most of the remaining kidnappers and raising the total of hostages killed to at least 23, Algerian officials said….One Algerian who managed to escape told France 24 television late Friday night that the kidnappers said, “We’ve come in the name of Islam, to teach the Americans what Islam is.” The haggard-looking man, interviewed at the airport in Algiers, said the kidnappers then immediately executed five hostages….
Britain’s newest export: jihad terrorists. “Terrorist with ‘perfect English accent’ involved in Algerian hostage crisis,” by Henry Samuel in theÂ Telegraph, January 18:
A terrorist with “perfect English” was among those involved in the Algerian hostage crisis in which at least two Britons and perhaps many more are feared dead, it has emerged.
That wasÂ hisÂ jihad; what’s yours? “Jihad ‘Prince,’ a Kidnapper, Is Tied to Raid,” by Steven Erlanger and Adam Nossiter for theÂ New York Times, January 17: (JW)
In other news: (Hugh Fitzgerald links)
Al Qaeda, al schmaeda:
Belmokhtar was been a big-shot bandit, once given the name of Mr. Marlboro, a nod to his deeds of derring-do in cigarette smuggling. It hardly matters if he is a member, or not a member, or was once a member, of Al Qaeda. Too much attention is given to trivia like that.Â He could be the memberÂ …Read More…
“They’re not going to kill you. They’re looking for the Americans,”‘ Chabane said.