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  #61  
Old 17 Feb 2010
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Hi Ulrich, yes I heard that story too.
Would she not be a Berabish or do you consider that the same thing as Tuareg (as some like to do - not so sure myself).
It seems the Berabish call the shots down there.

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  #62  
Old 17 Feb 2010
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Who is a Tuareg?

As tuaregs are often held responsible for every bad incident in the desert, it would be good to know - who are they?

From my limited knowledge, there are no tuaregs in Morocco or Mauretania. There are¨sahrawi, maures and various bedouin tribes (sometimes in Mali called Berabish).
In Morocco there were berber in the desert wearing blue, but I doubt they were really tuaregs, even as they insisted...same thing in Tunisia.

edit: even in this very thread you find those tired unsubstantiated generalisations:
"It is very possible that were kidnapped by Tuaregs, since the sale of drug and the traffic of weapon to what the tuaregs were devoting themselves this one very chased(prosecuted) by the government of Mauritania, for what the Tuaregs, they have decided to kidnap western them to sell to Al Qaeda and to extract money with his sale."
Tuareg = desert dwelling bandit


Tuareg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Volkswagen owns the trademark, that much I know.

Last edited by priffe; 22 Feb 2010 at 00:24.
  #63  
Old 22 Feb 2010
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Since Chris did this lovely map why not check it out at

Kidnappings in the Sahara since 2003


If there is a pattern, I can't see it. Other than that the bad guys wanted to demonstrate that they could strike anywhere.
  #64  
Old 23 Feb 2010
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Quote:
* Algeria condemns Mali's release of four al Qaeda suspects

* Al Qaeda had demanded release to spare French hostage

* Security official: anti-al Qaeda cooperation in disarray ...

... Salima Tlemcani, a security expert with Algeria's El Watan newspaper, told Reuters that Mali's release of the four al Qaeda suspects was "a knife in the back of neighbouring countries."
Reuters - Algeria recalls envoy from Mali over Qaeda row

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  #65  
Old 25 Feb 2010
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First comments are coming back from Monsieur Camatte following his release. Nothing we don't already know (isolation, bad food, bad water, tough times). Also mentioned in the article is a commitment from France to help Mali in a campaign against AQ-IM. If they are going to succeed, they'd better get a move on. Two weeks ago the French announced that they were closing their military base in Senegal, one of three main military bases that the French have in the Sahel. Perhaps they might redeploy in Mali?

France backs Mali in anti-terror fight: News24: Africa: News

Last edited by Richard Washington; 25 Feb 2010 at 11:24.
  #66  
Old 28 Feb 2010
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AQIM makes a lot of money in the Sahel. It has become a strong link to Al Qaeda mother.
L'Expression - Al Qaîda rebondit et renfloue ses caisses

Gogoonisch - E

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  #67  
Old 28 Feb 2010
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I was surprised to hear Monsieur Camatte labelled as a French agent. The evidence wasn't strong, but then such agents are not normally identified, even by mistake. From the French perspective, there is value in claiming that he is an agent, even if he isn't. AQ-IM are now constrained to assume that they have been compromised - that their comings and goings, their approximate location, their day to day routine and the kind of backup (including kit) that they have to hand are known to a specialist. Taken from this perspective, kidnapping is a risky business for AQ-IM.

Last edited by Richard Washington; 28 Feb 2010 at 14:48.
  #68  
Old 28 Feb 2010
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OTOH if Aqim had known he was a spy they would surely have let us know, as it would somewhat justify their kidnapping.
Who is a spy? A full-time agent working under cover, or perhaps someone who occasionally has provided information to the SS while he was plying his trade (such as looking for a natural malaria treatment)? He was allegedly named as an agent by one of his superiors, but question remains what that means.

Last edited by priffe; 28 Feb 2010 at 19:14.
  #69  
Old 28 Feb 2010
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Originally Posted by priffe View Post
OTOH if Aqim had known he was a spy they would surely have let us know, as it would justify their kidnapping someone who is not a civilian.
True -I agree. But this doesn't really alter the point that AQ-IM *now* have to consider the fact that they may have had someone in camp who was trained to evaluate them. We can expect that all those who have been freed in the past have been questioned by intelligence. If not, then why not? The intelligence one gets from a trained person would be better.
  #70  
Old 1 Mar 2010
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Quote:
WASHINGTON — Al-Qaida's terror network in North Africa is growing more active and attracting new recruits, threatening to further destabilize the continent's already vulnerable Sahara region, according to U.S. defense and counterterrorism officials.

The North African faction, which calls itself Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), is still small and largely isolated, numbering a couple hundred militants based mostly in the vast desert of northern Mali. But signs of stepped-up activity and the group's advancing potential for growth worry analysts familiar with the region. ...

... The militants often partner with local criminals, who kidnap tourists then sell them to AQIM, which then demands ransoms, officials said. Those alliances cement contacts between the criminal groups and AQIM, broadening its reach and membership.
AP - Al-Qaida growing in strength and numbers in Africa

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  #71  
Old 2 Mar 2010
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Algeria Travel Advice

Damn, didnt notice before but now the British FCO say no travel at all south of Arak (on the TSH between In Salah and Tam)....frustrating!

Algeria travel advice
  #72  
Old 2 Mar 2010
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^ They changed the advice back to beng okay almost as soon as I wrote that last post! Great news:

Algeria travel advice
  #73  
Old 6 Mar 2010
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Should governments and employers negotiate with kidnappers? If they do not, how can they free hostages?
rfi - Hostage-taking - should you pay?

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  #74  
Old 6 Mar 2010
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A terrorist from the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, and a prominent member of the « fringe of the Sahara » had surrendered several days ago to security services of a province on the border with Niger, before being transferred last week to Algiers where he made very serious statements about the dealings of the leaders of the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat and the French intelligence services.
Ennahar - Abu Zeid agrees to ensure the safety of the French in the Sahel

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  #75  
Old 7 Mar 2010
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Africom in Gao

Was this recent military exercise kept quiet? Do people think the Americans are taking the AQIM threat more seriously?

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