Algeria and Islamist Kidnapping: Libya, Mali, Syria and Western and Gulf Hypocrisy
Algeria and Islamist Kidnapping: Libya, Mali, Syria and Western and Gulf Hypocrisy
Helmut Joachim Schmidt and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and currently Syria have all faced the duality of Western and Gulf alliances, which have destabilized all the above nations. Of course, in each dispute the role of other players are equally important. For example, Turkey is the main conduit of major terrorist rat lines against Syria and likewise Pakistan played a pivotal role in Islamist terrorist rat lines against the government of Afghanistan in the 1980s and early 1990s. In Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now currently in Syria, it is clear that Islamist terrorism filled the various vacuums either intentionally, in the case of Afghanistan and Syria because of outside meddling; or unintentionally in Iraq. Yet the collapse of centralization, Salafi indoctrination, the international jihadist movement and the terrorist “switch on” and “switch off” plug by Western powers and nations in the Gulf – is part and parcel of the reality on the ground in many nations.
Nations like Pakistan have created their own self-induced chaos because this nation became a firm base for Islamist terrorist groups and Salafi indoctrination. Intel agencies like the ISI in Pakistan and CIA in America, and others from the United Kingdom, all played their role in creating the “international jihadist terrorist network” in the 1980s and early 1990s. This enabled a multi-national jihadist conveyor belt to grow in power and influence in Afghanistan. It must be remembered that despite the Taliban hacking off hands and feet, stoning women to death for adultery and destroying the last vestiges of Buddhism in Afghanistan – this radical Islamist group still had friends in nations like America, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia prior to September 11 whereby a major clash emerged because of the refusal to clampdown on Al Qaeda.
Mali, unlike Pakistan, is completely innocent because this nation was destabilized because of the convulsions which emerged after the collapse of the Gaddafi government in Libya. The short-term alliance in Libya of powerful NATO member nations, various nations in the Gulf, Islamist terrorist groups, an array of various different militias, mercenaries and covert operatives – all converged together in order to topple Gaddafi. This resulted in major atrocities against Gaddafi loyalists, black Africans were lynched, destabilization destroyed the cohesion which existed prior to outside meddling and military hardware became easily available to international jihadist groups. However, just like in Bosnia the jihadists were a mere tool to be used in the short-term in Libya and then to be squeezed out. Sadly for Mali, then this nation became easy to enter for jihadists and other forces because of the chaos created in Libya. Also, internal political convulsions in Mali meant the time was ripe for international jihadists to create mayhem, carnage and to spread Islamist indoctrination.
Gulf Islamism and the reality of Salafi indoctrination meant that Sufi shrines would soon be attacked and destroyed in Libya and Mali. Indeed, the wanton destruction of black African Islam in Mali by outside colonial jihadists is also a clear reminder of the echoes of racism which persists within this part of the world. After all, Arab slavery still persisted in Sudan in the 1990s and the treatment of black African Muslims in Mauritania is further evidence of this. Likewise, in Libya many black Africans were lynched and singled out after the demise of Gaddafi.
In secular Syria this nation is facing the combined forces of America, France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Kingdom and other nations in the Gulf. Equally problematic, is that parts of Lebanon and Jordan are being used to boost Islamist terrorist factions in Syria and the same applies to passing on important intelligence work. The result of all this is daily car bombings, beheading of innocent civilians, sectarianism and wanton destruction. This reality is based on the policies of elites in Ankara, Doha, London, Paris, Riyadh and Washington.
Therefore, the current hostage crisis in Algeria and the ongoing military operation in Mali is further evidence of the Islamist threat. In Syria and Mali people know the barbarity of this threat because they suffer intimidation and witness daily chaos because of the policies of others. Given this reality, it is difficult to listen to Western politicians and political leaders in Japan, which have also gone along with anti-Syrian policies, showing crocodile tears and labeling terrorists by the terminology “terrorist.” After all, when Islamists blow up places of worship, educational facilities and do daily car bombings in Syria – then where is the international condemnation against this in Western nations, throughout the Gulf and in other nations like Japan?
Sadly, the kidnapped workers in Algeria are the usual innocent civilians, just like the civilians in Iraq, Libya, Mali, Syria, and other nations; which suffer because of outside meddling and nations using the “switch on” and “switch off” terrorist button. Similarly, just like Pakistan became destabilized because of Afghanistan and Mali faced the same reality after Libya; then clearly outside nations are opening up new cans of worms against neighboring nations. Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey should all focus on this reality and similarly today the sectarian angle is once more increasing in Iraq within the body politic of this nation. Likewise, Islamists in Central Asia have also benefitted from Afghanistan. Simply put, the Islamist terrorist and indoctrination threat is all too real but somehow the same players keep on ignoring reality.
Hostage crisis in Algeria
Therefore, the ongoing hostage crisis in Algeria just like the murder of American personnel in Libya last year, is a firm reminder that the destabilization of sovereign nations and the Islamist angle are both dangerous games to play. Some reports state that approximately 20 international workers are being held in Amenas in Algeria. Islamists claim that they hold higher numbers and of the nationalities being held it is known that nationals come from America, France, Ireland, Japan, Norway and the United Kingdom (reports are still sketchy). According to initial reports two nationals from Algeria and the UK have been killed during the Islamist operation.
Algerian security forces know full well about the mindset of Islamist terrorists because vast numbers were killed during the height of the crisis several decades ago. Algerian armed forces have the gas facility fully surrounded and obviously tense negotiations will be going on through a limited channel of communication.
Daho Ould Kabila, Interior Minister of Algeria, commented that “We reject all negotiations with the group, which is holding some 20 hostages from several nationalities…It seems [the militants] want to leave the country with the hostages – this is completely unacceptable for the Algerian authorities”
The BBC comments that “Two groups led by Belmokhtar – the Khaled Abu al-Abbas Brigade and the Signed-in Blood Battalion – said they were behind the incident.”
“Earlier, a man claiming to be a spokesman for the militants told BBC Arabic that al-Qaeda had carried out the attack.”
William Hague, the UK Foreign Secretary, stated that this is “a very dangerous situation” and that the government of the UK was working “around the clock” in order to resolve the current hostage crisis in Algeria. Leon Panetta, the US Secretary of Defence, stated that “By all indications this is a terrorist act and the United States strongly condemns these kinds of terrorist acts” Of course, the comments by William Hague and Leon Panetta can’t be taken seriously because how many times have they condemned the daily terrorist acts in Syria and nations which are responsible for this reality?
It is hoped that the hostages will be released in Algeria but of course the situation could go either way. Yet if you look at the bigger picture then governments which are responsible for the destabilization of Libya and Syria should also look in the mirror. Similarly, while most individuals will support France and West African nations entering Mali in order to protect the people from terrorism, indoctrination and the destruction of black African Islamic culture. It is equally clear that nations like France have opened up a can of worms because of their actions in Libya and Syria. Mali is clear evidence of this because Islamist terrorists entered the vacuum. Therefore, the current hostage crisis in Algeria is also connected to the destabilization of vast regions which have created many internal and external convulsions.