Schlagwort-Archive: Maghreb

Al-Qaida Holding Five European Hostages In Mali

by Florian Flade

Nearly three weeks after five Europeans were abducted in Mali the terrorist network „Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb“ (AQIM) has claimed responsibility for the kidnappings. In a new statement released in Jihadi Internet forums AQIM claims two French nationals were kidnapped in the Northeast of Mali on November 24. Both men disappeared from their hotel in the town of Hombori.

The following day, November 25, European tourists were sitting in a restaurant in the city of Timbuktu when armed gunmen attacked and abducted one Swede, a Dutchman and a South African holding a British passport. A 58 year-old German man named Martin A. who was part of the tourist group resisted the kidnappers and was then killed by the Al-Qaida gunmen.

AQIM now presents two images of the two hostage groups in addition to a written statement demanding France to end all military campaigns against Muslims. Further more AQIM urges the release of imprisoned Islamists.

Germany´s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has meanwhile confirmed the death of a German citizen in Mali. The Ministry also released a travel warning fro Mali, especially in the region around the ancient city of Timbuktu.


French Al-Qaida Hostages´Message To Sarkozy

by Florian Flade

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Al-Qaida´s North African branch „Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb“ (AQIM) has released a new video/audio message from the four French nuclear worker kidnapped last September. The video, which contains still images of the French hostages Daniel Larribe, Pierre Legrand, Thierry Dol and Marc Furrer and their audio messages urging French President Nicolas Sarkozy to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and thereby meet the demands of al-Qaida.

France has no right to be involved in the war in Afghanistan, the hostages say in similar statements recorded between April 11-13. President Sarkozy should pull the French soldiers out of Afghanistan.

Seven staff of a Uranium mine operated by a French company were kidnapped by Al-Qaida militants in Niger. In February three of the group, a Madagascan man, a Togolese man and a French woman were released by the Islamists. According to some media speculation based on unnamed sources close to negotiation talks said Al-Qaida had demanded US 130 Million ransom. If these demands were met by the French government is unknown.

A Revolution On The Banks Of The Nile?

For days now Egyptians are taking to the streets in protest of the Mubarak government. Hundreds have been arrested, some  – including policemen – died. „In the Shadow of the Tunisian Revolution“, reads one article at the website of the Egpytian Muslimbrotherhood. Although it is doubted even by the protesters themselves that Egypt´s long-time ruler will face the same fate as Tunisia´s President Ben Ali – the signs of change in North Africa are visible and heard.

The picture above was taken in Cairo two days ago and might become an iconic image of the 2011 uprising of Egypt´s youth. It is the call for freedom, democracy and a righteous and just government, not the chanting of „Allahu akbar!“ or „Long live Bin Laden!“ that is coming from Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Yemen, Jordan. For too long Arab leaders and the West, especially Europe´s former colonial powers, have ignored the demands of a growing young generation of North Africans calling for change and end to oppression.

2011 could be for Maghreb what 1989 was for Eastern Europe. Thus one should never forget – „Change does not equal progress in the Middle East“