Thursday, February 28, 2008

Wanted: New Al Qaeda No. 1 Man in North Africa

Send your resume quickly. Ability to talk trash, murder innocents and explosives training helpful, but not necessary. Anyone with the name Abu Musab is strongly deterred from applying.

The current occupant of the job may soon be stepping down involuntarily.
The leader of al Qaeda's wing in north Africa is believed to be among several Islamist militants besieged by Algerian government soldiers in the Kabylie region east of Algiers, two newspapers reported on Thursday.

Abdelmalek Droudkel, also known as Abu Mus'ab Abd el-Wadoud, leader of the al Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb, may be among other rebels troops have been surrounding for a week in a mountainous area between the two eastern provinces of Tizi Ouzou and Bejaia, Liberte and El Watan said.

Backed by helicopters, an estimated 9,000 to 10,000 soldiers are taking part in the operation, Liberte said, citing well-informed sources.

The authorities were not immediately available to comment on the reports.

The Kabylie region is known to be the main base for the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat or GSPC, which changed its name to al Qaeda in January 2007.

The group has claimed responsibility for several attacks, including twin suicide bombings that targeted U.N. offices and a court building in Algiers in December 2007,killing 41 people, 17 of them United Nations staff.

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