Al-Qaida Denies Saharan Leader Killed by France

Saturday, 06 Apr 2013 06:54 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

RIYADH— Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the movement's North African arm, said French claims that its forces had killed the group's leader in the Sahara were a "blatant fallacy," a monitoring website reports.

AQIM, as the group is known, did not name the leader but it appeared to be referring to Abdelhamid Abou Zeid, whose death in Mali in February was confirmed by Paris on March 23.

The militant group, which attacked a gas plant in Algeria in January, denied the death in a statement published on Friday on Islamist internet forums, according to SITE, a U.S.-based intelligence monitoring website.

The statement threatened "dark days" for France in north and west Africa.

French forces launched a ground and air campaign in Mali on Jan. 11 against Islamist forces who carved out an enclave in the country's northern mountains, saying they posed an international threat.

Paris said in a statement last month: "The president of the French Republic confirms with certainty the death of Abdelhamid Abou Zeid after an offensive by the French army."

However, AQIM said the French statement was motivated by the government's low poll ratings.

"This is a blatant fallacy by the French President [Francois] Hollande, who has low popularity and whose party is mired in financial and moral scandals, in order to delude the French and global public about the achievement of a field victory that restores to them their lost confidence, domestically and abroad," it said.

The fate of Abou Zeid and another al-Qaida commander, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, presumed mastermind of the Algerian attack in which more than 60 people were killed, has been murky since Chad, which is fighting alongside France in Mali, reported their deaths in March.

Algerian Ennahar TV, which is well connected with Algeria's security services, said late last month a new commander, Djamel Okacha, had been named to replace Abou Zeid.

An Algerian security source said Okacha, also known as Yahia Abu El Hamam, joined AQIM in northern Mali in 2004.

However, the AQIM statement monitored by SITE said Hamam had not been installed to replace Abou Zeid, but had in fact replaced another leader, Nabil Abu Alqamah, who it said died in a traffic accident last year.

It said he had been installed "eight months ago, and nearly five months before the French invasion of northern Mali," according to the monitoring group.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Obama Sending 350 More Troops to Protect US Embassy in Baghdad

Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 21:03 PM

President Barack Obama has ordered about 350 more troops to Baghdad to protect the U.S. Embassy in the Iraqi capital and . . .

Ex-NSA Chief: JPMorgan Hack May Be a Warning From Putin

Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 20:57 PM

Hackers who stole gigabytes of data from JPMorgan Chase Co. may have been trying to send a message that U.S. financial . . .

Study Links Polar Vortex Chills to Melting Sea Ice

Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 20:41 PM

Remember the polar vortex, the huge mass of Arctic air that can plunge much of the U.S. into the deep freeze? You might  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved