The Chairmen of the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs committees say that the attack on the Algerian gas complex was premeditated and was planned by a veteran jihadist with ties to al-Qaida.
Republican House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers of Michigan said that he believes al-Qaida in North Africa pulled the trigger on an operation that was already in the pipeline, long before the French assault in Mali over the weekend, according to Fox News.
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“Clearly there was surveillance, they were obviously trying to figure out the security footprints there and plan their attack, and that would take some time, especially at the level and brazenness that they undertook in this particular event” Rogers told Fox News.
Rogers said that it was well understood since the attack on the U.S. Benghazi consulate in Libya that al-Qaida in North Africa was focused on Western targets, Fox News reported.
Republican House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce of California added: “It is clear that they began this operation before the French began the counter-battery work, or began to send the French Foreign Legion in, so this operation has been planned for some time.”
Fox News said that it is believed to be the largest-scale kidnapping by al-Qaida in North Africa.
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