Algeria: 'Al-Qaeda plot to kill premier uncovered'

Algiers, 1 April (AKI) - Algeria's security forces have foiled an al-Qaeda plot to assassinate the country's prime minister, Abdelaziz Belkhadem, according to the Algerian daily El Khabar.

The newspaper said the plot was planned by Al-Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb. The plotters reportedly planned to kill Belkhadem, while he vacationed at his holiday home in Marsa bin Mahdi, in Tlemecen province, taking advantage of poor security.

The planned assassin was allegedly a local man, without a police record, according to investigators cited by El Khabar.

The newspaper said Al-Qaeda's leader in Algeria, Abdel Malik Droukedel, received the order from al-Qaeda's leader, Osama Bin Laden, via a cell belonging to the former Salafite Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), from which the Al-Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb emerged last year.

Investigators have discovered that many al-Qaeda linked groups have tried to kill Belkhadem, mostly recently, the al-Faruq Brigades, which are believed to have carried out a terrorist attack in Algiers on 11 December.

The latest plot to kill Belkhadem was uncovered after the arrest of the leader of the al-Qaeda cell in Algiers, Abu Basir. He reportedly provided investigators with information on the role played by a number of al-Qaeda operatives in Europe in passing information between terrorists in Afghanistan and Algeria, El Khabar said.


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