Getting out of the game

According to this story, 134 members of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (which really means the most extreme holdouts  from Algerian GSPC who don’t understand that the war is over) have turned in their weapons and embraced the national reconciliation process.  This came after Hassan Hattab, the group’s founder, issued a statement and set up a website calling for remaining fighters to turn themselves in.  The articles quotes local experts who said that Hattab’s appeal is causing an “violent earthquake” amongst the followers of Abdal Malek Drudekal, the leader of AQIM, causing many of them to want to embrace the reconciliation.

4 Responses

  1. Original article in el-Nahar here.

    Hattab seems to have been in some sort of shady agreement with the government for some years, after being ousted from the then-GSPC, and had already surrendered himself, so diehard Jihadists probably won’t care. But I’m sure his voice still matters among some of them, and perhaps among prospective Jihadists. Sort of a mini-revisions. 🙂

    On the other hand, the 134 figure and “earthquake” quote is sourced back to Hattab himself and “Algerian security sources”, plus, I can’t find a time frame. So forgive me for thinking that it could be either self-promotion or psyops, or a little of both.

  2. I dont know, maybe he really thinks contininuing to fight Jihad against the Algerian government is immoral and stupid. It wouldn’t surprise me. I mean, how many of guys are there left? 400-500?

  3. Don’t know. The Algerian government keeps saying 300-800 whenever asked, and then claims to have killed 300 or so at every year’s end. Either they restaff quickly, or someone is lying.

    But no, I’m sure Hattab is serious about this, it’s just that I’m not sure his efforts are as effective as he claims. The GSPC declared him a defector and a traitor long ago, so his anti-Jihad position should have made itself felt earlier, even if I guess improved means of communicating it might make a difference for some up in the maquis who already harbor doubts.

  4. I believe Hattab also issued a similar statement a couple years ago when he turned himself in, after he was killed by the security services or other GSPC members numerous times of course.

    Hattab formed the GSPC in the first place because the GIA was controlled and because Hattab and others disagreed with the GIA’s tactic of slaughtering civilians. So it’s not really a revision for Hattab to denounce killing civilians in al-qaeda style bombings.

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