Mutations of Algerian Terrorism Politique étrangère, Vol. 74, No. 2, Summer 2009
'Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb is an Algerian reality. Its Maghrebine, or even Maghrebine-Sahelian dimension, that appears obvious in the Western security line, is actually questionable'.
The North African branch of Al Qaida is essentially Algerian. The renewed Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) has a larger project though: not only is it covering all the North African area, but it also represents a new kind of terrorism, seeking to overcome the Algerian question with a geopolitical approach based on an opposition between the West and Islam. This transformation has taken by surprise the Algerian regime, whose policy still relies on a repressive system and on the proposal of an amnesty.
Lakhdar Benchiba is a political analyst and a journalist in Algiers, and is particularly interested in the obstacles to democratic transition. Among other publications, he contributed to the work edited by K. Mohsen-Finan, L'Algérie : une improbable sortie de crise ? (Paris, Ifri, « Notes de l'Ifri », n° 37, 2002).
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