Algeria Vows al-Qaeda Crackdown

Says Canadians masterminded raid

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 22, 2013 10:49 AM CST

(Newser) – Algeria's prime minister yesterday promised that his country would dedicate itself to fighting al-Qaeda in the wake of a disastrous hostage rescue that left 38 workers dead, including three Americans. "There is clear political will" to fight terrorism, Abdelmalek Sellal told reporters. He also said that a Canadian militant had masterminded the takeover of the gas plant, Reuters reports. In other developments related to the raid:

  • The militants used weapons from Libya, most likely raided from Moammar Gadhafi's stockpiles, Algerian officials said. It's another sign, the Wall Street Journal says, of Libya's post-revolution role as an "ammunition supermarket" for militants.
  • The daughter of one of the slain Americans tells a CNN affiliate that he "really, truly felt safe" in Algeria. "He said, 'Nothing's happened there in so long and my friends have been doing it for so long,'" she recalls.
  • Algerian forces are searching the Sahara for five foreign hostages who still haven't been accounted for, the AP reports. "Are they dead? Did they attempt to flee the site after the attack like some other expatriates? Are they lost in the desert after taking a wrong turn? These are all questions we ask ourselves," one officials says.

Algerian firemen carry a coffin containing a person killed during the gas facility hostage situation at the morgue in Ain Amenas, Algeria, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013.   (AP Photo/Anis Belghoul)
Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal answers questions during a press conference held in Algiers, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013.   (AP Photo/Sidali Djarboub)
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