Algeria-US: Update. A senior Algerian official said that one of the terrorists captured at the In Amenas gas plant said under interrogation that some of the dead Egyptian terrorists also participated in the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi last year. Three terrorists are in custody.
The official said the terrorists staged in southern Libya with arms purchased in Tripoli, Libya. He also said, “This is the result of the Arab Spring…. I hope the Americans are conscious of this.”
Comment: There is no way to corroborate the detainee’s statement. What is worth noting is that the Algerian official’s statements help explain why the Algerians might have had few qualms about assaulting the terrorists, despite the risk to foreigners. The Algerian government expects more attacks and the outcome will probably not be much different for foreigners.
The government has opposed US policy in the Arab world, especially the overthrow of the Qadhafi government. Some officials are making it very clear they hold American policy ultimately responsible for the gas plant attack in Algeria, the invasion of northern Mali by Islamist fighters and future attacks to come.
Americans working in Algeria are at increased risk from terrorists. Moreover, their safety does not appear to be a major factor in government planning for rescue operations.
Phi Beta Iota: One reason we have always been skeptical of many terrorist attacks that we considered to be false flag attacks spawned by the CIA, the FBI, or third party governments such as Israel, is that they have never really done much damage. 9/11 is of course the exception, but we continue to believe that was insurance fraud specifically enabled by Dick Cheney as an Act of State. The US has zero in the way of border security, but even more troubling is that the US has zero in the way of supply chain redundancy and it has a multiplicty of overseas nodes where real pain can be caused by very modest platoon-sized attacks. For two decades we have been saying “do not throw stones if you live in a glass house.” The Algerians appear to correctly blame the USA for destabilizing the Middle East for the wrong reasons, opening Pandor’a box on the Sunni-Shi’ite religious war, on tribal enmities that were quiescent, and on displaced persons all too easily converted into armed and dangerous foes of any government and any corporate target.