Algerian newspaper El Watan on Monday reported the arrest of more than a hundred jihadists in southern Algeria, including several members of Ansar Eddine group, a news confirming that Algeria remains a rear-base for terrorists and separatists roaming in the Sahara and Sahel zones.
The newspaper, citing Algerian security sources, said there are 105 Malian terrorists waiting to be expelled. After consultation with Malian consular authorities in Algiers, and because of the danger they represent, it has been decided that Algeria will fly the terrorists back to Bamako, the paper said.
El Watan, which described the arrested individuals as “dangerous elements belonging to terrorist groups operating in northern Mali, including Ansar Eddine,” said these elements were tasked with creating terror cells in the Algerian territory and setting up there a base for their terrorist activities.
The paper, giving details on these groups’ activities, noted that they started by structuring themselves in five Wilayas in the south of the country, where they set up dormant cells.
El Watan explained that they had apparently considerable means making it possible for them to establish in Algeria a large rear-base for terrorist organizations. The Algerian daily added that there were among the arrested jihadists “notorious leaders, wanted for their criminal activities in the Sahel region”.
According to the paper, an “impressive quantity of weapons, ammunition and explosives” has been seized during the arrest operation.
Algerian authorities are seriously concerned by the presence of these terrorists in the country, especially as on the other side of the border, in Mali, Niger and Libya, the situation is going from bad to worse with the prevailing chaos and the proliferation of terrorist and criminal organizations, notes the paper.