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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

AQIM Claims Bombing on JEwsih Embassy in Mauritania

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) took responsibility for the shooting attack during the early morning hours of February 1 against the Israeli embassy in Mauritania’s capital of Nouakchott.

Three bystanders were wounded in the attack at an adjacent restaurant and disco called the VIP. The International Herald Tribune carried the group’s claim:
  • “In this blessed raid that has been carried out by the champions of al-Qaida in Islamic North Africa, targeting the Israeli embassy in Nouakchott on Friday morning … the mujahideen have attacked it with the fire of their weapons and their bombs and were able with the support of God to injure an unlimited number in the ranks of Jews and their guards,” the statement said.
  • [There was other rhetoric claiming the attack was in reposnse to Jewish oppression of Palestinians]-Shimron

Cearly significant for this attack, Mauritania is only the third member of the Arab League besides Egypt and Jordan to have diplomatic relations with Israel.

The attack follows on a recent surge of attacks in Mauritania, a country previously little affected by terrorism of this variety.

A family of French tourists was attacked by AQIM in December and a contingent of Mauritian soldiers targeted shortly thereafter. The heightened threat environment led to the cancellation of the Dakar Rally, a cross-desert auto race.

Three people have since been arrested for the attack amid speculation that the embassy was not the intended target, but in fact was the VIP restaurant next door.

The Rest @ Threats Watch

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