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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Robert Fowler Kidnapped by AQIM - Does al Qaeda Care about Tuaregs?

This is new article is the first clue about who kidnapped Fowler. MNJ, take note, the kidnappers appear to NOT have been the government. I wonder if the Tuareg believe that al Qaeda really has their best interest at heart, if they captured their best peace chance for peace, (Robert Fowler) just to raise money?
  • Does AQIM really care about the Tuareg cause?
  • Is AQIM helping to get the government to spend money on their needs?
  • When they try to get you to help kidnap a businessman selling uranium salts from the Uranium mines, will they really share what they get to help the Tuareg or to help their own cause?

BAMAKO, Mali — Malian security forces have detained an Islamist preacher on suspicion of involvement in the seizure of four European hostages claimed by al-Qaeda’s North African wing, a senior Malian security official said.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb said in an audio recording released last week that it was holding the four Europeans — two Swiss, one German and a Briton — seized in late January in Mali’s southeastern Gao region, near the border with Niger.

Al-Qaeda, which later published photos of the four Europeans surrounded by gunmen, said it also was holding two Canadian diplomats — Robert Fowler, UN envoy to Niger, and UN aide Robert Guay, both of whom vanished in December in Niger, Mali's eastern neighour.
  • Malian security forces arrested the Islamist preacher last Thursday in the remote Anderamboucane locality on the border with Niger, on suspicion of being involved in the abduction of the European tourists, the Malian security official told Reuters at the weekend.
  • The preacher was taken to the gendarmerie compound in the town of Gao, said the official, who declined to be identified given the sensitive nature of the investigation.
  • The man was carrying Malian identity documents in the name of "Abdalah Ould Salah" but they were believed to be false, the official said.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, formerly the Islamist rebel Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) in Mali’s northern neighbour Algeria, have expanded their reach in Africa’s Sahara and Sahel regions in the past few years.

Last year the group held two Austrian tourists seized during a holiday to Tunisia for several months before handing them over to Malian authorities in the far north of the country, where a rebellion by Tuareg nomads has emerged in the past two years.

Malian officials initially blamed Tuareg rebels for abducting the four Europeans although suspicions soon turned to al-Qaeda.

The Rest @ The Ottawa Citizen

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