A week of violence in Algeria and Mali has transformed al-
Qaeda’s North Africa branch into a cause celebre for militant Islamists around the globe, boosting recruitment and fundraising for the jihadists and spurring fears of further terrorist attacks in the region and beyond….
The attack in Algeria revealed AQIM’s broad pool of recruits and its well-organized and -equipped force. Algerian officials sorting through the dead and captured say the militants who attacked the natural gas facility on Jan. 16 included not only Algerians but also Libyans, Egyptians, Mauritanians and Persian Gulf Arabs. The assailants were well-trained and armed with what appear to have been weapons from the late Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi’s arsenal. (Washington Post, Posted 21 Jan 13)