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Terror in North Africa: are Westerners pulling the strings?

Published: January 22, 2013
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Source: London Independent

Canada is investigating an allegation by the Algerian Prime Minister that one of its citizens co-ordinated the terror raid at the Saharan gas plant in which dozens of hostages were killed.

Westerners, including a man with blond hair and blue eyes, are believed to have been among the Islamist militants who launched last week’s attack on the Tigantourine complex near Algeria’s border with Libya.

A French jihadist, previously unknown to authorities, and two Canadians are suspected to have been involved in the hostage-taking, and reports also claim that a man with a Western accent was among the extremists who lured terrified gas workers from their rooms during the hostage crisis.

Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal told reporters that a man, judged “by his English accent” to have been Canadian, was among the 32 Islamists whose raid on the Algerian refinery prompted a global crisis. One of the Canadians, identified only as “Shaddad”, is alleged to have played a leading role in the attack which left 58 hostages – including 37 Westerners – dead after a four-day battle with Algerian forces. Five further Western workers are still unaccounted for. “A Canadian was among the militants,” Mr Sellal said. “He was co-ordinating the attack.”

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