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» 01/25/2013
LIBYA - ALGERIA - MALI
As Muslim terrorists threaten attacks in Benghazi, Westerners flee
Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and Australia urge their citizens to leave the Libyan city because of possible reprisals over French action in Mali. Various Jihadists groups have formed an alliance in North Africa with bases in southern Libya and Mali.

Benghazi (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and Australia have urged their citizens to leave the Libyan city of Benghazi due to a "specific, imminent threat to Westerners", linked to French action in Mali and the danger of new kidnappings by Muslim extremists.

According to British diplomatic sources, Islamists have threatened to carry out attacks against Western targets like the one on the US consulate on 11 September 2011 in which US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed.

Over the past two years since the anti-Gaddafi war, Benghazi has been one of the main recruiting centres for Islamic extremists and al-Qaeda fighters.

A senior Algerian officer claimed that the organisers of the Benghazi consulate attack are the same who seized the gas Tigantourine field in (in In Amenas, south-eastern Algeria) that left 38 hostages and 29 Muslim extremists dead.

The group recruited by Mokhtar Belmokhtar included several Egyptian jihadists active in Libya.

Sources in Algiers said that Mohamed-Lamine Bouchneb, the militant leading the attack at the site, had purchased arms for the assault in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

The kidnappers gathered, undisturbed, at the southern Libyan town of Ghat, just across the border from Algeria, before their attack.

It is becoming clear that al Qaeda is spreading in the Sahara. On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke to Congress about the events in Benghazi, warning that Jihadist groups have formed a complex alliance in North Africa with southern Libya and Mali as their main bases.

Indeed, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the veteran militant who claimed overall responsibility for the Tigantourine attack, is believed to be based in Mali.

US State Department officials have said that some members of Ansar al-Shariah, the group that carried out the attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi, had connections to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, one of the militant groups now holding northern Mali.


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See also
01/22/2013 ALGERIA - ISLAM
Hostages draped with explosives, used as human shields, killed without reason
01/17/2013 ALGERIA-ISLAM
Dozens of hostages in the hands of Algerian Islamists linked to al Qaeda and the war in Mali
01/18/2013 ALGERIA-ISLAM
Algerian army in bloody raid to free the hostages. Number of killed and missing unclear
10/10/2013 LIBYA
Prime Minister Ali Zeidan kidnapped: he had denounced arms smuggling in Libya
08/05/2009 CHINA
About a hundred Chinese and Algerians battle it out in Algiers

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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