back on the chain gang

back on the chain gang

The former AQIM hostage, Robert Fowler, has a book out, “A Season in Hell”, about time in the Sahel. The Globe and Mail article here suggests it might be worth a read.

The Algerian newspaper, Liberte, reported on 05 December 2011, that Abdelhak Abou Khabab alias Meguia Mohamed had been killed in an anti-terrorist operation by the Algerian security forces in the el-Oued region. The article details his involvement with various Algerian groups prior to his long-time colloboration with Abu Zeid. Mohamed Mokkadem in his problematic book, Al-Qaida au Magheb Islamique: Contrabande au Nom de L’Islam, gives some more detail on Abdelhak Abou Khabab who he identifies as Mohamed Naquia, born in 1968 in Guelmar, in the wilaya of el-Oued in Algeria. Mokkadem states, “He was an activist with the FIS, he participated in the attack on the garrison in Guermar in December 1991. He was later arrested and imprisoned in Tazoult in the wilaya of Batna. He escaped during a notorious mass escape in 1994. He was then ordered to move weapons from the Sahara to the northern strongholds. In 2003 following the end of the hostage-taking he had traveled to Niger to negotiate an arms purchase. He was involved in the 2005 attack on Mauritanian forces and the 2008 kidnapping of the Austrian tourists. He was a leader in the Sahara zon and had been active in terrorist gorups in Tebessa, Khenchela and Banta.”

The Mauritanian press announced the capture on 05 December 2011 of two individuals alleged to be involved in the Tindouf kidnapping in Nouadhibou, where they had been under observation for the last 11 days. They are named by Tahalil Hebdo as, Mamina Alaaguir Ahmed Baba (ANI spells the name as Lêkar Abdel Aziz Ahmed Baba) and Aghdafna Hamady Ahmed Baba. The first is presented as having directly taken part in the kidnapping while the other one is alleged to have provided unspecified but important help.

Mokkadem, M. (2010). Al-Qaida au Magheb Islamique: Contrabande au Nom de L’Islam. Paris: L’Harmattan. pp.78 and 171

Liberte, (2011, December 05). ABOU ZEÏD PERD SON ADJOINT ABOU KHABAB: Le chef des opérations d’Aqmi abattu dans le Sud. 

Tahalil Hebdo, (2011, December 05). Arrestation en Mauritanie de présumés ravisseurs d’occidentaux en Algerie

ANI. (2011, December 05). Arrestation de deux sahraouis soupçonnés de relation avec l’enlèvement d’otages occidentaux à Tindouf.