Algerian army kills top al-Qaeda operative for Africa
An Islamic militant killed by Algerian security forces in a raid two months ago has been identified as a top al-Qaeda operative for Africa, Algeria's official news agency reported Monday.
Emad Abdelwahid Ahmed Alwan, alias Abu Mohammed, was shot and killed in the Sept. 12 raid in the eastern Batna region, about 450 kilometers east of the capital Algiers, the official APS news agency reported.
The body of Alwan, a 37-year-old Yemeni citizen, was identified after a two-month investigation by government experts, the report added. He was a top al-Qaeda leader for northern and western Africa, it said. "He had been in the North Africa region since June 2001. He travelled from Addis Ababa to Niger via Khartoum," said APS.
Al-Qaeda had sent Alwan to Algeria to "evaluate" the activities of the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), the news agency reported. The GSPC, which is on Washington's list of "terrorist" groups, is one of two radical movements at war with the Algerian secular regime.
A veteran of the Afghan war against Soviet occupation, Alwan played a central role in regrouping Afghan veterans from North Africa in Yemen after the Soviets were defeated, APS said. (Albawaba.com)
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