Why Daesh failed to gain a foothold in Algeria

Published May 4th, 2016 - 11:11 GMT
Algerian soldiers have thwarted several attempted attacks by Daesh. (AFP/File)
Algerian soldiers have thwarted several attempted attacks by Daesh. (AFP/File)

Algeria is one of the countries in the MENA region least threatened by terrorism, with the exception of Daesh attempting, in various ways, to establish an emirate in the country. 

For the past two years, the Algerian military has stopped 44 members of a local armed group called "Soldiers of the Caliphate" that swore allegiance to the leader of Daesh, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. Algerian experts consider this to be a success, having neutralized all efforts of the local branch of the militant group.

The group “Soldiers of the Calpihate” was established by those who broke away from Al-Qaeda in North Africa in fall 2014 and mid September of that same year.

Daesh has tried to use militant recruiting and attacks to establish a branch in Algeria. The militant group kidnapped and murdered a French national in Algeria in 2014.

This singular attack with no follow-up was dubbed by experts as “the end of ISIS while still in its cradle.”

Daesh has failed in recruiting Algerian youth, where only 150 broke away from Al-Qaeda in North Africa.

On pro-Daesh websites, a video circulated last February titled “They bewitched people and struck fear into them.” Three members of Soldiers of the Caliphate appeared in it, urging Algerians to support and join the organization. The video revealed that Algerians have refused to join the group, despite all its attempts to recruit and attract Algerians.

Experts regard Daesh as having totally failed in establishing a branch in Algeria.

Muhammad Tawat, a researcher in international law at the University of Al-Awghat, offers a word of caution in assuming that DAesh has totally moved on from attempting to establish a branch in Algeria. 

"It is still too early to make any judgment about the failure of the Soldiers of the Caliphate in Algeria. Despite the big achievements that have been made by the Algerian military in combating terrorists, there are a small number of terrorists who present a threat to the safety of the country, because they always have the element of surprise.”

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