Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Al Jazeera Thrown Out Of Algeria

Albawaba.com reports that jihadi TV station Al Jazeera has been forced to shut down their activities in Algeria. Normally we don't condone any infringements on freedom of the press, but Al Jazeera is no ordinary news station, inciting hatred and acting as a platform for terrorist networks like Al Qaeda, and any other group who holds a grudge against the West or holds hostages.

According to AFP, local newspapers had speculated that the station's Algerian branch would be temporarily closed down, saying that the authorities had "not appreciated" a debate aired on Aljazeera lately, questioning President Abd al-Aziz Butaflika's national reconciliation program.

Other newspapers speculated that the suspension of Aljazeera's activities was due to the coverage it gave to a blast at the Hamma power station in Algiers on 21 June. The authorities claimed the explosion was probably accidental but it was later claimed by the GSPC, the country's largest Islamist group.
Meanwhile, the Washington Times writes on operations by Algeria's security forces in three different provinces, following the kidnapping and murder of two civilians earlier. The operations resulted in five terrorists' deaths.
The sources said two civilians who were kidnapped two days earlier were found dead Sunday in the province of Blida, south of the capital. A fireman was killed when a bomb concealed under one of the bodies exploded as he tried to retrieve it.
The Times does not report on whether they pertained to the GSPC.

Also, Algeria's Liberte newspaper (French) writes on a successfull operation against one of GSPC's emirs, Difaïri Halim, alias Abou Abdellah Ilyas and his assistant. Both terrorists were killed in the operation, which unfolded in the night of 28-29 June. The article also writes on other GSPC commandos still active, among which a commando claiming the Hamma electricity plant explosion as a GSPC bombing, through their website.