Thursday, July 08, 2004

Chad Rebels Refuse To Hand Over GSPC Leaders

Associated Press reports just now that Chadian rebels holding Amari Saifi, the No. 2 of the al-Qaida-allied Algerian Salafist Group for Call and Combat, are refusing to hand him over to Libya (of which we reported earlier here), accusing the LIbyans of killing off two of his accomplices they say they handed over previously. Libya claims it intercepted them crossing their border into Libya.

The handover of the Sahara's top terror suspect was in jeopardy Tuesday after Libya announced it had killed two of the Algerian extremist's accomplices when they allegedly tried to cross into Libyan territory.
Rebels holding Amari Saifi, the No. 2 of the al-Qaida-allied Algerian Salafist Group for Call and Combat, said they believed the two slain men were Saifi's accomplices.
The rebels said they had handed the men over to Libya in a peaceful exchange.
The rebels accused Libya of killing the men to silence them -- and said they would never hand over the top suspect to Libya or to his native Algeria as a result. The development was a setback for outside negotiators seeking to try Saifi on terrorism charges.
The way I read this, is that probably these rebels are right. Khadaffi probably isn't telling us all here. Remember the GSPC camp they recently 'discovered' on the border with Chad? I wonder if they cleaned it up nicely before telling anyone. The ultimate destination of Saifi would have been Algeria, where he's wanted and the CIA would problaby get to talk to him as well. So this all just looks like Khadaffi is trying to maybe rub out old ties with the GSPC.

On a different note, there are US Special Forces and CIA operatives active in the Sahara. Why haven't they picked him up in Chad already?