|Africa News Digest
Al-Qaeda Projects 'Downfall of Sarkozy,' 'Economic Collapse of France'
Jan. 11 (EIRNS)In the wake of the murder of four French tourists in Mauritania on Dec. 24, French authorities have expressed fear over the last several days, of new terror attacks. Citing high-level police sources, today's Le Figaro reports that authorities have travelled to North African countries to beef up counter-terror cooperation, with Tunisia in particular, but also with Mauritania. As a result of the terror threat, organizers on Jan. 5 cancelled the famous multimillion-euro cross-Sahara Dakar Rally auto race. Newspaper headlines proclaimed that "Al Qaeda Killed the Dakar."
Yesterday, the Site Intelligence Group, an American center which specializes in monitoring al-Qaeda's communications, publicized the latest threats to France that have been posted on a website, al-Ekhlaas, which promotes al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda's Maghreb Salafist branch, which took responsibility for a Jan. 2 bombing in Algeria, is threatening to "bring about the fall of President Sarkozy," and the "economic collapse of France," by targeting "prestigious personalities, such as the mayor of Paris." The group says that bombings are also planned for highly frequented areas such as the Eiffel Tower, and the populous business center of La Défense, in Paris.
In the Jan. 2 incident in Algeria, a car rammed into a police station in Naciria, 50 km to the east of Algiers, and exploded, killing four policemen and injuring 20 people, according to Algeria state radio.