France declares war against Al Qaeda after hostage killed

Discussion in 'Europe and Russia' started by ajtr, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    France declares war against Al Qaeda after hostage killed


    PARIS — Prime Minister Francois Fillon said France is “at war with Al Qaeda” after the announced killing of a French hostage by an Al Qaeda affiliate in Mali.
    France will step up military and intelligence assistance to North African governments to “track down the terrorists and hand them over to the judiciary,” Mr. Fillon said.
    Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) said it killed retired French engineer Michel Germaneau on Sunday in retaliation for a failed attempt by French commandos and Mauritanian troops to release Mr. Germaneau from an AQIM camp in Mali. Fillon said today Germaneau may have been killed prior to the raid.
    French president Nicolas Sarkozy vowed the murder “will not go unpunished” and dispatched Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner to the region, where he today meets Malian president Amadou Toumani Toure.
    AQIM has expanded in the lawless hinterlands of Niger, Mali, Mauritania, and Algeria in recent years and been responsible for numerous kidnappings. But French specialist Jean Pierre Filiu argues the group has only 200 to 300 members in two wings and is unpopular even with local criminal gangs, who see AQIM as “not following any rules.”
    “In 2003 [Al Qaeda] detained 32 hostages. Today they have only two Spaniards left. That’s two too many, but one cannot speak of a ‘surge,’” says Mr. Filiu, a professor at Sciences Po in Paris and author of The Nine Lives of Al Qaeda.
    Mr. Filiu says that Germaneau was probably killed by the group in an effort to capture the attention of Al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan. The militant organization was formerly known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat before rebranding itself as Al Qaeda three years ago, and the group has been trying to gain financial and organizational support from Al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan since, who treat the North Africa branch as “a peripheral operation,” Filiu says.
    In May, the US and France deployed special forces to train local armies. Some French NGOs are privately urging France to tread carefully in its former colonies. They also say that official admonitions for tourists to stay away from the vast Sahel desert region is misguided since Al Qaeda operates in the north, and is not present in the impoverished southern area that depends on tourism.
    "We are going to stay and carry on," says Remi Hemryck of Paris-based SOS Sahel International, an aid group that works in the region. "Most of the insecurity is in the northern desert fringe... Here, the main problem is banditry, not Al Qaeda. The Sahel is under a famine which nobody mentions. Fifteen to 20 million people are directly affected."
    A senior international aid official who asked not to be named said that France must be careful to uphold "international law and humanitarian norms" when cooperating with North African militaries, in order to avoid creating more support for the movements. So far, “you don’t have an Afghanistan effect in North Africa with an [ethnic] Pashtun population to rely on. In Niger and Mali the militants are not supported by the local populations.”
    Germaneau was kidnapped in Niger, and then was moved. On May 14 French authorities received “an extremely vague demand” for the liberation of an unspecified set of prisoners, Fillon said, and on July 12 got an ultimatum stating that Germaneau would be killed in 15 days.
     
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  3. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Sarkozy vows revenge after Al-Qaeda kills French hostage


    PARIS (AFP) – President Nicolas Sarkozy vowed Monday to avenge the murder of a 78-year-old French aid worker killed in the Sahara desert by Al-Qaeda's North African wing.
    Sarkozy spoke after Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) declared it had killed hostage Michel Germaneau as revenge after French and Mauritanian soldiers stormed one of the group's camps in Mali and killed six militants.
    "Dear compatriots, this crime committed against Michel Germaneau will not go unpunished," Sarkozy said, warning French nationals to avoid the arid Sahel region running through Mauritania, Mali, Niger and southern Algeria.
    Sarkozy did not reveal what France planned to do in response to the killing, but experts and military officers told AFP to expect an increased use of spies and special forces to target militant groups in the Sahel.
    Defence Minister Herve Morin cut short an Asian tour to fly back to France and help prepare the military response, aides said.
    "We're faced with a totally determined group, a phalanx waging a holy war that refused to negotiate with us by direct or indirect means," Morin said.
    "The Mauritanians were informed about an imminent attack by 150 Al-Qaeda fighters based in Mali," he told France Inter radio.
    "We decided to help out in part of their operation, which was to intervene in one Al-Qaeda camp."
    Morin said Al-Qaeda has around 500 militants in armed groups scattered around the Sahel.
    Mauritanian and French forces killed at least six AQIM fighters on Thursday, but failed to find any trace of Germaneau.
    In Mali, a local elected official told AFP that Germaneau had been beheaded after the raid, in the presence of Abdelhamid Abou Zeid, the leader of an AQIM cell that has been blamed for killing a Briton in 2009.
    "He was still alive when the raid took place, but hidden in a mountainous region in Kidal, near the Algerian border," the local official said.
    "The area is an impregnable fortress, where Islamists have planted mines and constructed bomb shelters," he warned.
    Morin was speaking after an emergency meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris between Sarkozy, Fillon, key ministers, military top brass and the heads of France's domestic and foreign intelligence agencies.
    Later Monday Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who attended the same meeting, flew to Mauritania for talks with President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.
    Afterwards he said that the two countries would continue their joint fight against the insurgents.
    "The Sahel-Saharan strip will not be left to bands of terrorists, to arms arms and drugs traffickers," he said.
    France already has military cooperation agreements with its former West African colonies, and helps to train and coordinate local anti-terror forces, in an area which receives around 30,000 French tourists per year.
    Spain, which has two of its nationals held in Mali by a different AQIM cell, condemned the killing of Germaneau as a "brutal crime."
    It said it would continue its efforts to negotiate the freedom of aid workers Albert Vilalta, 35, and 50-year-old Roque Pascual, kidnapped eight months ago.
    Privately, Spanish officials expressed concern that the more robust French tactics might have endangered the Spanish captives.
    UN chief Ban Ki-moon condemned Germaneau's killing as a "reprehensible act", and European Union foreign ministers denounced the "foul assassination."
    In Washington, the US State Department described the killing as a "heinous and cowardly act... We stand ready to assist the French government in any way that we can."
    AQIM took responsibility for the killing in an audio message broadcast by the Arab satellite TV network Al-Jazeera at the weekend.
    Some French officials have suggested that contrary to what the group had claimed, the hostage might have been killed several weeks ago.
    Germaneau was seized on April 19 in Niger where he had been building a school. On May 14 his abductors issued a photo of an exhausted-looking hostage and a taped message in which he appealed to Sarkozy to work for his release.
     
  4. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Lo karlo baat. Who have they been fighting since 2001?
     
  5. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    they were not fighting they were just holding posts/bases like policemen in A'stan.All the fighting is done by usa/uk forces on the ground.
     
  6. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    So now they will leave those bases they have been warming for 9 years and bomb the hell out of pakistan??
     
  7. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    the other day their foreign minister during the kabul conference was strongly advocating on the BBC that they talk to the taliban, or have they started differentiating between the taliban and aq?
     
  8. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    no they will break some pakistani navy admiral's kneecaps like they did after french engineer's murder in bomb blast in karachi by ISI.:emot15:
     
  9. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Its all matter convenience and choice of words.After some years who knows there can be good Al-qaida too for french.
     
  10. jypl

    jypl New Member

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    They may be following their own rules rather than NATO/US in getting at Al Qaeda.
     
  11. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    We already killed that AQ cell. We are conducting military operations from West Africa, Somalia to Afghanistan, we even busted a Chechen cell last week.
     

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