• Algeria: Current Issues

    By Alexis Arieff. Congressional Research Service, January 2012. Algeria is a crucial state in a volatile region but faces growing internal and external challenges. While financially stable and benefiting from a robust security apparatus, rising unemployment and housing shortages have led to protests against the “pouvoir,” an opaque politico-military elite network that dominates decisionmaking. Meanwhile, the growing capacity of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), comprised of former militants from the 1990s Algerian civil war, poses a threat to stability in Algeria and neighboring states. The government must fulfill recent political reforms to stave off further internal turmoil and overcome its resistance to working collaboratively with regional and international partners if it is to tackle its terrorist threats. Download the article [PDF]
  • Regional Security Cooperation in the Maghreb and Sahel: Algeria’s Pivotal Ambivalence

    By Laurence Aïda Ammour, Africa Center for Strategic Studies | February 2012 army_algeria

    Despite growing concerns across the Sahel and Maghreb over the increasing potency of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the diffusion of heavily armed mercenaries from Libya, the expanding influence of arms and drugs trafficking, and the widening lethality of Boko Haram, regional security cooperation to address these transnational threats remains fragmented. Algeria is well-positioned to play a central role in defining this cooperation, but must first reconcile the complex domestic, regional, and international considerations that shape its decision-making.

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  • Salafism and Radical Politics in Postconflict Algeria

    By Amel Boubekeur, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace | September 2008 Confronting indigenous Islamists movements has been a challenge not only for the West but for Arab governments. Strategies for the inclusion of moderates into the legal and political process while aggressively pursuing the radicals are gaining traction, though the political ramifications of this approach have yet to be seen. Part of the government strategy to counter radical groups (Da’wa Salafism, Salafiyya Harakiyya and Salafiyya Jihadiyya) includes amnesty for those who abandon their radical views and a concerted effort of aggressively pursuing the rejecters. While only Da’wa Salafism has accepted the amnesty offer, the other two have seen their influence decline.  Despite the success in containing these radical groups, the author argues that they still retain the capability to carry out terrorist attacks and thus represent a serious security threat.

    Download the Paper [PDF]