Several years ago, an Algerian newspaper reported that some Western secret service, which I cannot remember, had posted an ad to hire its new director. I remember I found the news “funny” as I thought of Algerian DRS. I mean nobody expects such a move from the DRS especially when you know that no more than two pictures of its current director, General Toufik, are publicly available.
Everyone in Algeria knows the DRS but most of this knowledge is based on interpretation, interpolation, extrapolation, imagination… Basically everything but proven facts – you’d say it’s normal as their activities are supposed to be well secret. Just browse the internet and you’ll find so many theories on how the DRS clan(s) rule(s) the country.
And indeed, these rumours cover almost every possible topic: how the DRS controls this or that company or economic sector, how the DRS controls this or that political party, how the DRS created this or that “corrective wing” in this or that party or association, how the DRS controls this or that newspaper or journalist, how the DRS clan fights against Bouteflika’s, how the DRS back this or that miniter, how the DRS infiltrated the terrorist groups, how the DRS created AQIM (a topic dear to a foreign “expert” writing on Al Jazeera’s website), how the DRS is related to some assassinations including Boudiaf’s, how the DRS sets Algeria’s position on Western Sahara, how a deserting officer is actually a DRS double-agent, etc. The list is too long and I’d be writing till tomorrow and I wouldn’t cover all the rumours.
So we have rumours, which let’s say can be “backed” by some presumptions or some testimonies mainly from supposedly former DRS or ANP officers or other opponents to the regime who are living in Western Europe, and we have nothing else.
We have no serious journalistic investigation on the topic – Ok a book was recently published by an Algerian “journalist” and “expert” but the excerpts I read in the press are nothing but the rumours we’ve been hearing since the early 90s. El Khabar started publishing a long interview of the services’ first director, but I doubt he’d go later than 1979. So it seems we have to live with these rumours.
My point is this, since we have no serious research on the DRS, why do we not have non-serious work on it and admit it. And here I mean fictions.
It is indeed very strange that so many novels deal with the 90s period but none, as far as I know, does deal with the DRS. The same goes for movies. Why do we not have secret services movies just like the ones on the CIA, NSA, MI6, etc.
These are some examples I could think of.
The Marshal: This would be a comedy. The Algerian press reports sometimes about regular citizens who use a false DRS officer identity to get some things done. The hero of the movie would be one of these men who, caught in his own plot, finds a way to become the real director of the DRS. I let you imagine the rest.
Messaoud in the USA: It would be the biography movie of Messaoud Zeggar.
The MALG: A historical movie on the MALG’s role during the war of independence.