AQIM works for the DRS. Really?


The tragic incident that is taking place in In Amenas raised a number of reactions all around the world. The international press and experts seem to have agreed to stress on a specific point: the rudeness of Algeria’s special forces intervention. I watched several programs on many TV channels and almost all the “expert” guests kept repeating that Algeria is not a democracy and its Russia-trained forces do not care about the hostages’ safety. At the end I was left with a feeling that there was an international jury declaring Algeria guilty of killing the hostages. The fact there were hostage-takers kind of disappeared from the discussions.

Fortunately, for a fair debate, a few experts reminded the public of some operations led by democratic states and which were as ruthless (example here). An article in The Independent also tried to give a broader perspective for the people to reflect. These experts also mentioned the very high number of hostages and the fact the event is taking place in a gas plant as two reasons why things are not going smoothly, relatively speaking.

Anyway, these reactions were predictable especially from countries whose governments are used to paying ransoms to the kidnappers. And the fact the Algerian government is not very talkative, to say the least, didn’t help as we’ve been drowned in contradictory numbers and stories, given that journalists and experts prefer to give random information rather than admitting they know nothing.

This incident brought back another theory: All is DRS wrong-doings. We remember the “qui tu qui” theory spread in France and elsewhere during the 90s. It was raised for many massacres in Algeria including Bentalha and Rais massacres as well as for the bombing of the Parisian metro. This theory never died and is kept alive by many “observers” and “experts”, Algerian and foreign.

Jeremy Keenan is one of these experts. People interested in Algeria probably know him, the others can google him and read his theory which remains unchanged for many years now. I believe he should just retire as his articles are now too predictable.Yesterday, Mohamed Sifaoui, another “expert” mentioned on TV the links between AQIM and the DRS and how the DRS controls everything and how all is caused by the corrupt pouvoir of Bouteflika.
Also yesterday, another Algerian expert, Lahouari Addi, said that Mokhtar Belmokhtar (aka Mr Marlboro) has probably links with the DRS.

If you go through the above links, you would understand that they do not exactly say what I wrote in my title. How could they as they obviously have no evidence!
I am no expert and I should have titled this post “a noob’s opinion” but here is what I, somebody who knows nothing on the topic and admits it, think.

These experts say the DRS infiltrated AQIM and many other organisations in Mali (I guess they mean MUJAO, Ansar Eddine, MNLA, etc.) My answer to this is I expect the DRS and any other intelligence agency to infiltrate such groups. Isn’t it one of their missions?

They say even some leaders of some of these groups are DRS agents, and when these groups do kill civilians, it is actually following DRS orders. I say bring on your proof. We say in Algeria, elli ma 3andoush shahed keddab (without a witness you are a liar). But let’s believe them on this. Then why do these groups sometimes kill army and DRS agents? Their answer is that DRS doesn’t have 100% control over them, and sometimes the DRS plans an operation but then the operation goes beyond their plans. So is the DRS cunning and all or does it suck? I don’t know about you but all this doesn’t make big sense to me. They of course have an answer to this and it is that the DRS is ready to sacrifice man of its agents…

They say the DRS is not alone on this. It works with other foreign states such as the US and France in order to maintain a high risk region in the Sahel. This theory would even apply to the Paris metro bombing. On the DRS side, this would be a way for them to keep Western support and the population silence. Then why did France launch its war in Mali? Is this not opposed to the fact they’re working hand in hand with the DRS? I haven’t seen an answer to this yet.

Like I said I know nothing and these are but questions I ask. If any expert comes by, please do leave a note with explanations. Thank you very much.

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16 thoughts on “AQIM works for the DRS. Really?

  1. “I say, bring on your proof.”

    The charge that the DRS has been highly implicated in “dirty war” tactics by infiltrating and then controlling or manipulating radical groups has been pretty well documented over the last two decades, though until we have access to state records or have an independent inquiry, it will be difficult to establish a definitive account of DRS actions.

    Here is a list of a few of the sources.

    See the articles by John Sweeney in the Observer from 1997 to 1999, which offered testimony from fleeing officers who had participated in major crimes. See also similar interviews by Robert Fisk, as well as the relevant section of his book The Great War on Civilization.

    Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch both wrote compelling analyses in the late 1990s. These are accessible online.

    The first-hand testimonial by Habib Souaidia, La Sale Guerre, prefaced by a prominent international judge, offers compelling evidence, and a lot of it, and is further backed up by the interviews, articles, and book by Mohamed Samraoui, once the third in command of the DRS.

    Further analysis is offered by Salima Ghezali, one-time editor of a newspaper in Algera, and by Jose Garcon, who reported on Algeria for Liberation.

    Prominent politicians have made this claim, including Ben Bella (1997); as well as Abdelhamid Brahimi.

    A lot of compelling testimony is included in the records for the Paris trial where Khaled Nezzar accused Souaidia of defamation, a trial that he lost. The full testimony is found in the book Le Proces de la Sale Guerre.

    Substantial documentation and analysis is included in the Hoggar publications, accessible online: 1. Inquiry into the Algerian Massacres (1999); 2. Quelle Reconciliation pour l’Algerie (2005).

    The book by Luis Martinez has some useful material.

    Further analysis and compiled evidence can be found on the website http://www.algeria-watch.org/

    • Welcome beautype and thanks for your comment.

      I have read most of the sources you mention above. Fisk’s Algeria-related part is the only chapter I finished in his book 🙂 And I tend to give credit and consideration to what Salima Ghezali says or what algeria-watch publishes.

      But again, intelligence agencies are there to inflitrate and manipulate the ‘enemy’. And I consider these agencies’ work dirty even when it is for the sake of the country…

      I take issue with the fleeing officers’ testimonies when they say they were in the commanding groups, witnessed this or that event, but did nothing themselves. I take issues when a dissident officer (Samraoui) goes back to Algeria, unless this is another unverified fact or a DRS-made rumour?

      You didn’t mention Hichem Aboud and his accusations, and the fact he’s now in Algeria as well. Unless you believe he has always been a DRS agent…

      Only yesterday I watched a program on El magharibia where two fleeing officers tried to analyse what happened in In Amenas. They gave their theory and to prove it used several past stories which they described as facts (one said, the DRS killed 57 civilians in xxx year, I was there!). What did you do then?? A question the journalist didn’t ask. Too light if you ask me.

      I am not saying they’re all lying; everything they say might even be true, but they lack consistence in my opinion. And the fact most are now political opponents who want to overthrow the regime (peacefully as they say) is another reason why I am suspicious of their testimonies.

      So until tangible evidence is provided it’ll be difficult for me to believe everything they say.

      • MnarviDZ,

        Thanks for your comments. I agree with your general attitude of skepticism.

        A couple of points.
        “until tangible evidence is provided …” This is an unreasonable standard, since we don’t expect the state to open the archives anytime soon. In the meantime, we have to rely on the available evidence, which of course means sorting through testimony, comparing accounts, weighing the reliability of the evidence, and determining which accounts of events are most probable, given all the available evidence. This is something I think the Hoggar publishers mentioned above have done a particularly good job of.

        “…another reason why I am suspicious of their testimonies.” Of course, and this is as it should be. But we should be equally suspicious (arguably more so) of the regime’s testimony. Lacking definitive evidence, we can only talk about the best available explanation of events.

        “I take issue with the fleeing officers’ testimonies …” Skepticism is good, but that doesn’t mean the testimony should be rejected, as international jurists pointed out in this case (see the book’s preface by the renowned Italian judge). Souaidia provides so much concrete detail that his account comes off as credible. Obviously it should all be checked out and compared to other accounts. But the gist of Souaidia’s and Samraoui’s accounts, which converges with testimony we’ve been hearing since the mid 1990s, provides a far more credible account than the regime’s account of events. The ex-officers’ accounts almost certainly include distortions, willful or unwitting. Our position is not to *either* accept or reject them, but to add them to the pile of evidence and see where that leaves us.

        ” intelligence agencies are there to inflitrate and manipulate the ‘enemy’.” Yes, but that doesn’t make them legitimate. Just because an institution has been imposed upon society does make it a legitimate one. I can see no reason why the premises of such an institution should be accepted. In my opinion, they should be dismantled.

        “…even when it is for the sake of the country…” The DRS operates for the sake of the country? If “the country” refers to the inhabitants of the country, then this surely must be false, since the DRS is clearly implicated in the unlawful torture, detention, and execution of ordinary Algerians on a vast scale. If “the country” refers to the concentrations of power that control the state, then the statement is likely true, and it tells us something about the relation between the state and its citizens.

        • I don’t disagree beautype. I am aware that it is not easy (and unlikely) to have a written or audio proof, but I expect the “witnesses” and their versions to be at least logical and consistent. And even this is not enough to 100% accept them and reject the rest. And the bias that is created by the fact many of these witnesses and supporters are active opponents aiming at overthrowing the regime must not be neglected.

          Regarding your last point, I wasn’t speaking of the DRS specifically. My comment was on all intelligence agencies and their job/function which I think is dirty, because of the very nature of their mission.
          A country is the state and the citizens, and the state is there to serve the citizens. Obviously, it is not the case in Algeria. This is how I see it anyway.

  2. You ask for an expert? Well, as an average algerian, I think I am you man. I know everything about everything especially secret things. I have a couple of postulates to guide me in the correct understanding of the turbulent flow of news.

    1) Nothing is like it seems to be.
    2) Every spectacular bloody event happening in Algeria is DRS spensored.
    3) Every population unrest in the arab countries is a western conspiration.
    4) Every western military move is a colonial quest of some raw material : oil, uranium or whatever material like salt for example…

    equipped with this very sophisticated tools to understand the complexity of the world, I can give an explanation for everything and since the explanation is always the same, I found a name for it “Aww c’est voulu!!”.

    • LOL, it’s been long since I last heard “aw c’est voulu!” Reminds me of this earlier post by algerianna.

      Now as much as I am suspicious of what Rachad and ‘friends’ say about the DRS in Algeria, I am also suspicious of the official version, be it Algerian, American or French. When Hollande says he’s there because he wants to help Mali and that France has no interests in Mali, I say “yaw faqou!’

      • Of course, I share your “Yaw Faqou” about Hollande claiming to help Mali people. It is obvious that he sent his troops mainly for his country’s interests but geostrategy can not be only viewed as the control of raw material sources, there are many other interests that are behind the french intevention.

  3. NATO killed scores of europeans in its strategy of tension during the 60s, 70s, called Operation Gladio, it is an old British tacticv called the formation of countergangs used to discredit the opposition and facilitate police state mechanisms. This was a BP-Stadt Oil (perhaps Shell) plant, the so called ‘Caspain Cartel’ which ran al qaeda in Azerbaijan in the Balkans and Kosovo to create oil transport-pipeline corridors through russian serb territory into europe. Obviously they are using the same tactics to seize the massive oil reserves in north mali and split the country (as they did in sudan).

    Study the personnel of the Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce, all mercs who worked for BP shell in killing over 100k civilians in algeria.Its a global privatized intelligence-black ops function that works for the caspian cartel.

    • Welcome AQIM-DRS.

      This is another theory. Everyone works for their country’s or just own interest. Knowing who benefits from the events you mentioned and others helps in guessing who provokes them but you cannot be 100% sure, unfortunately. We only follow the patterns we have.

    • Thanks normalized for the article. I remember that in some wikileaks’ cables the US admit they don’t know where power centres are in Algeria and they think the DRS is prickly and paranoid. So they know that they don’t know everything 🙂

      The author says “There is ample evidence that the DRS maintains control of at least some of the jihadist bandit-groups operating under the rubric of Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) across the Sahel.” but again what’s backing this statement?
      The funny part is this “Washington must know exactly what is going on before it can decide how closely it should ally itself with a regime and an intelligence service that have a great deal of blood on their hands.”. Like the CIA and other agencies do not have blood on their hands!

      • Not wrong, but we can look at it as an attempt to serve his country’s interests by drawing the attention of his countrymen that those “bloodstained” are vulnerable to blackmail in this regard from different parties, hence it’s hard for “control freaks” like americans to put appropriate plans for the region.

  4. Another example of the theories on the DRS… The respectable Elmouhtarem wrote yesterday that mighty DRS ordered the FLN central committee members of the party to vote for Belkhadem. And now we see that this CC voted against the man.
    So is the DRS not as powerful as one may think or is the FLN resisting… or is Elmouhtarem’s information just BS?

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