Algerian GIA Leader – al Qada Link – Is Killed
If the death is confirmed of Antar Zouabri, head of Algeria’s ultra-violent Armed Islamic Group, the global war on terror will have chalked up a major coup. Algerian security forces are reported to have surrounded the Algerian terror chief and two other insurgents in Boufarik, 15 miles from Algiers on Friday and killed him in a shootout. Zouabri took the GIA over when Djamel Zeitouni was killed in 1996.
debkafile‘s counter-terror experts report that under his leadership, the radical GIA, which has massacred more that 120,000 Algerians, also became a primary operational arm of al Qaeda. He was reportedly cornered in a joint operation between Algerian, US and Israeli intelligence.
In its latest issue, DEBKA-Net-Weekly Issue No. 48, published February 8, reported
from its intelligence and counter-terror sources, the intake to Camp X-Ray in Cuba was suspended two weeks ago following information that a large group of Muslim terrorists, led by Algerian GIA members linked to al Qaeda had arrived on the island from the Persian Gulf and Europe. They came to survey the chances of carrying out a major terror operation to damage the facility and kill the fundamentalist detainees, transforming them into martyrs.
US intelligence learned that the Algerian extremists were on their way to Cuba from tip-offs by Canadian intelligence, CSIS, and Cuban intelligence, the DGI. The Canadians reported that a group of Canadian women married to Algerians affiliated to the GIA, who dropped out of sight two or three years ago, suddenly received phone calls and letters from their absent husbands and appeared to have traveled to Cuba to join them.
The camp, when reopened for new arrivals on Thursday, February 7, had undergone substantial security improvements, with a larger number of sentry posts and better protection for its airstrips, the only means of entry and exit from the facility. The US Navy has also stepped up its patrols in GuantanamoBay. The American camp authorities believe that trespassers attempting to break into the detention camp by air or sea will be destroyed. But they do not rule out a long-distance missile attack or a suicide pilot coming in low and crashing his plane on detention cages, raising a huge international furor.
debkafile‘s intelligence sources believe that the Algerian terrorists, while on the move to Cuba, may have inadvertently given away a clue to the whereabouts of Zouabri.