AQIM in the north and decreased the number of successful terrorist attacks, sustaining
pressure on the group‟s Algeria
-based leadership and capturing a number of key terrorists. Algeria has a long history of fighting terrorism, and continued its aggressive campaignagainst AQIM. In r
ecent years, Algeria‟s sustained military, security, and policing effortsundercut AQIM‟s capabilities in northern Algeria, and largely limited the group‟soperations to more rural areas. This contrasted with AQIM‟s Sahel
-based battalions, which historically served as support nodes for Algeria-based AQIM, but haveincreasingly taken advantage of chaos and rebellion to expand their areas of control andassert autonomy of action. Algerian officials frequently cited links between AQIM andnarco-traffickers in the Sahel, and view terrorism as fundamentally linked to thecriminal enterprises that fund the terrorist groups.
2012 Terrorist Incidents:
Despite Algeria‟s counterterrorism efforts, AQIM
continued to execute suicide attacks, attacks using improvised explosive devices (IEDs),
and ambushes in areas outside Algiers. In total, Algeria‟s National Gendarmerie
reported at least 175 terrorist acts in 2012. The majority of these attacks occurred in thenorthern Kabylie region. As in years past, Algeria experienced a spike in terrorist incidents during Ramadan. In
2012, however, AQIM‟s yearly Ramadan offensive was significantly reduced, and was
publically described as the least violent Ramadan in the past decade.
• On March 3, a vehicle
-borne IED was used to attack the military base in thesouthern city of Tamanrasset. Twenty-three people were injured in the attack. TheMali-based group MUJAO claimed responsibility for that attack.
• On June 27, a vehicle
-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) was detonatedat the gate of the Gendarmerie headquarters in the town of Ouargla, located
approximately 50 miles northwest of Hassi Messaoud, situated within Algeria‟s
oilfield area. The attack was significant due to its proximity to oil operations and because it took place in a military exclusion zone. The device detonated at the gateof the base, killing the occupant of the vehicle and one Gendarme. Although much lower profile than the kidnappings of westerners by AQIM inneighboring Mali, kidnappings of Algerian citizens continued to occur within the
country‟s borders. In October, the Algerian National Gendarmerie noted that 15
kidnappings had occurred in the northern Kabylie region throughout the year.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security:
Algerian security forces,primarily gendarmerie under the Ministry of National Defense, continued to conductperiodic sweep operations in the Kabylie region southeast of the capital to capturegroups of AQIM fighters. Algerian law enforcement has been effective in protectingdiplomatic missions and strengthening security assets when necessary. Regionally, Algeria has participated in discussions on the creation of the International Institute forJustice and the Rule of Law. Algerian security forces made a number of key arrests in 2012. In August, Algerian pressreported that three members of AQIM were arrested in Ghardaya at a security checkpoint. These individuals included Necib Tayeb (alias Abu Ishaq Essoufi),
reportedly the head of AQIM‟s Legal Committee, and a member of AQIM‟s “council of notables.” Local press reported that the three were traveling to neighboring northern