ALGIERS — Several Egyptian members of the squad of militants that lay bloody siege to an Algerian gas complex last week also took part in the deadly attack on the United States Mission in Libya in September, a senior Algerian official said Tuesday.
The Egyptians involved in both attacks were killed by Algerian forces during the four-day ordeal
that ended in the deaths of at least 38 hostages and 29 kidnappers, the
official said. But three of the militants were captured alive, and one
of them described the Egyptians’ role in both assaults under
interrogation by the Algerian security services, the official said.
If confirmed, the link between two of the most brazen assaults in recent
memory would reinforce the transborder character of the jihadist groups
now striking across the Sahara. American officials have long warned
that the region’s volatile mix of porous borders, turbulent states,
weapons and ranks of fighters with similar ideologies creates a
dangerous landscape in which extremists are trying to collaborate across
Now the Algerians say the plot to seize the gas complex in the desert
was hatched in northern Mali as well. Indeed, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the
veteran militant who has claimed overall responsibility for the siege,
is believed to be based there. (Full story at NYT)