On January 31 this year, the world heaved a sigh of relief when a beastly commander of terrorist forces surrendered in Algeria before security forces after 12 long years of terror-related activities. His name was given out as Ali Ben Touati alias Abu Tamim Amine. He was reportedly the chief of Al Ansar brigade in the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC). The report has been rubbished now by Al-Qaida’s Committee in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).Its communique has been obtained by NEFA investigators.
Ali Ben Touati nicknamed Abu Tamim Amine used to be the chief of Al Ansar brigade in the GSPC led by Abdelmalek Droudkel alias Abu Musab Abdelouadud. He joined the group in 1997 when it was led by Hassan Hattab. He held many positions before he had been appointed head of Al Ansar brigade in 2006. This brigade is the most important branch of the GSPC as it is considered as the ‘decision maker’ in it. Amine told security forces he was convinced in the credibility of the Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation.
This comes as the GSPC’s former leader Hassan Hattab had washed hands of the suicide attacks which rocked Algeria and the killing of civilians. In October 2004, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika proposed the Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation in attempt to end violence. It was approved in September 2006 via a popular referendum.
Algeria witnessed a 10-year- violence wave in the 1990’s which killed about 200,000 people. Naturally, Amine’s surrender came as a huge relief. The AQIM communique contends that the reports regarding Amine’s surrender were false. It reads, ‘The first story, the accurate one, included the phrase ‘the capture of.’ But, the other false story is the one that certain media agencies, directed by the intelligence agencies, rushed to report—alleging that Brother Amine had surrendered to the apostates, and that he had served as their agent for a long while. From this, a bigger lie was extracted, built upon the first lie: namely, that our organization has been infiltrated from top down.’ AQIM further says, ‘we stronglydeny the news of the surrender of Brother Amine, the commander of the al-Ansar Brigade (central zone)—may Allah free him from his shackles—and we confirm that our brother was captured last week while in the midst of a jihadi mission. We ask Allah to ease his hardship, and allow us to liberate our prisoners from the Algerian Guantanamo.’
however, AQIM communique gives great relief that the terrorist is behind the bars and not allowed to roam free and plot another terror strike somewhere.