Algeria PM Blames ‘Canadian’ Coordinator for Hostage Siege

Attackers Included Whole Team of Explosives Experts

by Jason Ditz, January 21, 2013

Claims of the hostage crisis in Algeria being an “inside job” appeared to gain some evidence today, with Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal claiming that the attackers were wearing military uniforms and had help from at least one driver that worked at the plant.

The group’s leadership and organization is starting to come into deeper focus as well, with Sellal identifying two Canadians among the attackers, including one who was said to be the “coordinator” for the entire operation.

Islamist fighter Mokhtar Belmokhtar claimed that about 40 fighters were involved in the attack, less than previously estimated by officials, and Sellal reported that the attackers included an entire team of explosives experts, backing up threats to blow up the entire complex.

Members of the group believed to be behind the attack were quoted in the Mauritanian media as threatening further attacks if the French invasion of Mali is not called off.

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