Thursday, August 14, 2008

Austria: State sponsors of al Qaeda

Austria agrees "in principle" to pay Al Qaeda kidnappers 5 million euros for the release of the Austrian couple kidnapped last February and it's still not good enough.

Algeria: Internal conflict stalls release of Austrian Tourists.

According to a report in the Algerian daily, Ech-Chourouk, negotiations are continuing between the militants and Vienna for the release of the couple believed to be held in the Sahara region, near the border of Algeria, Mali and Nigeria.

The terrorists are reported to have softened their stance in seeking a ransom in exchange for their release and Austria has reportedly accepted in principle the payment of a ransom in the order of five million euros.

However, negotiations have stalled because of confusion generated by the leader of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in the Algerian mountains, Abdel Malik Droukedel, who is apparently seeking a political victory.

Yahya Jawadi, also called Abu Omar, is the leader of the Tareq Bin Ziyad Brigade which also operates in the Algerian Sahara, is unlikely to agree to the deal.

Since the kidnapping, this group has been forced to cease its terrorist activities in the area due to lack of funds and is seeking a ransom in order to relaunch their role in the region.