23. März 2013 · Kommentare deaktiviert für Algerien, Erdgasförderanlage In Amenas: Streik im Transportsektor, Repression und Antiterrorismus · Kategorien: Algerien, Frankreich · Tags: ,

A New Phase in the War on Terror?: A Report by Jeremy Keenan
Written by Jeremy Keenan, 14.02.2013


„[…] According to numerous sources, most especially the survivors of the In Amenas attack, the terrorists appeared to have some degree of knowledge of the plant, suggesting that they may have had some assistance from the inside. Survivors are reported as saying that “the amount of information on the plant available to the attackers suggests they had inside information.” However, the attackers’ apparent lack of ‘high level’ technical knowledge of the plant suggests that their more basic knowledge of the plant may have come from accomplices amongst the unskilled employees.

The section of the workforce under scrutiny is some 100 local drivers who were involved in a six-month strike that at times brought the plant close to a standstill during 2012. The strike only ended in December, a few weeks before the attack. So far, no drivers appear to have been singled out, in spite of the Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal saying that the attackers had obtained information about the plant’s workings and arrived with a former driver from the facility and that “the terrorists knew what they were doing.”

According to reliable sources, the strike consisted of two factions: skilled technical and administration workers, mainly from Algeria’s north, and unskilled drivers, primarily local Tuareg workers. Both groups apparently worked on short-term contracts with SARL BAAT, the company that Mounir B has linked to AQIM leader Abou Zaïd, but wanted permanent contracts with Sonatrach.

Reports indicate that the main tension was with the local drivers, some of whom are said to have linked their grievances at the plant with the wider grievance, commonplace throughout much of Algeria’s south and the neighbouring Sahel (viz. Areva’s uranium operations in Niger), that they don’t benefit from the natural wealth of the their region.

I was able to discuss the driver dispute with local Tuareg informants shortly after the In Amenas attack. They had little knowledge of the labour unrest and were of the opinion that the majority of the drivers were Chaamba from the Ouargla region and not Tuareg (a fact which the plant operators will presumably be able to ascertain). There were clearly some Tuareg drivers from the Illizi region, although my informants were not aware of any significant ramifications of the unrest within the Tuareg social and political milieu. They said this was because the dispute focused mostly on the Ouargla region, the headquarters of the SARL BATT transport company, and involved mostly Chaamba rather than Tuareg drivers.

This information, for what it is worth, throws the light back on Ouargla, which has been beset by serious labour and civil unrest over the last year or more. This unrest has been met with excessive brutality from the police. Court records have revealed that the heavy police action was ordered by the DRS.

This is not to say that the transport dispute may not have been of significance in the attack. Indeed, it is clear that investigators of the In Amenas attack should dig deeper into both the nature and possible relevancy of the transport dispute and Mounir B’s allegations of linkages between the transport company’s owner and AQIM leader Abdelhamid abou Zaïd. […]

Several Western governments and their media have heralded the In Amenas terrorist attack as marking a new phase in their GWOT. They might be correct, but what they are more likely to find themselves having to face is something rather different, namely questions about what their intelligence services, notably those of the US and UK, have actually been doing in North Africa over the last few years.“

Beitrag teilen

Kommentare geschlossen.