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Islamic State in Algeria video threat

IS video threatening to target Algeria [YouTube]

Date of publication: 16 July, 2015

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The Islamic State group has released a video threatening to target Algeria, where authorities are cracking down on militants .
A video purportedly made by the Islamic State group (IS, formerly ISIS) posted on IS's website, has warned the people of Algeria will "pay a heavy price" for the crackdown on jihadis in the country.

The video, which bears the IS logo and appears to be filmed in the group's stronghold in Raqqa in eastern Syria, shows two alleged Algerian IS members identified as Abu al-Baraa al-Jazairi and Abu Hafs al-Jazairi, reading a "message to the people of Algeria." 

The two men railed against infidels, and called for jihad in Algeria, vowing the country would serve as a gateway for the Islamic State's expansion into Andalusia, a medieval Muslim name for Arab Spain. 

The two men also claimed that militant groups in the Skikda province in eastern Algeria and in the Algerian Sahara have now pledged allegiance to IS. 

IS already has local franchises in Algeria, the best known of which is Jund al-Khilafa, which has clashed with security forces on several occasions. Jund al-Khilafa started out as a splinter faction of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), announcing itself in April 2014 with an ambush of an army convoy, killing 11 soldiers. 

In September 2014, it switched allegiance to IS and shortly afterwards kidnapped and murdered a French tourist. Algerian authorities launched a major anti-terror operation following the attack.

Recently, there have been indications IS has plans to expand its activities in this major North African nation, following its expansion in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia, where IS carried a massacre last month, killing 38 tourists.

In the 1990s, Algerian Islamist groups fought in a bloody civil war known as the black decade, triggered by scrapped elections won by Islamist parties.

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