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Canadian Muslim in Charge of Bloody Jihadist Massacre in Algeria

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01/21/2013 03:41 PM
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Canadian Muslim in Charge of Bloody Jihadist Massacre in Algeria
ALGIERS, ALGERIA—A total of 37 foreign workers died at an Algerian desert gas plant and seven are still missing after a hostage crisis coordinated by a Canadian, Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal said on Monday.

“A Canadian was among the militants. He was coordinating the attack,” Sellal told a news conference, adding that the raiders had threatened to blow up the gas installation.

American, British, French, Japanese, Norwegian, Filipino and Romanian workers are dead or missing after the attack, for which veteran Islamist fighter Mokhtar Belmokhtar has claimed responsibility on behalf of Al Qaeda.

The jihadists had planned the attack two months ago in neighbouring Mali, where French forces began fighting Islamists this month, Sellal added.

In Tokyo, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a news conference he had received information that seven Japanese had been killed and the fate of three more was still unknown.

Six Filipinos died and four were wounded, a government spokesman in Manila said.

Norwegian International Development Minister Heikki Holmaas said his stepfather, Tore Bech, was among the missing and presumed dead. Bech was a manager at the site for the Norwegian energy company Statoil.

Belmokhtar—a one-eyed jihadist who fought in Afghanistan and Algeria's civil war of the 1990s when the secular government fought Islamists—tied the desert attack to France's intervention across the Sahara against Islamist rebels in Mali.

“We [his group including the Canadian Muslim] in Al Qaeda
announce this blessed operation,” he said in a video, according to Sahara Media, a regional website.

[link to www.thestar.com]