Algerian army kills IS operative behind Frenchman's beheading

Abdelmalek Gouri was wanted in connection with the death of Herve Gourdel this past September.

AP
In this still image from video published on the Internet on Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, by a group calling itself Jund al-Khilafah, or Soldiers of the Caliphate, captive Frenchman Herve Gourdel appeals to French President Francois Hollande to help free him.

In a late night operation, Algeria's army killed the leader of an Islamic State splinter group blamed for the kidnapping and beheading of a French hiker, the Ministry of Defense said Tuesday.

The militant, Abdelmalek Gouri, was killed together with two associates in the army ambush late Monday in the town of Isser near the city of Boumerdes, 25 miles east of Algiers, the ministry said in a statement.

Two other militants also were killed Tuesday morning nearby, the ministry said.

A local security official said the military had been tracking Gouri for a while and nearly caught him a month before.

"This time the intelligence services had information that he was coming to visit his parents so they set an ambush," the officer said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

A group calling itself Jund al-Khilafah and pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group in Syria kidnapped French hiker Herve Gourdel in the Djurdjura mountains in September, and issued a video condemning French participation in US-led airstrikes in Iraq.

As Algeria scrambled to find the hostage in the mountainous region, Gourdel was beheaded on video a few days later. The group later issued other videos showing masked men carrying weapons in a forest and pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group.

The Algerian army has since carried out a massive search of the remote mountains to find the group. In October and again in December, it killed two of its members.

Gouri, a former Al Qaeda commander, split from Al Qaeda in September and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, promising new operations.

While Al Qaeda is active in the deserts in the deep south of Algeria, its activities in the northern mountains are restricted to just occasional attacks on soldiers.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Algerian army kills IS operative behind Frenchman's beheading
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Latest-News-Wires/2014/1223/Algerian-army-kills-IS-operative-behind-Frenchman-s-beheading
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe