Algeria is failing arms trafficking by the Libyan border

Posted on September 22, 2012


Forces the National People’s Army in the border region adjacent to Libya recently received to get hold of 32 weapons and 14,000 ammunition during an operation launched near Karat Alain south of Djanet in the province Illizi. This operation was part of 12 September as part of the research undertaken along the desert border often used by traffickers and terrorists to smuggle weapons.

ANP soldiers arrested three members of the gang, including a Libyan, and another was wounded by gunfire.

This operation was triggered when the Algerian security forces have noticed the movements of a number of SUV from the south of Libya, they were then ambushed. A first analysis showed that these weapons had been seized in the arsenals of the Libyan army and had to be returned to drug gangs and drug traffickers in the district Tazrouk, in the province of Tamanrasset.

The Algerian army has recently stepped up its patrols in the south. Its units are now equipped with monitoring systems powerful and sophisticated, they can cover large areas. These capabilities enable military, as during this operation, monitor a region spanning about 260 kilometers from Djanet.

In recent months, the Algerian security forces have managed to derail several smuggling operations of weapons, including Katyusha rockets, machine guns and ammunition types. Security forces discovered weapons caches along the border used by traffickers to conceal their contraband materials, so they do not fall into the hands of security patrols.

Over the last ten months alone, security forces stationed in Tamanrasset and Illizi, along the borders with Libya, Niger and Mali, have seized 104 weapons.

Fifty percent of these weapons were shotguns, the rest consisting of heavy weapons that terrorists were trying to get in the arsenals of the former Libyan regime. Some also came from arms dealers who took advantage of the Libyan revolution to bring large quantities of weapons in neighboring countries.

During surveys last month, intelligence services have uncovered a plan by al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb on a large-scale trafficking of arms obtained in Libya to be transferred in the Algerian desert, in passing through the desert of Mali and Niger. This operation was intended to get these weapons traffickers who had then buried in the sites identified in the desert, to allow later to terrorists to use against the security forces of the Algerian government in the south.

The Algerian authorities are also setting up special units to rake the desert routes used by traffickers and terrorists to hide weapons seized in Libya. A number of Algerian drones and devices equipped with thermal detectors and night observation devices were deployed along the border with Mali and Niger, as well as along the eastern border with Libya.

The security forces are considering the establishment of surveillance systems and alarm system on the border with countries with a troubled security situation. This deployment is designed to reduce security threats along the borders with Libya and northern Mali under the control of jihadi groups. End of 2011, the Ministries of Defense and Interior have established a working group to study the project.

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