Islamic State video threatens Algeria, Spain

Algiers, July 16 (IANS/AKI) A new video purportedly by the Islamic State extremist group has warned Algerians “will pay a heavy price” for a crackdown against jihadis in the North African country, and it also threatens Spain.

Entitled “A Message to the Algerian People”, the five-and-a-half minute video was posted to IS’s website.

In the video, two purported Algerian IS fighters vow the group will conquer Algeria and Andalusia in southern Spain. “We won’t be satisfied until we reach Andulusia,” say the two Algerian militants, promising a “massacre”. They call themselves by the battle names Abu al-Baraa al-Jazayiri and Abu Hafs al-Jazayri.

The slickly produced video bearing the IS logo was purportedly filmed in the group’s stronghold of Raqqa province in northern Syria.

In the video, the bearded IS fighters rail against “unbelievers” in Algeria and urge more Algerians to join their cause, slamming democracy as an “impious religion”.

“We are happy that our brothers in Skikda and the Algerian desert have sworn loyalty but we seek the allegiance of other jihadists,” they say.

Skikda is a province in the militant stronghold of eastern Algeria.

Algerian authorities launched a major anti-terror operation after the IS-affiliated Jund al-Khilafa jihadi group claimed the kidnapping and beheading of French mountaineering guide Herve Gourdel in the northeast Kabilia region last September.

Jund al-Khilafa was formerly a faction of Al Qaeda’s North African branch, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. AQIM grew out of Algerian Islamist groups that had fought in the bloody 1990s civil war sparked by scrapped elections won by an Islamist party.

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