Is al-Qaida active in North Africa? That’s the worry in Algeria, after two explosions set off by suicide bombers Wednesday killed at least 24 people. The attacks targeted the prime minister’s office building in Algiers and a suburban police station.
Responsibility for the bombings was claimed by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, an Islamist group that has pledged loyalty to Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
“With a suicide attack in the heart of Algiers, you have an escalation to a new level,” said Jean-Louis Bruguiere, France’s top antiterrorism magistrate. “It’s unquestionably an attempt at destabilization and a sign of the emergence of Al Qaeda in the Maghreb as an organization.”