Algeria has a reputation for countering violent Islam, fighting terrorism, and dealing with the threats at home. The African Muslim nation was even called “an important counterterrorism partner” in the American 2015 Country Reports on Terrorism published by the US State Department. But recently they have opened their arms to none other than Hamas, an internationally-recognized terrorist organization, according to the Ma’an News Agency.
On top of welcoming the Hamas branch of Iranian-sponsored terrorism into their country, one Algerian official called for Arab nations to abandon the United States and partner with Iran instead. “Now it is time for action and not words; it is much better to become allied with Iran, as the main regional power, than showing hostility towards it since this enmity will only benefit the enemies of Arabs and the Muslim [world],” the Fars News Agency quoted Algerian Member of Parliament (MP) Hassan Aribi as saying.
While Aribi was described by Fars as a senior MP in Algeria, he is not part of the ruling governmental faction and is nothing new to outspoken headlines. Earlier this year, he protested the mere presence of an Israeli journalist in the country, according to a report from Asharq Al-Awsat.
Meanwhile, Hamas official Ahmad Youssef told Ma’an on Tuesday that Algeria had agreed to allow Hamas to open an official bureau in the country. Hamas has a long history of violent extremism, launching thousands of missiles at Israel, conducting suicide bombings, and fighting multiple wars with the Jewish state.
So while Algeria has previously been praised by the US for its counterterrorism efforts, it’s now literally opening the door to one of the region’s most violent offenders.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, September 14, 2016)