Early February, Algeria and WHO denied any plague outbreak in the area known to be used by AQIM.
Algeria and the World Health Organization have separately rejected reports that a bubonic plague mishap killed dozens of al-Qaeda operatives at a base in the African state, Agence France-Presse reported today (see GSN, Jan. 21).The denial text from AQIM is available as PDF at NEFA Foundation. Of course, denial by al-Qaeda is totally expected so it doesn't carry much weight.
"No case of plague of any type has been recorded in any region of Algeria since 2003 in Oran," Algerian Health Ministry spokesman Slim Belkessam said yesterday.
The World Health Organization verified that the 2003 incident was the most recent Algerian case to be reported.
U.S. and British newspapers reported that a failed attempt to weaponize plague bacteria killed roughly 40 members of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb at a site about 60 miles east of Algiers.
Al-Qaeda dismissed the report in a statement on an extremist Web site.
A high-level U.S. intelligence official last month also rejected the plague report, but told the Washington Times that the extremists had apparently suffered exposure to some sort of biological or chemical agent (Agence France-Presse/Google News, Feb. 4).
As noted by Infidel Bloggers Alliance,
Anis Rahmani, an Algerian security expert, noted that AQIM had trouble making explosives from fertilizer - the complicated and expensive process of weaponizing plague bacteria was far beyond the capability of the cave-dwelling insurgents.This was most probably a false report based in a fact of some dead AQIM bad guys, but that does not mean we should let our guard down. Ineptitude at making fertilizer bombs doesn't translate to absolute incompetence in all things. Who knows, some of the terrorists could be fabulous chefs.
the very fact that no legitimate case has been reported suggests that this reported outbreak is unlikely... What can certainly be discounted is the possibility of AQIM conducting experiments in weaponizing the plague or other infectious diseases in their remote mountain hideouts.
The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.