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Non-Western responses to terrorism$
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Michael J. Boyle

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781526105813

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526105813.001.0001

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Algeria: Algeria’s response to violent extremism

Algeria: Algeria’s response to violent extremism

10 Algeria: Algeria’s response to violent extremism
Non-Western responses to terrorism

George Joffé

Manchester University Press

Since the 1980s Algeria has had to respond to political extremism. In the wake of the ‘Berber Spring’ in 1980, it had to react to the Bou Yali rebellion. Then, in October 1988, countrywide discontent and an organised Islamist movement challenged the single official political party’s claim to embody the legitimacy of the Algerian revolution by leading the struggle for national independence. In late 1991, the Algerian army, fearing that the Islamist movements might win legislative elections, took control. Within a year it faced a complex insurrection in which some groups sought to restore the electoral process and others attempted to replace the state with a caliphate. Algeria’s strategy and tactics in this struggle have evolved from counter insurgency during its 1990s civil war to suppression of ‘residual terrorism’ afterwards. Although this forced the groups concerned into the Sahara and the Sahel, it did not eliminate them, so Algeria has been forced to attempt to influence group behaviour in Northern Mali, despite pressure from the United States and, latterly, France for direct engagement. One approach has been to organise a regional response despite the tensions between Algeria and Morocco over the Western Sahara. However, the Libyan crisis has forced direct Algerian intervention and pushed the country into reluctant engagement with Western paradigms of confronting non-state terrorism and violence.

Keywords:   Algeria, Violence, Extremism, Residual Terrorism, France

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