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Algeria foils al-Qaeda plot to attack US, European ships in Mediterranean

Algiers, Wed, 25 Jan 2012 ANI

Algiers, Jan 25 (ANI): Algerian security forces have reportedly foiled a terror plot by an al Qaeda affiliate to carry out suicide attacks with an explosive-laden boat on US and European ships in the Mediterranean sea.


Algerian authorities arrested three members of an alleged terror cell, believed to have been directed by an al Qaeda affiliate in Algeria, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)


According to ABC News, American officials said that the US government had been aware of the plot before the media report, but said Algerian authorities deserve credit for the arrests.


The boat-borne suicide bomb tactic appeared to be strikingly similar to that employed when terrorists bombed the USS Cole in October 2000.


In that case, two men on a small boat laden with explosives rammed the Cole while it was refueling in Yemen. The attack killed 17 American sailors.


Though the American officials said the new plot appeared to be "in the early stages," Algerian daily newspaper Echorouk noted the men had already purchased a boat to be used in the bombing.


The suspects reportedly confessed to the plot after their arrest.


According to the paper, the men came to the attention of authorities after frequenting Internet cafes where they surfed jihadist websites, used false names and exhibited "strange behavior." (ANI)


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