US interest to Algeria is not “naïve”

Louis Caprioli, DST former antiterrorism officer, to El Khabar

US interest to Algeria is not “naïve”

Algeria will defeat al Qaeda /Our relations with Algeria intelligence are trust-based and deep-rooted

El Khabar, 15 november 2007

Louis Caprioli, a former antiterrorism officer with France’s counterespionage agency, the Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire, or DST, who is now a consultant with a private security firm, GEOS, said the Algerian security services are on the right track in terms of terror eradication, noting that the US interest to Algeria is not “naïve”.

El Khabar: By what the affiliation of the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, GSPC, to al Qaeda is motivated?
Louis Caprioli: Historically, the Islamic Armed Group GIA then the GSPC had already relations with al Qaeda. But Djamel Zitouni, former GIA chief, refused the affiliation to al Qaeda since he was alone in the battle field. Droukdel however has seized the opportunity to internationalize his fight as the latest hope to survival.

El Khabar: Hassan Hattab has surrendered recently, and some talk about schism within Droukdel organization, how do you explain it?
Louis Caprioli: The Algeria security services have been combating terror since the 90s, be it at the military or the political level, and both have weakened terrorism. Schism within the GSPC has indeed origins in the solutions offered by the system in power. In addition to Hattab there is Belmokhtar who withdrew owing to his endless dispute with Droukdel. Anyway, the GSPC is no more a strong organization and I’m sure the Algerian security services are on the success track.

El Khabar: Is it possible that the 90s terror years resurrect in Algeria?
Louis Caprioli: I don’t think so. When I was in the French intelligence services, working together with our Algerian counterparts, even in the darkest years -1993, 94, 95- we had no doubt that Algeria could gain the upper hand on terrorism, because the Algerian people was against terror. The situation in Algeria is witnessing a valuable improvement at the economic, financial, social, and political levels, and I don’t think that Algeria can move backwards.

El Khabar: Which solution fits the best, the reconciliation or the pure security solution?
Louis Caprioli: I think that both are necessary. There are two categories of terrorists, those who want to surrender and those who stick to terror and have to be eradicated. I know that it will be difficult and painful for terror victim families, but they will understand one day that it is the sole way to do it. However, what’s more difficult to manage, in my opinion, is the international circumstances that fuel terrorism and which are beyond local governments’ control.

El Khabar: Don’t you think that the French companies’ decision to repatriate the employees was somehow hasty?
Louis Caprioli: Foreign company security management shall be set jointly with Algerian security services. Paris Airports attack plot has been outmanoeuvred thanks to the joint collaboration of the French and the Algerian security services. I think that it’s time to stop associating terror to the Arab countries. Countries all over the world are vulnerable to terrorism and the French companies could do better than staying in Algeria.

El Khabar: The US security services are engaging with their Algerian counterparts a military cooperation plan; don’t you think that the French are lagging behind?
Louis Caprioli: We are not lagging behind. We already have had good, tight and deep-rooted trust-based relations. We fought together the GIA. Indeed the USA is deploying much more efforts but to catch up the big delay. Yet their efforts are not naïve, they know very well that the Algerian military and intelligence have acquired new counter terrorism techniques that can benefit the USA.


Interviewed by K.Z/ Translation by N.K

To be read too
US interest to Algeria is not “naïve”
El Khabar censure victim!
Half million permitless houses
Algeria doesn’t want to conclude any nuclear agreement with Iran
2008 Finance Act adopted by MPs
Milk companies to close down next week
CPA’s new partner to be known as by February 2008