The CIA says the kidnappers hided in Mali

The two Austrian hostages’ crisis:

The CIA says the kidnappers hided in Mali

El Khabar, 19 March 2008

Austria has called the help of the US Central Intelligence Agency, CIA as well as the cooperation of both Algerian and German intelligence services to release the two hostages being kidnapped by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

Furthermore, the CIA has indicated that the kidnappers are hided in Mali, exactly in Tigharghar area, in Kidal region, near the borders with Algeria.
Meanwhile, a communiqué posted by Al-Qaeda on internet said the ultimatum has been prolonged until next Sunday at midnight, as to give a chance for Austrian Authorities “meeting our demands.”
However, the Austrian Courier newspaper quoted a source within the CIA saying: “the two hostages are detained in Tigharghar area, situated on a hill near Abeibara region, northern Mali.”
The same source said contacts with the kidnappers, led by Abdelhamid Abu Zaid is being made by radios from the Embassy of France in Mali capital Bamako, pointing out that negotiators have managed persuading the kidnappers bringing down the ransom from 5m euros to a lower unknown amount.
However, it seems the kidnappers are insisting on their demand of releasing former leaders in Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, GSPC.
In this context, the communiqué announcing the prolongation of the ultimatum mentioned: “likewise you are insisting on freeing your nationals, we also insist on releasing our brothers.”


By A.K/ Translation A.A