News

African Group with Al-Qaida Ties Says it Kidnapped Italian Couple

Spokesman for al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb says kidnapping was tied to Italy's crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

African Group with Al-Qaida Ties Says it Kidnapped Italian Couple
African Group with Al-Qaida Ties Says it Kidnapped Italian Couple

Italy says it will not negotiate with an al-Qaida group that has claimed responsibility for kidnapping two Italians in Mauritania. The North African al-Qaida branch known as al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb said on Sunday that it was behind the recent kidnapping of an Italian couple in Mauritania.

In an audio message broadcast on al-Arabiya television on Monday, a spokesman for al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb said the group is behind this month's kidnapping of an Italian couple in Mauritania. The spokesman said the kidnapping was tied to what he called Italy's crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Italy has 3,150 troops in Afghanistan and 91 troops in Iraq. It announced this month it would send an additional 1,000 troops to Afghanistan in 2010.

Italy's Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said Monday that Rome had no direct contact with any representative of the group and did not plan to negotiate with a terrorist organization.

Frattini said there would be no change in Italy's policy in Afghanistan.

Italian citizens Sergio Cicala and his wife Philomene Kaboree disappeared in southeast Mauritania on December 18.  Afterward, Mauritanian authorities found the couple's car abandoned and riddled with bullet holes.

The couple's disappearance followed the abduction of three Spaniards in northern Mauritania in late November, another kidnapping claimed by the same al-Qaida group.

Mauritanian security forces said last week they had arrested a suspect in the kidnapping.  Sources said the man was from neighboring Mali, where the group has also claimed responsibility for abducting a Frenchman. In addition, they claim to be behind the abduction of three Spanish aid workers in Mauritania last month, and U.S. officials blame the group for the killing of an American teacher in June in the capital city.

Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb is a Sunni organization, which was formerly known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat. It began as an insurrection against Algeria's secular military rulers after they canceled parliamentary elections in 1992 when it appeared a coalition of Islamist groups might take power.

It has since expanded and aligned itself with the broader al-Qaida terrorist network, claiming responsibility for suicide bombings in Algeria last year and the kidnapping of two Austrian tourists in Tunisia who were later freed in Mali.

It is considered a terrorist group by both the U.S. State Department and the European Union. 

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs