The Maghreb region was shaken by terrorist attacks in Algeria and in Morocco. Two suicide car bombers blasted targets in Algeria resulting in the death of probably 12 Un workers together with about 15 other people. The Interior Minister of Algeria, Noureddine Yazid Zerhouni blames the attacks on the Salafist Group For Preaching and Combat(GSPC) but other sources believe they were the result of actions by al-Qaeda. Three extremists blew themselves up in Casablanca as they were being chased by police. Morocco authorities expected further attacks in the coming days and the capital was placed on alert.
Many Muslims are visibly upset at the prospect of having Algeria and Morocco becoming the center of extremist attacks. There are already fears that Europe will use such violence as justification for cracking down on Muslims within the EU. A European police(EUROPOL) report released yesterday revealed that 498 terrorist attacks were registered in the European Union last year. Out of them, only one, in Germany, was related to islamist extremism. But, over half of the 700 detained suspected terrorist were Muslims.
Morocco is a poverty-stricken nation in which a small upper class lives very well while the majority of people just get by. Although Morocco has been stable and does not have any significant terrorist group, there is always the possibility that extremists will use poverty as a vehicle to arouse passions against the government or nations of the West. Algeria worked its way through a horrendous civil war between Islamist insurgents and the government. if al-Qaeda is going to be operating in Algeria, it will compel the government to use resources fighting violence that might be used to stimulate economic development.