Algeria Hostage Situation Taking Place Within Struggle Among Al Qaeda Leadership

Control of the growing Al Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb disputed


The hostage operation in an Algerian gas facility comes during a leadership struggle in the main al-Qaeda faction operating in North Africa, analysts say.

The hostage takers, who call themselves the "Signers in Blood," say they work for Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a founder of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and who has waged an Islamist war against the Algerian state and others for more than two decades.