Sunday, March 11, 2012

My 130 days in the hands of al-Qaeda's African "monsters", by former hostage

An interesting first person account by an ex prisoner of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and his observations about the nature of the Islamic terrorists in N. Africa.


My 130 days in the hands of al-Qaeda's African "monsters", by former hostage

The killing of British hostage Chris McManus in Nigeria is a wake-up call to the threat posed by Islamic militants in Africa, warns former kidnap victim Robert R Fowler

9:00PM GMT 10 Mar 2012

In December 2008, I was making my third trip to Niger as the United Nations Special Envoy, attempting to broker a peace between the government and rebel Tuareg groups. One Sunday, two weeks before Christmas, my colleague, Louis Guay, and I were returning to the capital, Niamey, in a UN vehicle when a truck passed us, slewed in front and forced us to a stop.

Two AK-47s were aimed at the face of our driver, and within the blink on an eye all three of us were torn from our seats and thrown into the back of their truck. The whole grab took perhaps 40 seconds.

Thus began our 56-hour descent into hell, a 1,000 km off-road nightmare into the middle of the Sahara desert. Twelve hours into that appalling journey, we stopped for a couple of hours rest. As I paced back and forth, the sentry, a young Senegalese, looked up from where he was making tea and asked, “Have you figured out who we are yet?” Refusing to acknowledge the dawning reality, I shook my head and he spat “We are al-Qaeda,” enjoying the effect as the bottom fell out of my world.

Article continues HERE.