Algeria

Overview:  The United States and Algeria continued to strengthen their CT partnership in 2022 through regular dialogue and exchanges of technical expertise.  Algeria maintained its significant efforts to prevent terrorist activity within its borders through a consistent tempo of CT operations to arrest and eliminate terrorist suspects, dismantle and disrupt terrorist cells, and destroy hideouts, arms, and other equipment.  These operations further diminished the terrorist organizations’ already-limited capacities to operate within Algeria.  Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb and allied groups and ISIS’s Algeria branch, including the local group Jund al-Khilafah in Algeria (Soldiers of the Caliphate in Algeria), remained in the country — though in ever-smaller numbers, as they have been unable to attract new recruits or significant new resources.  These groups did not conduct any terrorist attacks in 2022.  The U.S. government assessed that the country’s security forces could credibly reduce the likelihood of domestic terrorist threats to a negligible level within the coming year.

Terrorist activity in Libya, Mali, and Niger — as well as human, weapons, and narcotics trafficking — contributed to the regional threat, particularly in border areas, and Algeria’s security apparatus focused on preventing these elements from threatening Algeria.  Additionally, in 2022, Algerian authorities targeted the Berber separatist Movement for the Self-Determination of Kabylie (or MAK) and the Islamist movement Rachad, which the government designated as terrorist organizations in 2021.  The United States considered this attention to have been more political than security related, as both groups are highly critical of the government and do not appear to have committed what the United States defines as terrorist acts.  The Algerian government occasionally charged individuals with terrorism-related crimes for activities that appeared to constitute protected expression and peaceful activism.

2022 Terrorist Incidents:  Algeria-based terrorist groups did not conduct any domestic terrorist attacks in 2022.  According to the Algerian Army’s yearly report, it killed 20 terrorists in CT operations; arrested 385 terrorists and affiliates; and destroyed more than 64 terrorist caches, approximately 97 homemade bombs, and 623 other weapons during CT operations in 2022.  Algerian security forces sometimes engaged in armed violence with extremists during these operations, occasionally suffering casualties.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security:  In February the Algerian government issued an executive order requiring the registration on a national list of terrorist persons and entities.

The Algerian judicial system tried and convicted several terrorists and their affiliates, and the government maintained its strict “no concessions” policy regarding individuals or groups holding its citizens hostage.  Algerian military forces and multiple law enforcement, intelligence, and security services addressed CT, counterintelligence, investigations, border security, and crisis response.  These included the various branches of the Joint Staff, the Algerian Army, the National Gendarmerie, and border guards under the Ministry of National Defense (MND); the Directorate General of Internal Security; and the national police (the General Directorate of National Security) under the Ministry of Interior.  The MND’s public announcements provided timely reporting on incidents during which its forces captured or eliminated terrorists, dismantled terrorist cells, and seized equipment and arms.

Border security remained a top priority for Algeria in 2022.  The Algerian government closely monitored passenger manifests of inbound and outbound flights.  A January interministerial decree was given to strengthen the interoperability of government CT services relevant to the international organization of the National Unit of Passenger Information (UIP).  Algeria also added provisions requiring the communication of passenger data (Advanced Passenger Information/Passenger Name Record) to the UIP unit, which was accompanied by a decree defining the processes for doing so.

Algerian security and law enforcement agencies participated in training and exchanges offered by the U.S. government and by third countries.  Algerian participants attended numerous workshops conducted under the GCTF, the United Nations, the EU, the AU, and other multilateral organizations.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism:  Algeria is a member of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force and its FIU, the Financial Intelligence Processing Unit (CTRF), is a member of the Egmont Group.  In 2022, the government announced it would restructure the CTRF to revitalize its FIU and implement FATF recommendations.  The restructuring established and strengthened five thematic working groups to counter money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF).

In December, Algeria’s lower house of Parliament passed amendments to Algeria’s anti-ML/TF laws.  The upper chamber of Congress was expected to review and pass the legislation in early 2023.

The proposed amendments to Algeria’s anti-ML/TF laws prescribe new penalties for institutions or individuals accused of either crime, and add provisions to the existing legal framework to counter proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.  The proposed amendments would also establish a new institution controlled by the executive branch to regulate all funding received by civil society organizations.

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2022 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism:  Algeria maintained a robust, multidimensional approach to CVE.  In February, President Tebboune — in his capacity as AU coordinator on efforts to counter terrorism and violent extremism — provided a report for the AU Summit in Addis Ababa underscoring the importance of comprehensive CVE and deradicalization efforts in Africa.

International and Regional Cooperation:  Algeria continued to support CT and security efforts through participation in international, multilateral, and regional organizations.  It engages actively with United Nations affiliates such as the UN Office of Counterterrorism and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, as well as other organizations such as INTERPOL.  Algeria is an active member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum and co-chairs the GCTF’s West Africa Region Working Group, hosting and participating in numerous workshops and working group meetings.

Algeria hosts the African Union Mechanism for Police Cooperation (Afripol) police union, and it plays a leading role in CT-related matters in the AU, including by hosting its Center for Study and Research on Terrorism.  Algeria remains chair of the implementation committee for the peace accord in Mali and continues to support the UN political process in Libya.  Algeria also hosted and participated in various Sahel-Saharan fora to discuss development and security policies and the evolution of regional terrorism.  Notably, Algeria leads the Joint Military Staff Committee (or CEMOC), which exists to coordinate CT cooperation among Algeria, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger.  Regional tensions between Morocco and Algeria remained an impediment to bilateral and regional CT cooperation.

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