Al-Qaida leader in Algeria surrenders

admin Contributor
Font Size:

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Algeria’s Interior Ministry says a leader of al-Qaida’s North Africa offshoot has turned himself in to authorities.

The ministry says Atmane Touati — alias Abu El Abbas — gave up after his wife “convinced her husband to abandon the criminal horde and come home.”

The 37-year-old allegedly took part in a long-running Islamic insurgency against the government in the 1990s, and was seen as an ideological leader of the Algeria-based affiliate of al-Qaida.

The ministry said Monday that Touati on May 25 became one of four members of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQMI, to turn himself in recently.

The statement said the defections pointed to the “ruin and disarray” within the movement now nearly in a phase of “every man for himself.”