Plane hijack brings Algiers war to France
Monday 26 December 1994
President Francois Mitterrand is believed to have given his assent to contacts and understandings intended to stop acts of terrorism on French soil or against French targets. But the policy has been undermined by the ebb and flow of influence between theForeign Minister, Alain Juppe, and his hard-bitten Ministry of the Interior counterpart, Charles Pasqua, who favours a direct approach against violent fundamentalism.
Negotiations included successful pressure on Iran to minimise practical support for Muslim insurgents in Algeria. The Iranian government is said by Western officials to have given initial token assistance to the Groupe Islamique Armee (GIA), one of the most violent off-shoots of Algeria's fundamentalist movement.
But diplomats believed - until the events of the past two days - that the activities of the GIA and its comrades had been confined to Algerian domestic targets and to resident foreigners. The attack on an airliner of the French national flag carrier has turned that assumption upside-down and raised the international stakes in the conflict.
For their part, the beleaguered Algerian security services have desperately sought help from France, Britain, Spain and the US. It is understood Britain was unwilling to clamp down on fundamentalist exiles in London unless they broke the law.
By contrast, Islamic militants publicly blame France for providing weapons, intelligence and training to the military-dominated government, which took over after elections were cancelled. French political leaders have long feared the overflow of violencefrom Algeria to France, and Mr Pasqua has proved the apostle of firm containment of the problem.
In a key development, the French government controversially freed Iranian suspects sought by Swiss police for the murder of an Iranian opposition leader near Geneva.
Switzerland made a formal protest to France over the decision, which appeared to breach European conventions on fighting terrorism. Diplomatic sources say the men were allowed to go back to Tehran in exchange for an understanding that Iran would not react to a violent assault by the Algerian security forces against a fundamentalist network in eastern Algeria.
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
Follow the latest events from this Champions League fixture
Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice
Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'
techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
Ukraine crisis: Donetsk 'tactical missile' explosion at factory sends blast wave across rebel-held city
Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
Oscar de la Renta dead: Legendary US fashion designer dies after long cancer battle aged 82
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
Super-sized ships arrive in Britain: How big can they get?
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments
Competitive: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsford a...
£100 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: IT teacher required immediately...
£60000 - £70000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£20000 - £23000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Assistant - Windows XP/7/8, Netwo...