Hostages : How the Aqmi and Polisario paths intersect

The Mauritanian police operation led on the 6th November in Nouadhibou, if it has allowed the arrest of two Polisario elements responsible of the kidnapping of the three Western people, it has nevertheless not succeeded to obtain information on the destiny of the kidnapped persons. No indication about the three hostages (two Spanish and one Italian) who should be sequestrated by a group from Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, was available after the arrest of the two Sahrawi kidnappers. According to the Mauritanian police, Aghdafina Hamady Ahmed Baba and maminna Algaguir Ahmed Baba, are the main persons responsible of this kidnapping. The latter took place on 23rd October in Rabouni camps, located near Tindouf in Algeria. The camp is controlled by the Polisario fighting, with the Algerian support, against Morocco for the independence of the Western Sahara region.

Their arrest comes in less than two weeks since the confession made by the two Aqmi members, who were taken prisoners on the 22nd November by the Algerian army in Kabyle. The revelations of the two jihadists have thus oriented the investigation towards Aqmi, which should have benefited from the complicity of some Polisario elements to achieve this operation On their side, the Mauritanian security services have assured that after their kidnapping in Polisario camps, the three Western people were given to the men of Mokhtar Belmokhtar, one of the most bloodthirsty chiefs of Aqmi. The absence of any claiming from Aqmi terrorist groups supports the thesis of kidnapping by some Polisario elements. A thesis, which tends to be confirmed with the brutal interruption of the aid given to the Polisario by Kadhafi when he was alive. Finding themselves at a loose, many Polisario fighters turned into all kinds of traffics in the Sahelo-Saharan large desert: arms, drugs and cigarettes traffic as well as illegal immigration of Sub-Saharans, sub-contracting of operations for the control of transfer of arms from neighbour countries and sequestration of hostages to get ransoms from Western countries… This is how the paths of Aqmi and many Polisario elements get crossed.