The terrorist group Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is reportedly planning to abduct Kerry Kennedy, President of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center) during the visit she was to start Tuesday to Polisario-controlled camps in Tindouf in Algeria, reported “Middle East Confidential” quoting reliable US intelligence sources.
According to ME Confidential, the CIA is “holding credible evidence that AQIM is plotting to kidnap Mrs Kennedy just before she meets Polisario Officials.”
The plot is very likely as kidnapping a US citizen would “strike in the heart” AQIM’s most hated enemy, the United States of America, which has designated it as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, the sources noted.
Mrs Kennedy, who is the daughter of late Robert F. Kennedy and the ex- wife of New York governor Andrew Cuomo, started Friday a visit to the disputed Western Sahara and to the Sahrawi refugee camps in Algeria.
Kerry Kennedy and her accompanying delegation of international human rights advocates are seeking to assess human rights situation on the ground by speaking to human rights defenders, government authorities, and ordinary families split apart by this decades-old conflict.
The plot to abduct a US citizen on Algerian territory was also hatched, according to the same sources, in retaliation to the arrest on August 15 of three terrorists, including a senior AQIM member, thought to be close to its leader, Abdelmalek Droukdel.
Mrs Kennedy is due to visit the same locations where three European humanitarian workers were kidnapped by an AQIM offshoot called “Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa” in October 2011, which adds to the fears that a Kidnapping attempt is possible.
All intelligence materials gathered by the Agency were transmitted to Algerian security forces before the visit, ME Confidential said.
Commentators say this explains why the Polisario leaders put their security services on maximum alert and issued orders to limit the movement of refugees and to set up check points all around the camps.
The President of SADR in person issued orders to the security services to take all necessary measures to prevent any contingency and to have the situation under control.
Mohamed Abdelaziz also ordered a curfew as well as bans on all demonstrations and sit-ins especially in front of the Polisario headquarters in Rabouni during the Kennedy center delegation visit.