Despite Shake-Ups, Algeria’s Security Apparatus Stronger Than Ever

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika sits on a wheelchair after taking oath as president, Algiers, April 28, 2014 (AP photo by Sidali Djarboub).
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika sits on a wheelchair after taking oath as president, Algiers, April 28, 2014 (AP photo by Sidali Djarboub).
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On Sept. 13, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced the retirement of Gen. Mohamed “Toufik” Mediene, head of the Department of Intelligence and Security (DRS), days after sacking several top generals who worked under Mediene and weeks after the arrest of a former intelligence chief. Bouteflika’s office claimed that the retirement decision was made “in line with the constitution.” But that muted explanation belied the stunning decision to remove Toufik, as he is widely known in Algeria, who has been the head of Algeria’s state intelligence service for 25 years. Created in 1958 during Algeria’s War of Independence as the Ministry […]

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