Palace Intrigue Surrounds Algeria’s Aging Bouteflika

Palace Intrigue Surrounds Algeria’s Aging Bouteflika
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika meeting with French President Francois Hollande, Algiers, Algeria, June 15, 2015 (Algerian Press Service via AP).

The day before Tuesday’s terrorist attacks in Brussels, a European Union representative visiting Algiers told Algerian officials that their country is “pivotal” in the fight against terrorism. He also praised Algeria for political changes that he called “an improvement of the situation.” The former is undoubtedly true. The latter was probably just a diplomatic nicety.

The “situation” in Algeria remains as murky as ever. An al-Qaida terrorist attack against a gas facility last week prompted foreign firms to pull expatriate workers. Almost simultaneously, a police raid in Brussels targeted an Algerian citizen and member of the so-called Islamic State, in whose apartment police found the clues that led to the capture of Salah Abdeslam, the lone surviving assailant in the Paris attacks of last November.

The fact is that Algeria’s situation is characterized by multiple levels of visible, opaque and downright invisible political doings. While Algerian foot soldiers are playing a major role in the competition between al-Qaida and the Islamic State, suit-and-tie politicians in Algiers continue to play an enigmatic and potentially dangerous game.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.