Islam Online reports that “political analysts believe the security measures taken by Algerian authorities during Ramadan – when attacks of armed groups against civilians and police forces usually intensify – have largely contributed to limit the scope of such attacks and allowed citizens to enjoy quiet, secure Ramadan nights.”
The story explains that “armed groups usually declare the intensification of what they term ‘Jihad against Satan and his followers’ during the holy month of Ramadan.” This, of course, seems to be utterly inconsistent with the idea of Ramadan as a time of spiritual purification, but from the radical Muslim perspective it’s entirely in keeping with it; radicals see violent jihad as just that: an act of spiritual purification.
This has long been a serious problem in Algeria. Says the article: “Victims of violent incidents during Ramadan in 1997 have topped 3000. It amounted to genocides, but such numbers decrease gradually year after another with the improvement of the security conditions in Algeria.”
This “improvement of security conditions” is very much like open warfare: “Algerian army forces, for their part, have launched extensive attacks against the armed groups, killing 16 armed men in three days. The security forces liquidated 10 terrorists and restored several machineguns in Saida and Gulaizan provinces. . . . A source close to the security agencies, who refused to be named, told IslamOnline.net that the army forces attacked an armed group Thursday, eventually killing eight. Military forces also killed two armed people in Awlad Eiiesh district. The military forces also killed six other armed persons Wednesday, November 5, in Assas Mountain, during a military operation similar to the previous two.”
Nevertheless, “despite the security measures taken during the holy month, the armed groups managed to penetrate through their mountainous edifices and kill four persons Wednesday and Thursday in Media and Sacdida provinces, according to Algerian newspapers.”
I wonder what the authorities are doing on the ideological side of this struggle — to disabuse Muslims of the notion that killing people is a good way to please Allah during Ramadan.