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It does not appear that it was a hostage rescue gone bad, but the Algerians doing what they learned from the French in the 50s. The Algerian military surrounded the compound and killed everyone who looked like a terrorist. If someone died because they were collateral damage – too bad. These people are not subtle, using tanks and helicopters, and do not use special forces with unique training. They use normal military people with no sophistication. It should also be realized that the Algerians are also prone to killing people and blaming it on the terrorists. No wonder they were not amenable to receiving outside military assistance or even letting Americans, the British or the Japanese on the ground until the area was sanitized.

It also appears that the goal of the terrorist raid was to kill Americans and other infidels and blow up the facilities. No hostages as there was no plan to trade them for publicity, amnesty for jihadists, etc. The request for the Blind Sheik held in the United States was a ruse.

It is also possible that Americans were killed in the assault and the Algerians are going to pin this on the terrorists.

Bottom line …

The Algerian response to terrorists is not to effect hostage rescues, only to kill terrorists. We cannot trust our government to tell us the truth about the Fast and Furious gun-walking in Mexico, the transfer of heavy military items from Benghazi, what really happened in Algeria or anywhere else in the world. Because the Algerians tightly control the media – with no foreign correspondents on the ground in the area – they can say anything they want and hope it will be believed.

Note: we have a major special operations base in Tamanrasset, Algeria, so don’t expect the United States to pursue any dead Americans.

-- steve

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