Olivier Guitta at Counterterrorism Blog notes that Morocco is now under high alert after a possible "dry run." Add Morocco to a growing list of countries in North Africa on high alert. With Al Qaeda's current use of the 11th day for their operations, it may just be a jittery Sunday throughout the region.
UPDATE: London Times reports on the ongoing threat to Europe from Al Qaeda's growing presence and capabilities in Africa.
Intelligence sources contacted by The Times in London, France, Spain, Germany and the US as well as in North Africa show a remarkable uniformity when describing the threat posed by AQIM. At present it is not the size of its membership that is causing alarm – one Western intelligence source said that its hardcore numbered about 200 fighters – but the speed with which it has reorganised itself in a region emerging from a conflict that has claimed up to 200,000 lives in the past decade.
While it has continued to attack Algerian forces AQIM has widened its range of targets – including Westerners – using tactics honed in Iraq: suicide attacks and a variety of bombing techniques. “They are definitely growing in sophistication and, taken as a whole, this presents us with a very disturbing picture,” the source said.
“They’ve done all this in a relatively short time, some of it through the use of the internet where they can organise, download training videos, recruit via encrypted forums.
“There are disturbing trends that suggest they have been training others from both the Sahel and the Maghreb countries: Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Senegal, Mauritania and Burkina Faso.”