Hostage situation ends in Algeria, 7 hostages killed

posted at 11:31 am on January 19, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Algerian special forces conducted a final raid on a natural-gas processing center in an attempt to end the standoff between al-Qaeda-linked terrorists and the government.  The raid killed eleven terrorists, but not before the terrorists killed seven more hostages:

Algeria’s special forces stormed a natural gas complex in the middle of the Sahara desert in a final assault Saturday, killing 11 militants, but not before they in turn killed seven hostages, the state news agency reported.

The report, quoting a security source, didn’t specify if any hostages or militants remained alive or give the nationalities of the dead.

Algerian authorities estimated that around 30 militants occupied the Ain Amenas site Wednesday and with 18 already reported dead, it appears the hostage crisis involving hundreds of plant workers is finally over.

There was no official count of how many hostages were still being held by the final group of militants holed up in the gas refinery on Saturday, but the militants themselves had reported they were still holding three Belgian, two Americans, a Japanese and a Briton.

Algeria had been embarrassed by an earlier attempt this week, which killed both terrorists and hostages without resolving the situation.  Some had questioned why Algeria hadn’t tried negotiating with the AQ-linked terrorists, to which they answered that Algeria will not negotiate with terrorists … just like the US.

How many of the hostages were left alive — if any? Or for that matter, how many of the terrorists?  So far, it’s not clear what the survival numbers from the assault were:

The Algerian army has secured control of the natural-gas field where hostages were held by Islamist militants for four days after a final assault on the complex, an Algerian industry official said Saturday.

The official said some hostages had been killed during the assault but that he did not yet have a precise account.

The official said Algerian soldiers were still combing the site to search for explosives allegedly planted in the facility by militants.

The U.K. foreign office said that a large majority of British nationals involved in the hostage crisis were safe. It said that fewer than 10 British people are now at risk or unaccounted for. That is down significantly from Thursday night, when there were fewer thank 30 British people at risk.

Reuters reports that at least some of the hostages survived:

The exact death toll among the gunmen and the foreign and Algerian workers at the plant near the town of In Amenas close to the Libyan border remained unclear.

Earlier on Saturday, Algerian special forces found 15 burned bodies at the plant. Efforts were under way to identify the bodies, the source told Reuters, and it was not clear how they had died.

Sixteen foreign hostages were freed on Saturday, a source close to the crisis said. They included two Americans, two Germans and one Portuguese. Britain said fewer than 10 of its nationals at the plant were unaccounted for.

The attack on the plant swiftly turned into one of the biggest international hostage crises in decades, pushing Saharan militancy to the top of the global agenda.

Remember that when people try to tell us that the radical Islamist terrorist networks are “decimated.”

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Comment pages: 1 2

I pray for all the hostages and pray for those who might have been killed and their families.
L

letget on January 19, 2013 at 11:35 AM

There record is as good as Killary’s.

trs on January 19, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Phew. Well. We can close the case file on that one. The FBI has more important things to do anyway, like background checks.

BKeyser on January 19, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Obama recalled the opening lines of the Arabic call to prayer, reciting them with a first-rate accent. In a remark that seemed delightfully uncalculated , Mr. Obama described the call to prayer as “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.”

Flange on January 19, 2013 at 11:36 AM

bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive!

a capella on January 19, 2013 at 11:36 AM

I hate this crap.

rob verdi on January 19, 2013 at 11:37 AM

The need to kill that dbag Omar Abdel-Rahman.

BallisticBob on January 19, 2013 at 11:37 AM

that Algeria will not negotiate with terrorists … just like the US.

From what I have seen lately…

We don’t even acknowledge that a crisis even took place..

Electrongod on January 19, 2013 at 11:37 AM

British defense chief: Terrorists ‘bear the sole responsibility’ for hostage deaths in Algeria – @AP

13 mins ago from http://www.washingtonpost.com by editor

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/british-defense-chief-terrorists-bear-the-sole-responsibility-for-hostage-deaths-in-algeria/2013/01/19/3919c382-624e-11e2-81ef-a2249c1e5b3d_story.html?wprss=rss_social-world-headlines
========================================================

8 Scottish residents involved in Algeria hostage crisis confirmed as ‘safe and secure’ – @SkyNewsBreak

23 mins ago by editor

canopfor on January 19, 2013 at 11:38 AM

I can imagine, if being attacked, the last thing someone wants to do is take the time and bullets to kill a captive…if it’s done right, the captors are fighting for their life…

right2bright on January 19, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Remember that when people try to tell us that the radical Islamist terrorist networks are “decimated.”

Clearly this was just a man-caused disaster… /Jedi Obama Mind Trick: these are not the terrorists you are looking for…

SWalker on January 19, 2013 at 11:39 AM

The real story here, Ed, is: not even the sound of crickets from Obama, Hillary, and crew …

ShainS on January 19, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Look for the coming photo op of Obama overseeing this “successful” raid…

right2bright on January 19, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Algeria hostage crisis ends in bloodshed

By Lotfi Mokdad (AFP) – 11 minutes ago
**************************************

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5goP8Qg9DRRRuxlA3K6TsBusaub5Q?docId=CNG.b13ded9289e5f21d1bc5dbe35b038129.591

canopfor on January 19, 2013 at 11:40 AM

So much for Obummer and his minions meme that the world will love us again, that AQ is gone and “there never was a war on terror because it was a made up story by evil Booosh to get is into wars for oil…”

Bushitler Obummer and the lefties lied and people died…

Liberty or Death on January 19, 2013 at 11:40 AM

BP chief executive: 14 out of 18 BP staff who were at Algeria site are safe – @Reuters

1 min ago by editor

canopfor on January 19, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Clearly this was just a man-caused disaster… /Jedi Obama Mind Trick: these are not the terrorists you are looking for…

SWalker on January 19, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Work place dispute..

Nothing more..

Electrongod on January 19, 2013 at 11:40 AM

We don’t even acknowledge that a crisis even took place..

Electrongod on January 19, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Exactly, you can’t negotiate with something that does not exist…now they have to find out who posted the video that caused all of this ruckus…

right2bright on January 19, 2013 at 11:41 AM

I blame the video… If we’d just be a little more sensitive to the muslim religion.

iceman1960 on January 19, 2013 at 11:41 AM

The picture doesn’t go with the story.

It will be some time before we know what really happened. The Algerians are deliberately cagey about these kind of operations and have a long history of not saying what is really going on in these actions.

lexhamfox on January 19, 2013 at 11:41 AM

right2bright on January 19, 2013 at 11:39 AM

I wouldn’t put it pass that arrogant little worm bho! He hasn’t had his face on the tube today as far as I can tell?
L

letget on January 19, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Some of the hostages did survive, mostly the Algerian ones. The militants were looking for “foreigners” and let the Algerians go.

“…The kidnappers focused on the foreign workers, largely leaving alone the hundreds of Algerian workers who were briefly held hostage before being released or escaping….”

“At least 19 hostages and 29 Islamist militants have been killed….”

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/ML_ALGERIA_KIDNAPPING?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-01-19-09-51-18

tencole on January 19, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Work place dispute..

Nothing more..

Note to self: Never take a job in 3rd world islamic crap hole country. No matter how much it pays.

Tc0061 on January 19, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Meanwhile,………weeks later the State Department finally makes
an announcement!

US State Department issues Mali travel warning – @AP

10 hours ago from hosted.ap.org by editor

canopfor on January 19, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Honestly… the next time we have to send troops to some islamic hell hole we need to level every mosque and burn every koran before we leave.

iceman1960 on January 19, 2013 at 11:47 AM

Work place dispute..

Nothing more..

Note to self: Never take a job in 3rd world islamic crap hole country. No matter how much it pays.

Tc0061 on January 19, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Words to LIVE by…

SWalker on January 19, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Work place dispute..

Nothing more..

Electrongod on January 19, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Electrongod:)

Yup,Fort Hood,which would make this hostage ordeal,
the third AQ Attack,

on the Democrats Watch!!

Bush in 8 years,………………ZERO Attacks

Hopey/Copey,….3 Terrorist Attacks in less than 5 years
on American Soil!

canopfor on January 19, 2013 at 11:49 AM

…under JugEars rule… American life is cheap!

KOOLAID2 on January 19, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Honestly… the next time we have to send troops to some islamic hell hole we need to level every mosque and burn every koran before we leave.

iceman1960 on January 19, 2013 at 11:47 AM

I say we…

SWalker on January 19, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Meanwhile,………weeks later the State Department finally makes
an announcement!

US State Department issues Mali travel warning – @AP

10 hours ago from hosted.ap.org by editor

canopfor on January 19, 2013 at 11:44 AM

And Shillary is reported to be back in the hospital..
/

Electrongod on January 19, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Algeria’s special forces stormed a natural gas complex in the middle of the Sahara desert in a final assault Saturday, killing 11 militants, but not before they in turn killed seven hostages, the state news agency reported.

Algerian authorities estimated that around 30 militants occupied the Ain Amenas site Wednesday and with 18 already reported dead, it appears the hostage crisis involving hundreds of plant workers is finally over.

George W. Bush could not be reached for comment by the liberal media.

(miss him yet?)

Rovin on January 19, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Hopey/Copey,….3 Terrorist Attacks in less than 5 years
on American Soil!

canopfor on January 19, 2013 at 11:49 AM

But they were all Booshes fault…..

SWalker on January 19, 2013 at 11:51 AM

This is a very sad, but not unexpected outcome. Algerian “special forces” is a bit of a bad joke (resisting comparison to special education here). These are the consequences we as a nation get stuck with when we “lead from behind” and allow our military inferiors to take care of business. People traveling and working abroad need to realize that in the age of Obama, we can no longer expect the power of the US to come to the rescue when the situation turns bad, The Islamists, under whatever nom du jour they are using at the time, are not decimated and not going away until defeated. We Americans as a nation no longer have the will to fight and defeat this enemy to western civilization. Leaving situations like this to be dealt with by the likes of “our friends” the French and Algerians are consequences for our inaction.

Prayers for the survivors, families and friends of this horrible situation.

simkeith on January 19, 2013 at 11:51 AM

KJ Update: ALL THE HOSTAGES ARE DEAD.

Algerian special forces stormed a natural gas complex in the middle of the Sahara desert on Saturday in a “final assault” that ended a four-day-old hostage crisis, according to the state news agency and two foreign governments. At least 19 hostages and 29 Islamist militants have been killed.

The report, quoting a security source, didn’t say whether any hostages or militants remained alive, and it didn’t give the nationalities of the dead.

It said the army was forced to intervene after a fire broke out in the plant and said the militants killed the hostages. It wasn’t immediately possible to verify who killed the captives.

Dear God in Heaven, I wish we had an American President.

kingsjester on January 19, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Mr. Obama described the call to prayer as “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.”

Flange on January 19, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Matched only by the cries of allahuakbar and resonating gun fire.

Religion of Peace? My butt.

Has anyone seen anywhere in the regional press or major Arabic or Moslem news sources from anywhere in the world any word of condemnation of this atrocity?

Not this one, either?

Sounds about right.

coldwarrior on January 19, 2013 at 11:53 AM

Benghazi: Fail
Algeria: Fail

Say what you want about Bush/Cheney, I don’t doubt for a second that foreign sovereignty would have stopped them from acting.

http://dailycaller.com/2013/01/18/mark-steyn-screw-algerias-sovereignty-rescue-the-hostages/

can_con on January 19, 2013 at 11:53 AM

I say we…

SWalker on January 19, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Couldn’t have said it any better myself ;)

iceman1960 on January 19, 2013 at 11:53 AM

When you hate the military, defund and demoralize it, refuse to acknowledge we have an enemy and gut the intelligence community, this is what you get. More death, lies, chaos under Obama’s new world utopia.

katy on January 19, 2013 at 11:53 AM

Wait till the reason for the attack turns out to be to prevent the use of fracking in Algeria.

Then we’ll see some coverage.

BobMbx on January 19, 2013 at 11:54 AM

This is what leading from behind looks like.

iceman1960 on January 19, 2013 at 11:55 AM

bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive!

a capella on January 19, 2013 at 11:36 AM

And al-Qaeda is on the run, right? While Prezuhdunce Nero obliviously prepares to celebrate the extension of his dreadful, hapless, scandalous, cataclysmic, rotten, evil prezuhduncy.

stukinIL4now on January 19, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Religion of Peace? My butt.

coldwarrior on January 19, 2013 at 11:53 AM

That’s because you keep spelling it wrong, it makes far more sense when spelled correctly… Religion of Pieces… As in, a piece of Achmed here, and a piece of Achmed there, and a piece of Achmed hanging from the streetlamp across the street…

SWalker on January 19, 2013 at 11:56 AM

UK foreign office: Efforts continue to make Algeria gas site secure and establish status of British nationals – @BBCNews

3 mins ago from http://www.bbc.co.uk by editor
===========================================

LIVE Algeria hostage crisis

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21073655#TWEET535955

canopfor on January 19, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Remember that when people try to tell us that the radical Islamist terrorist networks are “decimated.”

Yeah, another fantasy brought to you by “Smart Diplomacy” and the jug-eared community organizer.

GarandFan on January 19, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Hillary Clinton On Algeria: CLEARLY A TERRORIST ATTACK!!!!!

Hillary Clinton on Benghazi: Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh………

pilamaye on January 19, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Algerian army operations since Thursday have killed 29 militants; original group of kidnappers thought to have been around 30 – @BBCNews

1 min ago from http://www.bbc.co.uk by editor

canopfor on January 19, 2013 at 12:00 PM

canopfor on January 19, 2013 at 11:49 AM

But they were all Booshes fault…..

SWalker on January 19, 2013 at 11:51 AM

SWalker:D*mmitt,not again!:)
(sarc)

canopfor on January 19, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Obama killed Osama.

The Arab’Spring’ is in full bloom.

Obama’s brothers flourish like never before. He is the perfect leader for them.

Osama Bin Laden, strategic genius. American people then elect/re-elect his capo.

The new Organizing For Action (OFA) stands for Obama Flukes America.

Schadenfreude on January 19, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Heres how it should of went!!

Major airstrike hacked survalence(IRAQ).mp4
*******************************************

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_9AitqfaMc

canopfor on January 19, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Workplace violence – just like the Muzzie major at Ft. Hood.

bw222 on January 19, 2013 at 12:05 PM

The real story here, Ed, is: not even the sound of crickets from Obama, Hillary, and crew …

ShainS on January 19, 2013 at 11:39 AM

He’s busy for the innauguration.

On Monday have some root canals and colonoscopies in his honor. He deserves no more.

Schadenfreude on January 19, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Chabane, who worked in food services, said he bolted out the window and was hiding when he heard the militants speaking among themselves with Libyan, Egyptian and Tunisian accents. At one point, he said, they caught a Briton.
“They threatened him until he called out in English to his friends, telling them, `Come out, come out. They’re not going to kill you. They’re looking for the Americans,’” Chabane said.
“A few minutes later, they blew him away.”

Oh but Al Queda is on the run and their leadership is decimated — b.s.

CoffeeLover on January 19, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Say what you want about Bush/Cheney, I don’t doubt for a second that foreign sovereignty would have stopped them from acting.

http://dailycaller.com/2013/01/18/mark-steyn-screw-algerias-sovereignty-rescue-the-hostages/

can_con on January 19, 2013 at 11:53 AM

can_con:Exactly my thoughts,good point,Obama,is MIA-AWOL!!

canopfor on January 19, 2013 at 12:07 PM

So a bunch of Buddhists with 30-round mags strike again.

End the madness!

Bishop on January 19, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Amen KJ @11:52

cmsinaz on January 19, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Oh but Al Queda is on the run and their leadership is decimated — b.s.

CoffeeLover on January 19, 2013 at 12:06 PM

They are on the run. However it’s more of a charge than a retreat.

Flange on January 19, 2013 at 12:09 PM

So a bunch of Buddhists with 30-round mags strike again.

End the madness!

Bishop on January 19, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Do they have gun control there? “For the children” — Obama/Biden

Schadenfreude on January 19, 2013 at 12:09 PM

pilamaye on January 19, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Has anybody found that new YouTube video that inspired this latest terrorist act?

I am sure there is one, there simply has to be, these guys were just hanging around the wadi, watching a little harem porn on their net hot spot, when Akhmed says, “Did you guys see this?” And shows them some video produced by some kid in West Covina, that has a bunch of kids dressed as rag heads and making fun of the profit, er, prophet…

They just had to do something…those infidels must all pay for this slight to the nobility of the Religion of Peace (or pieces, whichever) and they demanded an apoloigy…Obama is good at that, they heard. So they head out over 100 kilometers of desert to politely ask the nearest Westerners if they could just call their governments and ask them to tell that kid in West Covina to stop insulting Islam? Right?

Translation problems, they were all tired (that’s a hell of a long walk, you know) and then some security guy takes out a gun…and the rest? Just like Benghazi, just one major misunderstanding.

If Ambassador Rice still had any clout…she’d be on all the talk shows in the morning telling us that that kid in West Covina was the problem.

Yep. Smart Power. Isn’t.

coldwarrior on January 19, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Our enemies are smiling

cmsinaz on January 19, 2013 at 12:10 PM

SAT Imagery

Photos: Satellite images of the under-siege gas facility near In Amenas, in Algeria – @itvnews

22 hours ago from http://www.itv.com by editor
===========================================

http://www.itv.com/news/update/2013-01-18/in-amenas-gas-facility-seen-from-the-sky/

canopfor on January 19, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Evidently, Obama’s allegiance to the adherents of the “religion of peace” outweighed his duty to the captured American citizens that were murdered because of his inactivity.

kingsjester on January 19, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Our enemies are smiling

cmsinaz on January 19, 2013 at 12:10 PM

cmsinaz:

And Hopey is smirking!
(sarc)

canopfor on January 19, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Obama needs to tell us whether the number of casualties is optimal.

Christien on January 19, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Obama is too busy playing kindergarten.

Schadenfreude on January 19, 2013 at 12:14 PM

can_con:Exactly my thoughts,good point,Obama,is MIA-AWOL!!

canopfor on January 19, 2013 at 12:07 PM

canopfor, Mark Steyn, can_con , all good Canadians fighting the good fight!

can_con on January 19, 2013 at 12:14 PM

George W. Bush could not be reached for comment by the liberal media.

(miss him yet?)

Rovin on January 19, 2013 at 11:51 AM

No, but then I am a conservative.

bw222 on January 19, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Forget AQ, there are millions of domestic terrorists right here in the U.S. who are armed with barrel shrouds and picatinny rails.

Let us concentrate on the real threat.

Bishop on January 19, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Algerian Special Forces. Hmmmmmmmmmm
Not so special after all…just some additional armed thugs!

Art on January 19, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Oh yeah Canopfor @12:14

cmsinaz on January 19, 2013 at 12:18 PM

kingsjester on January 19, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Apparently not optimal or something.

Besides, he’s got a party to tend to on Monday, all his friends and folks from the hood…and a lot of celebrities.

A couple American expats out in the middle of the Sahara? They were apparently well-paid. Knew the danger. Probably voted for Romney.

Pffft, why bother?

Now, where’s the wagyu and Moet & Chandon?

coldwarrior on January 19, 2013 at 12:18 PM

O is too busy getting OofA ready to “campaign” for his 2nd Term Agenda by cozying up to his donors (as did Biden)…today he is cheering on community service! And then there is his big inauguration on Monday.

CoffeeLover on January 19, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Evidently, Obama’s allegiance to the adherents of the “religion of peace” outweighed his duty to the captured American citizens that were murdered because of his inactivity.

kingsjester on January 19, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Just some more bumps in the road.

VegasRick on January 19, 2013 at 12:18 PM

“If there’s even one life that can be saved, then we’ve got an obligation to try.”

~Barack “Benghazi” Obama

Christien on January 19, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Remember that when people try to tell us that the radical Islamist terrorist networks are “decimated.”

Yeah, that was like, uh, over 2 months ago, right? Have you seen the latest on the Manti story? This Algeria thingy is just a few more bumps in the road and not as optimal as the coronation on Monday.

Kissmygrits on January 19, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Honestly… the next time we have to send troops to some islamic hell hole we need to level every mosque and burn every koran before we leave.

And get a giant air tanker to spray pig blood over the whole damned place.

Tc0061 on January 19, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Bumps

cmsinaz on January 19, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Obama will invite the survivors to one of the Inaugural Balls.

profitsbeard on January 19, 2013 at 12:21 PM

It’s because they had guns… It’s because they saw a YouTube video… It has nothing to do with violence in the media… It’s Republicans fault for distracting Obama… It’s Republicans fault for trying to get Hillary to testify about Benghazi which had nothing to do with this.

4 more years and forward… Obama is the Lincoln of our time…

Skywise on January 19, 2013 at 12:23 PM

Victoria Nuland
Spokesperson
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
January 18, 2013
****************

Index for Today’s Briefing

ALGERIA
Hostage Situation / Secretary’s Call with Prime Minister Sellal
*******

TRANSCRIPT:

12:19 p.m. EST
***************

MS. NULAND: All right, everyone. It is Friday. As you know, the Secretary’s having lunch with Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida in about 45 minutes, and she’ll be available to you with him later this afternoon. So we’re going to be relatively economical here today. I have a couple of little things at the top before we get to what’s on your minds.

First, to say that I want to take a moment to note the passing of Turkish broadcast journalist Mehmet Ali Birand, one of Turkey’s most influential media figures. We salute his lifetime contributions to freedom of the press in his country and beyond. He was known for his penetrating and insightful interviews with leading personalities in Turkey and the international community, including Secretary Clinton. Our condolences obviously go to his family and his colleagues in the Turkish media.

The second thing is to note that a couple of days ago, the Secretary delivered the oath of office to our new Ambassador to Kenya, Robert Godec. This is important because, as one of our most strategic partners in Africa, Kenya is preparing to hold national elections on March 4th. These are the first national elections under Kenya’s new constitution, and they’re an opportunity for Kenya to show the world that it has moved decisively past the tragic violence following the disputed 2007 elections. Underscoring our commitment to a strong relationship with the people and Government of Kenya and our commitment to support free, fair, and peaceful elections, the Secretary wanted to get Ambassador Godec on his way as quickly as she could.

Let’s go immediately to Algeria. I know this is on your minds. I am going to say, again, as I have for the last three days that the situation remains extremely fluid on the ground. We are continuing our work with the Government of Algeria and with other affected nations to try to resolve this issue. In that context, the Secretary spoke for a third day in a row today with Prime Minister Sellal. But given that this is an ongoing hostage situation, I am still not going to be in a position to get into any details here with regard to the status of Americans or any other hostages out of concern for the safety and security of all of them, and the hope that we can minimize the loss of innocent life here.

Let’s go to what’s on your minds.
*********************************

QUESTION: First to clarify: So you won’t speak about any Americans who may have left the country already, even if they’re well out of harm’s way?

MS. NULAND: I’m not going to speak about any Americans, the condition that they find themselves in, until we’re able to speak about the entire situation, which we’re not at this stage.

QUESTION: Okay. On the conversations the Secretary had with the Algerian Prime Minister, can you give us a rundown of what they spoke about? Did she express any concerns about how the Algerians are handling the situation?

MS. NULAND: Well, this was an opportunity again to get his perspective about exactly what’s happening on the ground, how the operation is unfolding. She obviously expressed our concern for our citizens. They had some detailed conversation about that. As we have throughout this, we urged that we minimize loss of civilian life here. They also talked about the challenge that Algeria has had historically with terrorism. She spoke a little bit yesterday when she saw all of you about the work that she has been spearheading here, beginning with her trip to Algeria and then Bill Burns’s follow-up trip and other work to strengthen Algeria’s capacity against terror. And she made clear that even after this incident is over, we want to continue to deepen and strengthen that relationship. I’ll guess that she’ll have more to say about this later this afternoon.

QUESTION: Just to clarify, we missed – we haven’t had a readout on either yesterday’s or today’s. So I think yesterday’s conversation would have been the first they had since the operation was launched. Did she express any concern, considering that there might not have been perfect coordination or consultation ahead of that?

MS. NULAND: Well, again, I’m not going to get into the details in the interest of our effective coordination with our Algerian partners. You’re right that she, yesterday, also had an opportunity to get an update on the operational steps that the Algerians had taken, the concerns that we had going forward, cooperation going forward, et cetera.

QUESTION: And then today, this is – what new happened in the last 24 hours that she needed to speak to him today?

MS. NULAND: Well, again, they had taken some operational steps when she spoke to him yesterday. It’s clear that the situation is ongoing. She was looking to get an update from him today with regard to how they were going to handle things going forward, the various concerns that we had, et cetera.

QUESTION: Did she get an update from him –

MS. NULAND: She did. She did.

QUESTION: — on how they’re going to handle things going forward?

MS. NULAND: She did.

QUESTION: So you’re confident you know where the Algerians are and what they’re going to do over the next day or two?

MS. NULAND: Well, again, as we’ve been saying, we’ve been maintaining open lines with the Algerians all the way through at her level, but also at the level of our counterterrorism experts. So this was an opportunity at that political level to compare notes.

Michael.

QUESTION: Toria, you mentioned the –

MS. NULAND: Yeah, Michael.

QUESTION: — concerns she expressed about going forward. What are those concerns?

MS. NULAND: Again, I’m not going to get into any further details here beyond what I said at the top. You’ll have a chance to talk to her later this afternoon. All of us obviously have to put a premium on the safety and security of those hostages that remain and of the operation that’s going on. So getting into these kinds of details is not helpful, unfortunately, to that end.

QUESTION: And what was the nature of the update? What information did the Algerians convey?

MS. NULAND: They compared notes on our understanding of the situation on the ground; obviously talked about the situation with regard to Americans; talked about plans moving forward. Talked about, also, our commitment to strengthening and deepening our longer-term, broader counterterrorism cooperation with the Algerians.

QUESTION: Did the Algerians explain how long the operation is to last, or how many hostages may have been released? Did they provide those sorts of details? Can you share those with us?

MS. NULAND: I don’t have anything further in terms of the details of the conversation that it would be helpful to share at this point.

QUESTION: But you can confirm that the Algerians have basically, or as they claim, liberated one side, and another operation is undergoing now? Could you confirm –

MS. NULAND: I’m not in a position to talk about any operational details. It’s not helpful to the ongoing operation.

QUESTION: Okay. Would you concur with (inaudible) of the British Government that the news is not good?

MS. NULAND: I’m not going to go any further than I’ve gone here.

QUESTION: Did the Algerians ask for any specific sort of assistance from the U.S. – intelligence gathering, equipment, personnel? Did the U.S. make any offer of any of those types of assistance to this operation?

And I guess the follow-on is: Is the U.S. Government confident that the Algerians could do this by themselves?

MS. NULAND: Again, I’m not going to get into those kinds of operational details here. It’s just not helpful.

Please.

QUESTION: But it’s a confidence question. I mean, that’s – that certainly, if the U.S. is concerned about its citizens’ well-being, other situations, we have seen troops go in. There are these FAST teams that come out of Europe. Is this a situation where there’s no need for that to be brought into play? Can the Algerians liberate all of these hostages without assistance from the U.S. or perhaps from other countries?

MS. NULAND: Again, I’m not going to comment on the status of an ongoing hostage situation, other than to say we are, as we’ve made clear here, in intensive consultations with them at her level and at other levels.

Please.

QUESTION: Toria, so we understand that you wouldn’t have, like, specific details about the situation on the ground. But what would be the next step for the – fight terrorism in the Sahel and North Africa? So how U.S. Government and especially Algeria will fight terrorism after the end of this crisis?

MS. NULAND: Well, I want to refer you to the remarks that the Secretary made yesterday when she was with the Somali President. She did a really full discussion of the counterterrorism cooperation that we’ve had with Algeria but also our efforts across the region, including the training and capacity-building efforts that we have with 10 countries in the region, the intelligence sharing that we do, et cetera. So obviously, this has to continue and it has to deepen over time.

QUESTION: Madam, can I just follow up quickly?

MS. NULAND: Can I just go to Michel, please, who’s been patient?

QUESTION: Yeah, thank you. The terrorists are asking for the release of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and Aafia Siddiqui from the U.S. prisons. Do you have any reaction to that?

MS. NULAND: The United States does not negotiate with terrorists.

QUESTION: That means –

QUESTION: So do you apply that to Algeria? Algeria does not negotiate with terrorists?

MS. NULAND: I’ll say it again. The United States does not negotiate with terrorists.

QUESTION: I’m asking, do you expect Algeria to live up to the same model?

MS. NULAND: We do not negotiate with terrorists. We’re obviously in consultations with the Algerians.

Please.

QUESTION: Two questions. Just to make sure, so you won’t say –

MS. NULAND: Can you tell me who you are, please?

QUESTION: Mike Levine with Fox.

MS. NULAND: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Two days ago –

MS. NULAND: Every time I turn around, there’s a new Foxy here.

QUESTION: You said the same thing the last time I was here.

MS. NULAND: I’m sorry. I apologize. Which was about two months ago, right? Your cameo. All right.

QUESTION: You said two days ago on – at this podium, I believe, that Americans were being held hostage. Just to make sure, now you won’t say whether Americans still are being held hostage.

MS. NULAND: I think we’ve been clear that we have American hostages. We’ve been clear about that.

QUESTION: And that’s still the case?

MS. NULAND: Yes.

QUESTION: Okay. One other question: How confident are you that the U.S. Government has a good grasp of what’s actually taking place on the ground there?

MS. NULAND: As I said, we are in constant communication with the Algerian Government, the third day in a row. The Secretary has talked to the Prime Minister, and we have an open channel in the counterterrorism chain.

QUESTION: But in terms of what’s transpiring, you think the – that you guys have a good understanding of what’s happening there?

MS. NULAND: I think I’ve spoken to the efforts we’re making to try to be coordinated.

Please.

QUESTION: Victoria, have you been in this building surprised by the boldness and the large scale of this hostage-taking operation, given the fact the Algerians have announced, few days before, that they have sealed the borders in the aftermath of the military intervention of the French?

MS. NULAND: Look, I think we all recognize that this is a ruthless terrorist attack. Algeria has a very long history of dealing with terrorism. This is an extremely remote area of the country and an extremely large facility. So they are dealing with people who have no respect for human life, and it is obviously in our interest to see them successfully bring this situation to a conclusion.

QUESTION: Well, how do you know they have no respect? I mean, there’s a lot of hostages who are still alive. It’s not like they’ve killed everyone. This notion that they have no respect, do you have indications that they’re executing people or something?

MS. NULAND: We don’t have indications of anything new to report on that front, but this is a group that has ruthlessly taken a large group of people hostage. They have no respect for human life.

Please.

QUESTION: Victoria –

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: When you say that Algeria has had a long history in dealing with terrorists, is that a vote of confidence in their capability?

MS. NULAND: Again, I think we’ve done what we can do here in the middle of an ongoing situation.

Goyal.

QUESTION: Just following, this hostage, I agree what you said, Madam, but my question is that – do you agree that even though United States got Usama bin Ladin from Pakistan, and now he has still his military force or these terrorists around the globe, do you – can you say that now they are moving from the Afghanistan-Pakistan border or from inside Pakistan, they are moving around the globe to terrorize people?

MS. NULAND: Well, the Secretary also spoke to this a little bit yesterday when she was standing with the Somali President. She made the point that even though we have greatly degraded al-Qaida in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, that the organization is turning its sights to its far-flung affiliates, trying to help them with their level of capacity, with their level of ambition, and we’re seeing that reflected in what’s going on with al-Qaida in the Maghreb, with al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

Let’s go to Nicolas. I want to – because we’re not up here very long, I want to make sure everybody gets –

QUESTION: Just a detail. There are reports that the U.S. has sent a plane to evacuate hostages to – they have sent a plane to Algeria. Is it correct?

MS. NULAND: I don’t have any comment on that one way or the other.

Please.

QUESTION: Just one more. What was behind the conflicting reports about the end of the operation between yesterday and today?

MS. NULAND: I don’t think any American made reference to an end of an operation. You need to talk to the Algerians.

QUESTION: How many sites are there that are under hostage control? Is it just – I mean, one site or –

MS. NULAND: Again, I’m going to send you to the Algerians for the precise details, but my understanding is it’s a large complex with various sites.

QUESTION: Just one complex, not –

MS. NULAND: Again, I’m going to send you to the Algerians for precise details.

QUESTION: Can we move to a new topic?
=======================================

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2013/01/203041.htm

Video:(27:07)

Daily Press Briefing – January 18, 2013

Jan. 18, 2013: U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing by Spokesperson Victoria Nuland in Washington, DC.

http://video.state.gov/en/video/2103762838001

canopfor on January 19, 2013 at 12:24 PM

I’m waiting for the following Presidential Photo Opportuniies

1: Children reading letters thanking legal gun owners for saving their lives.
2: Children reading letters thanking Obama for getting relatives out of foreign jails.
3: Children reading letters asking Obama why other other children are being aborted by the millions.
4: Children reading letters asking Obama why their parents can’t find a job.
5: Children asking Obama at what age the girls will be required to wear that burka.

Art on January 19, 2013 at 12:25 PM

French President Hollande: Talks were not an option in Algeria hostage crisis – @Reuters

1 min ago by editor

canopfor on January 19, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Workplace violence – just like the Muzzie major at Ft. Hood.

bw222 on January 19, 2013 at 12:05 PM

…there is an example of speedy and swift justice!

KOOLAID2 on January 19, 2013 at 12:26 PM

O is too busy getting OofA ready to “campaign” for his 2nd Term Agenda by cozying up to his donors (as did Biden)…today he is cheering on community service! And then there is his big inauguration on Monday.

CoffeeLover on January 19, 2013 at 12:18 PM

O bama
F lukes
A merica

Schadenfreude on January 19, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Yahoo News voters responds to news:

Algeriwwwwhat? Where dat?

Sad about those people but really do you think that feud between Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj is real?

check out TMZ and US Weekly.

http://popwatch.ew.com/2013/01/15/nicki-minaj-mariah-carey-feud/

She sounded like she was really bothered by it. I’m not sure.

Obama’s inauguration was so cool, and Michelles’ arms looked great by the way.

OH-BAHMA!!!!

PappyD61 on January 19, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Oh yeah Canopfor @12:14

cmsinaz on January 19, 2013 at 12:18 PM

cmsinaz:-:O

canopfor on January 19, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Ding ding ding schadenfreude @12:27

cmsinaz on January 19, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Obama recalled the opening lines of the Arabic call to prayer, reciting them with a first-rate accent. In a remark that seemed delightfully uncalculated , Mr. Obama described the call to prayer as “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.”

Flange on January 19, 2013 at 11:36 AM

His Arabic accent is a far cry from first-rate. He can correctly enunciate some basic phonemes, yes, but his accent is embarrassing and amateurish (like him), which makes him seem even more like a charlatan when he goes abroad and awkwardly overpronounces the names of countries in the Middle East and surrounding areas with a striking confidence usually reserved for people who know they’re correct and have nothing to prove.

mintycrys on January 19, 2013 at 12:29 PM

canopfor on January 19, 2013 at 12:07 PM

canopfor, Mark Steyn, can_con , all good Canadians fighting the good fight!

can_con on January 19, 2013 at 12:14 PM

can_con:True Dat:)

canopfor on January 19, 2013 at 12:30 PM

So..
Months before that Benghazi guy killed our ambassador in Libya..
and others…

There were many protests demanding the release of the Blind Sheikh and others..

And there was a letter from Al-Quada saying they would attack Western interests and take hostages..

Then Benghazi happened…

Our media all of a sudden..
Couldn’t connect the dots..

And now we are here today..
Scratching our heads…

Electrongod on January 19, 2013 at 12:31 PM

The bad Arabs are laughing their ‘stupid’ heads off.

Schadenfreude on January 19, 2013 at 12:35 PM

New Steyn….

Trillion-Dollar-Coin Fever

Resist We Much on January 19, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Algerian Special Forces. Hmmmmmmmmmm
Not so special after all…just some additional armed thugs!

They’re special. They rode the short bus.

Tc0061 on January 19, 2013 at 12:37 PM

“Obama..Obama..we are all Osama now”

Can’t connect the dots.

Electrongod on January 19, 2013 at 12:37 PM

I blame violent video games.

John the Libertarian on January 19, 2013 at 12:38 PM

Reuters Top News ‏@Reuters

BP says four of its 18 Algeria gas plant staff still missing http://reut.rs/WrPSMM
=====================

https://twitter.com/Reuters

canopfor on January 19, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Rambeaux’s War

Resist We Much on January 19, 2013 at 12:40 PM

hanging from the streetlamp across the street…

SWalker on January 19, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Dog whistle!

davidk on January 19, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Speaking of Goons!

Video: Turkish minority party leader threatened with gun during speech in Bulgaria – via @AP

1 min ago from http://www.youtube.com by editor
============================================

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipHdrdxH6jc

canopfor on January 19, 2013 at 12:47 PM

SWalker on January 19, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Not a man caused disaster but simply “work place” violence.

chemman on January 19, 2013 at 12:47 PM

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