The recent arrest of five al-Qaeda suspects in an internet cafe in the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott is the latest signal that the terror network is increasingly favouring the Web to recruit operatives and to communicate with its various cells in Africa, Arabic daily al-Watan reports. The suspects - two Algerians, two Moroccans, and Mauritanian - were arrested on Sunday during raids of three Internet cafes close to the Palestinian embassy carried out by Mauritanian anti-terror police, the paper said.
The five suspects are members of the Al-Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb - formerly the GSPC (the Algerian Salafite Group for Preaching and Combat) - and had recently entered Mauritania, according to police. Their role was to plan and carry out an attack in Noakchott on behalf of the group and also recruited several locals to the jihadi cause.
The GSPC pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda last year and changed its name to the Al-Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb in January.