21/01/13 17:35 CET
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This is allegedly the mastermind behind the In Amenas gas facility attack in Algeria.
Now one of the world’s most wanted men, who is Mokhtar Belmokhtar?
Born in 1972 in Algeria, he reportedly trained in Afghanistan under al-Qaeda aged only 19.
He joined the war in Algeria in the 1990’s after a French-backed Algerian military annulled an election the Islamic Salvation Front was set to win. It was around this time he is said to have lost his left eye.
In 2003, a jihadi group he led was reportedly linked to the kidnapping of 31 European tourists.
He’s also wanted in Algeria for the murder of 13 customs officers in 2006.
After heading an al-Qaeda desert battalion between Mali and Algeria, Belmokhtar formed his own group in 2012.
Known as the “Signed-in-Blood Batallion,” the gas facility attack is its first major operation.
And until the man known as “Mr. Marlboro” for his cigarette-smuggling and “The Uncatchable,” by the French, is captured, the spectre of further attacks will remain.
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