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DRAA BEN KHEDDA, Algeria (AP) — Deep in the Sahara Desert, along the remote southern borders of Algeria, lies an immense no man's land where militants roam.
It is here that terrorists linked with al-Qaida traffic everything from weapons and drugs to illegal migrants. They have planted at least a half-dozen cells in Europe, according to French, Italian and Belgian intelligence. Last week, they announced on the Internet that they had killed a British hostage in Mali, and are still holding a Swiss hostage.
The al-Qaida of the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, is perhaps the best example of how a
"They're not al-Qaida, they're just a mafia."