The north Africa wing of al- Qaeda aims to attack
targets in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria
In December last year a terrorist bomb claimed the lives of at least 34 people in Algeria, according to official figures. But local hospitals put the number at 72, making it Algeria's worst terrorist attack in the last decade. Algeria had already been hit by 11 bombs since the beginning of 2007.

Neighbouring countries Morocco and Tunisia were also hit, with three attacks in Morocco and one in Tunis.

There is a deadly pattern of terror affecting the Mediterranean part of north Africa, often referred to as the Maghreb, and the group claiming responsibility for it call themselves al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. 

Previously named the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat or GSPC, the group changed its name when it joined forces with al-Qaeda. Algerian officials say its aim is to plunge the Maghreb into a reign of terror - reminiscent of the so-called decade of blood waged by Algerian militants in the 1990s.

People & Power investigate the impact the group has had on north Africa and the possibilities of a co-operative counter-terrorist campaign by the governments of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.

Death in Chicago

Thousands of people lined the streets of
Chicago the day after the US invaded Iraq

On June 11, 1963, Thích Quang Duc, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, sat down at a crossroads in the heart of Saigon and set his petrol-doused body on fire.

The photograph taken of his burning body became an iconic image of protest against the Vietnam war.
In early November 2006, Malachi Ritscher's similar act of protest at the invasion of Iraq was almost entirely ignored by the American media. 

People & Power recall the story of Ritscher's life and death and how the 'silence' surrounding it reflects a greater silencing of the American media on Iraq.

Watch part one of this episode of People & Power on YouTube

Watch part two of this episode of People & Power on YouTube

This episode of People & Power aired from Wednesday,  February 13, 2008

To contact us click on 'Send your feedback' at the top of the page

Watch Al Jazeera English programmes on YouTube

Join our debates on the Your Views page