African business, politics and lifestyle
Why was Edwin Dyer killed?
Four months later the Briton was killed by al Qaeda’s North African wing, which had been demanding the release of Abu Qatada, a Jordanian Islamist being held in Britain.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb said Dyer’s death was “a tiny portion of what innocent Muslims taste every day at the hands of the Crusader and Jewish coalition”.
Although Dyer was killed on May 31, news of his death was not released until June 3, a day before President Barack Obama gave a speech in Cairo intended to mend fences with the Muslim world.
Analysts suggested that AQIM may have intended Dyer’s death as a message to the American president.
Or was the reason more prosaic?
Last month, Algerian media said AQIM was demanding 10 million euros ($14 million) for Dyer and a Swiss national the group was also holding.
Britain said it would not deal with AQIM.
Salima Tlemcani, an expert in security issues who writes for Algeria’s El Watan newspaper, said Dyer had in fact been killed because no ransom had been paid. Other hostages, not from Britain, had been released because AQIM got the money it asked for, she said.