"Algeria hostage crisis: al Qaeda had help from inside claim security sources" By Abdelatif Belkayem, in In Amenas and Henry Samuel in Paris 7:52PM Telegraph, January 20, 2013
Up to five of the al Qaeda-linked Islamists who carried out the most spectacular and bloody hostage in recent years were employees of the gas plant, security sources have revealed.
One of those involved in the "inside job" was of French nationality, the sources told the Daily Telegraph, in what appears to be a blow to those in charge of safety at the highly strategic In Amenas plant, which accounts for 12 per cent of Algeria's gas production.
The unnamed French accomplice is said to have changed sides once his comrades in arms had broken into the desert site in southeastern Algeria after attacking bus at a false checkpoint. He then took part in the kidnapping operation before being killed during the Algerian army assault on the site.
Some terrorists are reported to have known internal procedures at the plant as well as the room numbers of expatriates.
Gendarmes are understood to have opened an investigation into four other workers who survived the attack on suspicion of helping the kidnappers enter the tightly-guarded facility, the sources said, without providing further details.
In a further development, up to five of the hostage takers are believed to have been captured alive, separate sources said. The Algerian government earlier said that all 32 kidnappers had been "neutralised", leaving open the possibility that not all were dead.
"One gave himself up after running out of munitions, while two more were picked up by Algerian special forces after being injured," one local security source told The Daily Telegraph.
With the military operation over, forensic scientists from Algeria's national gendarmerie arrived yesterday to begin the macabre task of identifying the bodies.
Civil protection workers said they had spent Sunday retrieving a gruesome list of body parts – "fingers, hands, feet, legs" – as they sought to piece together who had been killed in a deadly mix of machine gunfire, terrorist explosions and helicopter gunship attacks.
Security services said 25 further bodies were recovered yesterday, with differing reports over how many were hostages.
Citing security sources, Anis Rahmani of private television channel Ennahar said all 25 were captives, but The Daily Telegraph was told that 15 of their number were militants.Read the rest.