Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement on the terrorist attack in southern Algeria that resulted in the kidnapping of Americans and a number of other foreigners:   

“Today’s terrorist attack in Algeria is the latest demonstration of a large and growing radical movement across North Africa. 

“Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and its offshoots have been conducting regular kidnappings for years – financing much of its operations through ransoms, earning millions. The network has planted deep roots in Europe.  In recent years, cells have been broken up by authorities in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland.  In Mali, its brethren are imposing the strictest interpretation of Islamic law – banning music and chopping off limbs.  Large amounts of weapons are flowing into the region.

“It is because of the severity of this threat that the French have appropriately acted. 

“I appreciate the cooperation of the Algerian Government as the U.S. government works to secure the release of these Americans.”