Mokhtar Belmokhtar is into all sorts of crime: weapon and drug smuggling, kidnapping, and blowing people up. A former member of al Qaeda, one-eyed Belmokhtar recently left the organization and founded his own terror group, the Masked Brigade, a cell of which is known as Those Who Sign With Blood. Yep, folks, Islam is peace.
Belmokhtar’s career as a kidnapper was quite lucrative, with reported profits of up to $3 million per captive. However, instead of being filthy and filthy rich like the singer of the theme song of Islam, he felt he had a different calling. His jihad was to blow Westerners up.
During his time with al Qaeda, Belmokhtar was responsible for the kidnapping and murder of hundreds in Algeria, Mauritania, and Mali. He gained quite a folowing in the jihadi community. The organization’s leader felt he was gaining too much influence. Surprisingly, Belmokhtar was asked to leave al Qaeda instead of simply being killed. It was then that he formed The Masked Brigade, which might be one of those weird swingers clubs where everybody wears a mask.
In January 2013, Those Who Sign In Blood undertook their first major terror attack. They ambushed workers at a natural gas plant, taking them hostage. Belmokhtar was not on the scene, but organized the attack and remained in constant communication with the hostage-takers. As the militants’ demands for an end to French military intervention in Mali and the release of jihadi prisoners were not being met, they began shooting hostages, or strapping explosive collars around hostages’ necks and detonating them. One of the terrorists said “We’ve come in the name of Islam, to teach the Americans what Islam is.” THIS is Islam. THIS is jihad, not some ninja-woman lifting weights like Islamists’ deceptive #MyJihad ad campaign portrays.
Algerian forces organized a rescue operation. There was a fierce gunfight, which lasted eight hours. In total, at least 38 hostages died during the standoff, and at least 32 jihadis were killed. Due to the high death toll, the Algerian operation has drawn criticism, but Those Who Sign In Blood’s endgame was to blow up the natural gas plant, which would have resulted in hundreds more casualties.