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The overall commander of the DRS ...
The overall commander of the DRS at that time, General Mohamed "Toufik" Mediène, is still, to this day, the DRS boss.
Until the restructuring of the DRS and his relative political demise in 2013, Mediène was without doubt the most powerful man in Algeria.
Between September 2013 and January 2014, the long battle within the Algerian regime, the so-called battle of the clans, between the presidency of Abdelaziz Bouteflika and General Mediène's DRS
seemed to come to a sudden and unexpected end with the Presidency, through the office of General Gaïd Salah, the Deputy Minister of defence and Chief of the General Staff, dismissing most of the DRS's
Although DRS boss, General Mediène, has remained in post, albeit severely weakened, most of his top commanders, notably General M'henna Djebbar, Head of the Direction Centrale de la Sécurité de l'Armée (DCSA); General Athmane "Bashir" Tartag, Head of the Direction de la Sécurité Intérieure (DSI) and the Direction du Contre-espionnage (DCE); General Rachid "Attafi" Lallali, Head of the Documentation et de la Sécurité Extérieure (DDSE); and General Hassan (Hacène), whose proper name is Abdelkhader ait Ourabi, head of the DRS's Special Intervention Forces, were "retired" or dismissed from office under one pretext or another.
On February 12, General Mediène's DRS
, or at least what remained of it, launched a devastating attack on General Gaïd Salah.
This was a demonstration of Generals coming to the defence of Mediène
believes that Mediène
, who was neither dismissed nor retired at that time, resisted this pressure on him from the presidency and Gaïd Salah and in February 2014 reached a compromise with them.
The one clue that a deal had been done between the presidency, Gaïd Salah and Mediène
was an article by Salima Tlemçani in El Watan on 13 February, the day after Benhadid's attack.
Another outcome, as Souaïdia tells us, is that seven months later, in this poisonous atmosphere between Mediène and the army, Mediène's officers "staked out their territory against the army chief of staff by kidnapping and murdering Hervé Gourdel.
The key evidence I set out ...
The key evidence I set out was that the leader of the attack, Mohamed Lamine Bouchneb, had close relations with the DRS, and that evidence revealed his DRS handler as being none other than General Rachad Lallali (a.k.a. "Attafi"), the most senior DRS General under the overall DRS boss, General Mohamed Mediène (a.k.a. "Toufik").
By the end of 9/11, DRS chief General Mohamed Mediène ('Tewfik') had not only lost his previously substantial political power and influence over most ministerial portfolios, but also three of his five 'directorates'.
These latter meant that he
no longer had control of the media and propaganda, access to and control over much of the army, including its military investigation centre, and his
was left with his
two main directorates: the DSI and the DDSE, under the commands of Generals Tartag and Lallali ("Attafi") respectively.
However, by late that evening, rumours were spreading that Bouteflika was preparing to remove the DRS'
three remaining top Generals: Mediène
, Tartag and Lallali.
Before September was finished, the five main branches of the DRS
had been removed from its control, with its three "big beasts" - Generals M'henna Djebbar, Tartag and Lallali - dismissed/retired, and General Mohamed Mediène
, who had once called himself "The God of Algeria", and who until only a few days earlier was regarded by most people who knew Algeria as the most powerful man in the country, in charge of "nothing".
In 1992, the DRS arranged the assassination of Mohamed Boudiaf, the country's effective President, while President Liamine Zeroual actually resigned the presidency in 1998 having failed to remove Mediène.
Many analysts now see Bouteflika's moves as perhaps the final phase in his
own "war" with Mediène
Algerian politics since 2010 have been dominated by the ongoing struggle between the Bouteflika presidency and Mediène's DRS, with Bouteflika being reduced for much of the last three years to little more than a lame-duck president.
This is because the DRS officially - at least on paper diagrams of the Algerian state structure - is just a branch of the army, but had grown under Mediène to be its controller.
Zeroual resigned in 1998 after failing to get rid of DRS boss General Mohamed Mediène.
DRS chief Mohamed Mediene ...
DRS chief Mohamed Mediene became highly influential in deciding political leadership.
Mohamed "Toufik" Mediene, the ...
Mohamed "Toufik" Mediene, the longstanding head of the DRS and a powerful political figure, confounding Algerians and observers.
However, I am able to reveal ...
However, I am able to reveal that a letter was emailed to General Mohamed Mediène, the DRS chief, on the morning of Wednesday, February 17, with copies also sent to Kouchner, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the Algerian president, and Ahmed Ouyahia, the Algerian prime minister.