World powers are on the verge of designating that Russia is a state sponsor of terrorism due to the atrocities it committed during its invasion of Ukraine. If designated, Russia would join the likes of Iran, North Korea and Syria, all of which are on the U.S. State Sponsors of Terrorism list. However, it is not only Russia that needs adding. Algeria must be held accountable for its support of the Polisario Front.

For decades, Algeria, with the help of Iran, has provided military and material support to the Polisario Front, a terrorist organization in Western Sahara that Algeria uses to destabilize neighboring Morocco. Iran provides this support to undermine the U.S. and its allies (in this case, Morocco). Claiming it seeks sovereignty over Western Sahara, the Polisario Front has established a corridor there for gun running and other illicit activities while courting ties with various terrorist organizations targeting the Sahrawi people.

It also foments corruption. A report by the European Anti-Fraud Office notes that between 2004 and 2007, the Polisario Front stole and misused international assistance designated for Sahrawi refugees.

The State Department’s 2020 Country Reports on Terrorism warned that the U.S. continues to address threats posed by state-sponsored terrorism, acknowledging the growing threat of the Islamic State in West Africa and the Sahel. As these state-sponsored terrorist groups continue to gain strength, they remain a persistent threat to us. With continued Algerian support, the Polisario Front will retain its fertile recruiting grounds in Western Sahara.

The case for Iran’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism has been clear for decades. With Russia’s backing of the secessionists in the Donbas and its targeting and terrorizing of Ukrainian citizens, there are legitimate concerns with Russia. Now, with the evidence mounting against Algeria for its support of the Polisario Front, it is time the U.S. also recognize Algeria for what it is: a state sponsor of terrorism. 


Former Arizona attorney general


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