The Algerian army has sparked mockery for appearing to display a lack of competence and professionalism when it allowed an uncuffed alleged terrorist to stand right next to a Kalashnikov rifle.
Algerian troops asked the suspected terrorist to pose for a photo next to his firearm in an effort to promote their proclaimed counterterrorism achievements.
Shared by Algeria’s state media on February 14, the photo was attached to a report narrating the arrest of the alleged terrorist.
According to the article, the suspect surrendered to the Algerian military in Bordj Badji Mokhtar, a small town on the Algerian-Mauritanian border.
Algerian state media claim that the alleged terrorist joined terrorist groups in the Sahel region in 2012. When he surrendered himself to Algerian authorities, the suspect reportedly carried the Kalashnikov rifle and two fully-loaded ammunition magazines.
The photo showing the uncuffed suspect standing next to a rifle and ammunition sparked controversy on social networks, especially after it was shared by news company El Djazairia One.
Many comments questioned the competence and professionalism of the Algerian army for allowing an alleged terrorist with nine years of combat experience to stand uncuffed next to a firearm and ammunition.
Some commentators even accused Algeria’s military of staging the photo — a theory that is not far-fetched considering the Algerian army’s proven history of fabricating videos and images for propaganda.
Whether the Algerian army truly arrested an alleged terrorist or not remains unclear, but what is certain is that the credibility of Algeria’s military will take a hit because of the photo documenting its breach of standard security protocols.