One of the founders of Algeria’s “Armed Islamic Group” revealed in an interview with Asharq al-Awsat that Usama Bin Laden gave monetary aid to the Algerian fundamentalists beginning in 1992. That was when the military government threw out the election results, in which the Islamic Salvation Front had won a majority in parliament and repressed the Muslim fundamentalists. Bin Laden wished to help the fundamentalists in Algeria and hoped for overthrow of its secular-leaning government. He was in contact with developments there via the “Afghans,” returning Algerian mujahidin who had fought the Soviets. These were called “Afghans” in Algerian and were famous for actually wearing Afghan clothing. Bin Laden’s support, which took the form of money and weapons, continued when the Armed Islamic Group hived off from FIS because of internal differences.
Members of the Armed Islamic Group have been notable members of the al-Qaida coalition, and some were involved in the Millennium Plot (as French speakers they tended to congregate in Montreal).