Boudjemaa Ayad, one of Islamist movement founders in Algeria said he was jailed because a man unveiled Nahnah’s instructions after phone cables had been cut. Ferhat Abbas, Youcef Benkhedda and Cheikh Abdelatif Soltani opposed the Boumediene regime, he told Echorouk in an interview.
What did the regime do to you?
The regime dissolved the Association of Algerian Muslim Ulama directly after the independence causing a catastrophe. Some scholars founded “Quiam” (values) association but it was dissolved as well in 1967. In 1968, a group of students and teachers including thinker Malek Bennabi founded the first student mosque at La Fac Centrale.
Since then, we had witnessed extremism from authorities, communists, some Islamists and the rich. The regime was against moderate tendencies and tightened the noise on them.
Did you expect that information about the assassination attempt against Boumediene would leak?
Cheikh Soltani knew all details. He warned me against the attempt, saying to me: “my son, if you do that, you will go to the hell.” We respected his opinion.
Did you tell Cheikh Nahnah about what Cheikh Soltani said to you?
Of course, I did. We agreed on a working way in conformity with Cheikh Abdelatif Soltani’s fatwa. Our action passed by three steps from March until December 1976.
In the beginning, we wrote phrases on wall such as “no to socialism”, “no to dictatorship”, “no to the Charter which was written by traitors”, “yes to Islam”. We realized that people were attached to their religion.
Where did you write those phrases?
Me and Cheikh Mahfoud Nahnah agreed on writing them in various places. Yet, I realized that it was on in Algiers.
I don’t have an answer. We were divided in two sections. Nahnah was in charge of the western section while I was responsible for the eastern section.
What did you do after that?
We issued a circular untitled ‘what do you plan for Boumediene?’. It contained 15 clauses: “No to socialism, no to hidden communism, no to dictatorship, no to classes conflict, no to political, legislative, judicial and executive discrimation, no to Charter written by traitors, no to Charter meant to approve illegitimate regime, yes to Islam as Sharia, yes to Islam as lifestyle, yes to Islam as constitution, system and economy, yes to Islam as rights and duties, yes to Islam as justice, yes to Islam as unity, yes to Islam as brotherhood.”
The circular was distributed in Algiers and most of eastern and western provinces.
Were you arrested following the circular?
No. The operation was secret. Yet, the clash with authorities happened after our third operation. We thought about symbolic protests. We cut some phone poles without hitting cables. Photos are saved in justice archives. The operation was secret and no one knew about it expect the executers. Neither I nor Nahnah knew about the places where the poles were cut.
We were divided into two groups. Nahnah supervised the first group while I was in charge of the second one.
How was the operation carried out?
I prepared the necessary tools secretly. First, I determined the place and I bought the tools (saws to cut wood and gloves to not leave prints). We went to the place (Sidi Moussa) and we executed the operation. We were ordered to not hit cables, to not leave traces and to change clothes. We were divided into groups. The total number of us was seven.
The operation was successful. In the morning of the following day, I hear a worker talking about the operation. Unfortunately, we were caught because a member of the groups came back to check the operation place in the province of Blida (west of Algiers) and made a big mistake. The National Gendarmerie found his car and the tools used in the operation.
Abderrahmane Saidi said you are the executer of the phone poles cutting operation. Is that right?
First of all, Abderrahmane Saidi did not say details about my arrest. I was the last one who was caught. Secondly, he did not mention our arrest by order. Thirdly, the operation was carried out in different places. So, I could not do everything alone on the same night.
He said cables and you said poles.
It seems that he does not make a difference between phone cables and poles. He was concentrated on red lines because they were related to the President’s Office.
Did those lines link the first military zone to the President’s Office? Did you have a map?
I have already said the operation was secret. Even Nahnah did not know details about it. We accomplished our mission in the area of Sidi Moussa. I do not know if they linked the President’s Office. I have never heard about the map expect of what published on Echorouk quoting Saidi.
Saidi was young at that time. He ignores the operation details. Everything is recorded at the military tribunal in Blida.
Who was the man who came back to the operation place? Why did he do that?
Abderrahmane Saidi knows the answer. I defy him to mention that name.
Was there any betrayal?
I don’t have an answer. All what I know is that the operation was carried out, people were arrested, appeared in court and jailed.
Was the man who unveiled the operation jailed?
Yes, he was. Saidi did not say the truth about the operation. Someone helped him to lie.
How was that?
First of all, he alleged that Cheikh Bouslimani was involved in the operation but he was not. Saidi said Mohamed Kirat planned the operation and it was not true. He also said Nahnah was sentenced to 16 years in prison but it was 15 years. He said Djaballah worked for the Muslim Brotherhood but he did not.
To be continued..