Police confirm identities in Algeria terror attack

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Associated Press

Posted on April 4, 2013 at 3:07 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 4 at 3:07 PM

TORONTO (AP) — Canadian police confirmed Thursday the identity of two Canadians involved in the terror attack on a gas plant in Algeria.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Supt. Marc Richer said Ali Medlej and Xristos Katsiroubas, once high school friends from London, Ontario, were the two Canadians whose bodies were found at the site. Both men were believed to be in their early 20s.

Algeria's prime minister said two Canadians were involved as hostage takers and Canadian police only recently said the remains of two Canadians were found at the site. The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported the identities this week. Relatives of Katsiroubas have declined comment. The family of Medlej could not immediately be reached.

Police are now asking the public to come forward if they have pertinent information on the two. Richer said they've been investigating the two for months but declined to give more details on the case. Richer said they want to know the circumstances that led to the two departing Canada and said police are looking for information about any others that are considering leaving Canada to take part in terrorist plots."

Richer said they want to know who may have had a bad influence on them.

On Jan. 16, a band of al-Qaida affiliated militants attacked the Ain Amenas gas complex and took dozens of foreign workers hostage. After a four-day standoff, the Algerian army moved in and killed 29 attackers and captured three others. At least 37 hostages, including one Algerian worker, died in the battle.

Richer they are concerned about Canadians being radicalized to the point of turning to violence and need help from the community to fight this.

Canada's foreign minister has said Western citizens going overseas to commit terrorist acts is not unique to Canada.

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