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Press Release

Prof available to address al-Qaida in Algeria

Is imprisonment the solution?

Posted: June 12, 2008

Jail for the attackers is not enough to respond to Sunday’s bomb attacks on a train station in Algeria that killed 13 people, says Mohammed Akacem, an economics professor at Metropolitan State College of Denver.

“What the West and the Arab/Islamic countries need to focus on to fight terrorism is not ‘rounding up the usual suspects,’” says Akacem, a former economist with the African Development Bank, the Algerian Ministry of Energy, and the Saudi Fund for Development. “We need to focus our energies more on the fundamental factors that are causing these groups to strike.

“These can be found in the home countries themselves and relate to the lack of any or hardly any rule of law, lack of property rights, lack of hope and economic gains despite record oil prices, and endemic corruption. Jailing these suspects is not enough. If that was the solution, we would not see as much action as we are in the Arab and Islamic countries. Yet, from Morocco to Pakistan, violent strikes by these groups continue.”

To coordinate an interview with Dr. Akacem, contact Angelia McGowan at 303-556-5133 or Dr. Akacem directly at 303-875-0656 or


Metro State is a fully accredited, four-year institution, serving more than 21,000 students. It has the second-largest undergraduate enrollment in Colorado and is one of the largest four-year public colleges in the nation. Metro State enrolls the highest number of students of color among four-year colleges in the state. It boasts 62,000 alumni, 90 percent of whom stay in Colorado after graduation. Visit Metro State at