Glenn Reynolds has the following to say about missing tourists in Algeria
There's some weird stuff going on in the Saharan region, all across Africa. Someone should pay attention. Or perhaps someone already is, and that's what's prompting this behavior in response.
There is indeed some weird stuff going on in North Africa. There has been weird stuff going on in North Africa for a long time now. The 1990s were full of stories about moderate muslims being kidnapped from their homes in the middle of the night in Algeria, and their obviously post-torture bodies being found weeks later, and assorted political murders in Egypt. The media failed to do much more than mention these, and shrug their shoulders about an incomprehensible part of the world. (This was approximately my attitude too. I knew something was happening, but not what, and I focused my interests elsewhere). It wasn't until the events of September 2001 that we looked in that direction and discovered what an appalling state it was in, and just how ghastly Islamic extemism had become. When it was just Algerians murdering other Algerians we looked away, and nobody went to investigate what was actually happening and why.
Someone now needs to do this. This is no doubt horribly dangerous. But somebody needs to get the full story of what is happening and why.