‘‘Before he led this operation in Algeria, that was the sentiment I had, that Belmoktar was less brutal,’’ Chaffi said by telephone on Friday. ‘‘Now I find myself thinking that they are all terrorists. That they all take hostages. That they are all fanatics. So to draw a difference between them is really, really relative. There’s in fact no difference anymore.’’
Associated Press writer Jamey Keaten in Dakar, Senegal and Cassandra Vinograd in London contributed to this report.