Algerian Foreign Minister: Arab Spring has boosted terror groups' influence in North Africa

Algeria's foreign minister says the so-called Arab Spring has increased the influence and power of terrorist groups.

Speaking Tuesday at an Algiers forum on threats facing North Africa, Ramtane Lamamra said Algerian authorities have long warned about instability in neighboring Libya that has created a zone of insecurity across Africa's north and west.

In 2011, pro-democracy movements overthrew governments in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Algeria was largely unaffected: Many Algerians crave stability after violence in the country's 1990s Islamic insurgency left 200,000 dead.

In recent months, Libya has seen the rise of heavily armed militias and become a center for regional weapons trafficking. Radical Islamic groups briefly took over northern Mali, to the south, in 2012, and last year terrorist groups lead a deadly attack an Algerian gas plant.