Groups for Legitimate Defense (aka Patriots) (Algeria)

Country: Algeria
Details of Formation: The government legalized, formed and supplied weapons to civilian defense groups. It also freed jailed GIA terrorists, asking them to turn against their former comrades. It emerged during the Algerian civil war but continued to be active afterwards.
Details of Termination: --
Purpose: The group’s purpose is to support the army in its fight against Islamists. The group is carrying out many actions alongside the army.
Organisation: --
Weapons and Training: The group was armed and trained by the army (Wikipedia).
Size: In 1990, the group had around 300,000 members. Especially after the massacres of 1997 the size of the group was increased (Wikipedia). In 1998, a news source mentions the group to have 150,000 members, while in 2000 around 200,000 fighters were reported.
Reason for Membership: There is little information on reasons for membership. Some members allegedly joined to get out of jail.
Treatment of Civilians: The group reportedly killed civilians. There is no information on the government ‘s reaction.
Other Information: Patriots still active in 2008 and 2009 with numerous operations conducted in membership with the Security Forces. Patriots participated in discovery operations in 2010
References: Wikipedia. “Algerian Civil War”.