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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Increased Coordination Between African Terror Groups

I had noted a couple of months ago that, with the military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down, it appeared that our next stop would be the horn of Africa. It looks like Congress is being prepped for this next war. From the Telegraph:
Army General Carter Ham told the United States house armed services committee that leading figures in al-Shabaab in Somalia, Boko Haram in Nigeria and North Africa's al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) were discussing ways to synchronise their actions.

If successful in their efforts to link up, the Commander of US Africa Command (AFRICOM) said that the terrorist networks would pose a "real challenge" to the United States.

The four-star General, who commanded the US military intervention in Libya, had earlier expressed concern about the "stated intent" of the groups to work together, voiced most strongly by Boko Haram and AQIM.

* * *

Africa is an increasingly important arena for US counterterrorism efforts, as concern mounts that al-Qaeda affiliates are extending into unstable parts of Africa. An expeditionary base in the Horn of Africa and extensive military training and intelligence-gathering operations across the continent are just some of America's counterterrorism strategies in the region.

"One of the key lenses that the United States looks at Africa through is counterterrorism," added Vines. "Paradoxically, we've seen a deepening of the security relationship between the United States and Africa under President Barack Obama, whereas President George W. Bush is remembered more for his humanitarian activities on the continent."

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