“A clear terrorist threat still exists in East Africa, and greater military co-operation is needed to defeat it, a top U.S. general warned Monday during a visit to Ethiopia.” This from AP, with thanks to Jean-Luc.
Gen. John Abizaid, whose Central Command is responsible for Afghanistan, Iraq and East Africa, said closer “military and intelligence co-operation” is needed between East African governments to prevent extremist groups like al-Qaida from gaining an “ideological foothold” in the region.
“The threat is clear, but the threat can be deterred and can be defeated,” he told journalists in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
“This terrorist threat knows no boundary, and when we operate only on a nation-state basis we will be unable to really get at the heart of the terrorist problem, which is transnational.”
Abizaid cited Somalia – which has had no central government since 1990 – as a potential trouble spot in the region.
“We know the terrorists gravitate toward ungoverned spaces, and these are areas where they look for the opportunities to gain recruits, establish safe-havens and move money,” he said. “We certainly have indications to believe that people associated with these groups operate in and around areas such as Somalia.”