Jihad in southern Africa. From Zimdaily, with thanks to Cutter John:
HARARE- – Zimbabwe has become al-Qaeda’s newest hub amid reports that the embattled country has now become a sanctuary harboring militant Islamist groups and a territorial medium to smuggle people, arms, material and contraband, Zimdaily exclusively reveals today.
Zimbabwe, which borders South Africa to the south, Mozambique to the East and lies close to the neighboring territory of Angola to the west has been offering an attractive operational theater on account of its modern and largely western character.
An intelligence document leaked to Zimdaily and authorerd by Andrew Holt, an independent, US-based terrorism and security agent states that Zimbabwe had become a major hub for al-Qaeda through the relaxed entry requirements into South Africa from Zimbabwe. The existence of major road transportation networks connecting the two countries and the lack of concerted border controls, even at major crossings such as Beitbridge, was clearly a feature that attracted militant groups into the country, the top US security agent said.
The explosive report, reproduced last week with permission of the Jamestown Foundation said Zimbabwe was convenient for the militant groups because it bordered Mozambique and Angola, two countries that represent significant sources of weaponry as a result of stocks left over from former civil wars and the failure of internationally mediated disarmament programs.
“Because Zimbabwe is situated ideally between both of these markets, it is able to act as a useful center from which to procure and subsequently disseminate a wide range of combat weaponry,” said the report. “Many of these munitions are exceptionally cheap; an AK47, for instance, can be bought on the Mozambique border for as little as US$14, or simply exchanged for a bag of rice or sugar. Moreover, the existence of shady arms brokerage or dealership firms – some of which have been directly tied to the procurement activities of prominent terrorist organizations such as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ensures that weapons can be purchased in bulk quantities if so desired.”