From our Stop the Presses Department and UPI, “Analysis: W. Africa may be terror hotbed”
Washington, DC — A newly declassified Canadian intelligence report warns that West Africa is breeding a militant Islamist threat with “significant potential” for growth for groups such as Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network.
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service brief, which was obtained by United Press International, says religious and ethnic divisions coupled with state corruption and severe poverty in parts of West Africa provide fertile grounds for al-Qaida and affiliated groups to recruit supporters and plot attacks on Western interests…
Last week, seven men alleged to be members of Salafi Group for Preaching and Combat, an Algeria-born movement with links to al-Qaida were charged by a Mauritanian court for plotting acts of terror.
The group, known by the initials GSPC, was identified as an “immediate concern” in the CSIS brief. It is estimated to have 300 fighters in the region, is on U.S. State Department’s list of foreign terrorist groups, and is charged with kidnapping dozens of European tourists in the Sahara desert.
Experts say, however, local authoritarian regimes that continue to denounce Islamic political groups as terrorists in order to stifle opposition may increase sympathy for the movements. They say the Mauritanian government of President Maaouya Ould Taya is not alone in inflating the domestic terror threat as a pretext to repress socio-political freedoms in a manner that could foment radicalism.
I see, opposing them just makes the situation worse. I guess we should just do nothing and hope this little terrorism problem goes away on its own.