“Terrorists in Iraq seen from Africa,” from UPI, :
Military officials say close to a quarter of foreign fighters captured in Iraq come from northern Africa, validating fears that ungoverned swaths of the continent are serving as both a pipeline and safe haven for Islamist radicals.
According to a June 17 statement from a U.S. military official, a significant number of the Iraqi recruits are said to have joined Abu Musab Zarqawi’s al Qaeda in Iraq network. Zarqawi is the Jordanian militant believed responsible for many attacks that have left hundreds of Iraqis dead in past months.
“The potential does exist for [African] individuals or groups to go to Iraq and either conduct operations or receive some of the training,” said Maj. Gen. Thomas Csrnko, head of U.S. special operations command in Europe (EUCOM), whose security oversight includes North and West Africa.
While a stream of African jihadists continue to provide manpower and financial support, Gen. Csrnko said many veterans could return to northern Africa to use insurgent tactics developed in Iraq, from bomb-making to strategic planning, against their governments….
Al Qaeda in Iraq issued a statement on its Web site congratulating the mujahedeen “who are fighting the converters in Mauritania.”