This whack-a-mole approach is getting us no where fast. Now Africa is becoming a play ground for al-Qaida while the West still tries the carrot and stick approach, miserably I might add. Why this situation isn’t being talked about in a more concerted way is beyond me.
North African states at risk of being overrun by al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is poised to overrun five states in North Africa and the Middle East, creating terrorist safe havens from which the network can launch attack on the West, Europe and the US have been warned.
By Praveen Swami, Diplomatic Editor
9:00PM BST 21 Oct 2010
Mauritania, Mali and Niger have seen a steady escalation of al-Qaeda activity targeting Western aid workers and experts. Somalia, to their east, has disintegrated in the face of Islamist assault. In Yemen, across the Red Sea from Somalia, security forces have been waging a losing battle against resurgent jihadist armies that have claimed the lives of dozens of troops.
Amadou Marou, the President of Niger’s National Consultative Council has been in Europe with a grim message for governments. “Somalia got away from us”, he said, “and northern Mali is in the process of getting away from us”.
Mohamed Abdillahi Mohamed, Somalia’s new Prime Minister, has also called on the US and Europe to “step up to the plate”. Aid to Somalia, he said, “is not an option, it’s a necessity. We are dealing with al-Shabaab, who are extremists and seeking to take their war throughout the world”.
Al-Qaeda’s regional affiliates have expanded dramatically throughout this belt of states, exploiting the administrative weaknesses and corruption of their governments.
Large swathes of Somalia are already under the control of al-Shabaab, a Somali al-Qaeda affiliate, which is known to have hundreds of US and UK citizens among its ranks. Western intelligence services say they have evidence that those recruits are preparing for attacks on the West.