Boko Haram: Today, Nigeria. Tomorrow….? Experts warn Congress of al-Qaeda-linked Africa terror network

FOREIGN POLICY ASSOCIATION, by Calvin Dark (Dec. 1, 2011) — Today, the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence held a REALLY interesting hearing on Boko Haram, the Nigeria-based militant group—which they deem an “emerging threat to the U.S. homeland.” So, why is the US Congress holding a hearing on a terrorist group whose focus is primarily limited to destabilizing Nigeria? Here’s why: al-Qaeda In The Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). AQIM is the growing off-shoot of the al-Qaeda we have become all too familiar with in the US since 9/11, which bases its operations in the Maghreb (North Africa and the Sahel region.) Al-Qaeda has made it clear that it wants to take advantage of the rampant instability of many African nations in the Maghreb/Sahel and its protégé, AQIM, has found the perfect and most susceptible source of manpower…disaffected, economically vulnerable and easily manipulated fighters, mercenaries and militants from a several existing “movements” in the region. Al-Shabaab in Somalia and the Polisario Front, an Algerian-backed separatist movement challenging Morocco’s sovereignty in the Western Sahara, are two such groups. (Recently, AQIM militants kidnapped three European aid workers from within the Polisario refugee camps, reportedly with help from Polisario members.) [Continue Reading…]

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