Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/25/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Officials say drones will track movements of al-Qaeda in Mali, aiding French, Nigerian intelligence

While U.S. President Barack Obama declared last week that about 100 American troops have been deployed to the African nation of Niger, two U.S. defense officials - speaking on the condition of anonymity - said the troops would be setting up a base for unarmed drones to conduct surveillance.

In his letter to Congress, Obama said that the forces 'will provide support for intelligence collection and will also facilitate intelligence sharing with French forces conducting operations in Mali, and with other partners in the region.'

In his letter to Congress, Obama said that the forces "will provide support for intelligence collection and will also facilitate intelligence sharing with French forces conducting operations in Mali, and with other partners in the region."

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/25/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Drones, U.S., Niger, al-Qaeda, surveillance, intelligence, France, Mali


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The announcement underscores the commitment of U.S. efforts to stem the spread of al-Qaeda and its affiliates in the volatile region. Obama has previously expressed his commitment to fighting extremism without involving large numbers of U.S. ground forces.

In his letter to Congress, Obama said that the forces "will provide support for intelligence collection and will also facilitate intelligence sharing with French forces conducting operations in Mali, and with other partners in the region."

Obama also stated that the U.S. forces have been deployed with the consent of Niger's government. The forces were also deployed with weapons "for their own force protection and security," the president said.

The drone base will also help France with further intelligence on the militants its forces have been fighting in Mali, which neighbors Niger. The base will extend its reach not only of American intelligence, but also gather missions to strengthen Niger's own security forces.

One of the two U.S. defense officials who discussed the development confirmed the American troops would fly drones and other surveillance platforms from Niger military airstrips, tracking militant and refugee movement inside Mali and around the border, with the U.S. sharing intelligence with Niger's military.

The drones at the Niger base will be unarmed and used for surveillance, not airstrikes. However -- the development of a base in Niger raises the possibility that it could eventually be used for launching strikes.

The U.S. and Niger signed a status-of-forces-agreement last month, which spelled out legal protections and obligations of American forces that might operate in Niger in the future.

Africa is increasingly a focus of U.S. counterterrorism efforts, even as al-Qaeda remains a threat in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere.

Last month's terrorist attack on a natural gas complex in Algeria, in which at least 37 hostages and 29 militants were killed, is a striking example of the threat posed by extremists who have asserted power propelled by long-simmering ethnic tensions in Mali and the revolution in Libya.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Africa

The Ebola outbreak beats all attempts at isolation as new cases appear in the Congo Watch

Image of Aid workers in the Congo, which is now the fifth African nation to suffer from the current Ebola outbreak, which began in early 2014.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has sent protective equipment to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for use by medical staff treating patients infected with Ebola. Making the Congo the fifth African country to suffer from the deadly Ebola outbreak which ... continue reading


DRASTIC MEASURES: Ivory Coast closes borders with Guinea, Liberia due to Ebola outbreak Watch

Image of To date, the Ebola outbreak is limited to four West African nations -- Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria. Nearly 2,500 suspected cases have been reported in what the World Health Organization says is the worst known outbreak of the disease.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As a sign of the escalation of the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, the nation of Ivory Coast has sealed off its borders with Guinea and Liberia. Ivory Coast Prime Minister Daniel Duncan formally signed the order that closes the land borders his nation shares ... continue reading


Flood of Syrian refugees into Algeria continues Watch

Image of  Syrians have come to rely on the compassion and warmth of the Algerian people - whose hospitality may have reached their limits.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

Syrian refugees have continued their flood into the nearby nation of Algeria. Now facing even worse persecution at the hands of the Islamic State, Syrians have come to rely on the compassion and warmth of the Algerian people - whose hospitality may have reached ... continue reading


Medical help short-handed in raging Ebola outbreak Watch

Image of More money and resources are desperately needed to improve local health systems.

By Alex Whiting, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Hospitals battling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa desperately need more staff, as local doctors leave their posts and foreign doctors are reluctant to come forward, medical experts said during an online debate on the disease. LONDON (Thomson Reuters ... continue reading


Human rights violations continue as Mali jails child soldiers Watch

Image of Child soldiers who were forced to fight in northern Mali after that region of the country turned to chaos back in 2012.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Amnesty International is reporting that Mali's government continues its practice of jailing children accused of having been members of armed rebel and extremist groups, and the government continues to commit human rights abuses. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


As the Ebola outbreak death toll rises, Britain puts out a plea to international researchers everywhere Watch

Image of The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has caused the deaths of more than 1,300 people, and currently seems beyond control even as experimental drugs are raced to the affected regions.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Wellcome Trust and the United kingdom's Department for International Development put out a plea for researchers around the world to help fight the Ebola outbreak which is ravaging West Africa, the largest outbreak of the deadly disease in history. LOS ... continue reading


DEATH TOLL SOARS UPWARD: Ebola deaths now into the thousands Watch

Image of Liberia has had the most deaths in a two-day period. The World Health Organization is working on getting food sent to areas hit hardest.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The death toll from Ebola, the incurable virus that sends the body into meltdown has soared past the one thousand mark in West Africa. The known death toll at this time stands at 1,200. Liberia has had the most deaths in a two-day period. The World Health ... continue reading


Riot forces Ebola infected patients to flee! Watch

Image of Aid workers carry the body of an Ebola victim, more than 1,000 have died of the virus.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Seventeen people, suspected to be infected with the Ebola virus, are missing in Liberia after a health center in the capital city of Monrovia was attacked, the Liberian government reported, disregarding their previous reports that no patients were missing, and ... continue reading


100 boys kidnapped by Nigerian terrorists to become child soldiers Watch

Image of An image of Boko Haram gunmen taken from a video filmed by the terrorist group.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fighters from the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram have reportedly abducted nearly 100 boys and men during a raid on a village in the country's northeast, witnesses reported. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Villagers who escaped the August 17 raid on Doron ... continue reading


NO EARLY END IN SIGHT: A million people directly affected by Ebola outbreak Watch

Image of The latest figures have recorded 128 new cases of Ebola virus disease, as well as 56 deaths.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Once confined to West Africa, the deadly Ebola virus now threatens every city on Earth with an international airport. The World Health Organization has given the world a most grim prognosis; there are currently one million people in the world today directly ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Second Thessalonians 3:6-10, 16-18
6 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we urge you, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 128:1-2, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents] How blessed are all who fear ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 23:27-32
27 'Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 27th, 2014 Image

St. Monica
August 27: St. Monica was married by arrangement to a pagan official in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter