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Africa's Sahel region still under iron fist of terrorist groups

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)
4/16/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Western interests threatened by terrorist groups.

Composed of the nations of Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, the Sahel region of Africa remains under the stranglehold of several terrorist groups. France, along with its allies are the chief targets of attack here, which are mainly in retaliation for defensive operations in Mali in 2012.

Young people living there in poverty fall prey to al-Qaeda recruiters who bribe their families with money.

Young people living there in poverty fall prey to al-Qaeda recruiters who bribe their families with money.

Highlights

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
4/16/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Sahel Region, al-Qaeda, recruitment


ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - Terrorist groups here are attempting to establish Islamic law by force. To further this goal, terrorists attack Western interests.
"Terrorist groups are preparing themselves and will not miss the opportune occasion to launch attacks against Western interests all over the world," a specialist on terrorist issues, Mohamed Ag Ahmed says. "They call on all Islamic organizations to help each other to fight the secular forces." The situation here has increased, due to military intervention in Mali. French forces have prevented al-Qaeda from reaching Bamako.

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"These threats are to be taken seriously. The threat against Algeria for the opening-up of its territory to French air forces against Mali was materialized in Tiguentourine oil gas," Mohamed Ag Ahmed added.

Young people living there in poverty fall prey to al-Qaeda recruiters who bribe their families with money. Illegal arms sales, smuggling, coupled with other activities associated with organized crime, such as drug trafficking and kidnapping generate funds for further terrorist activities.

Local authorities are trying to rise to the occasion, but need coordinated efforts on the ground in order to do so.

"The terrorist threat tends to become international in scope . all countries who take part in the fight against terrorism [have been targeted].

"In the Sahel, the situation is likely to be favorable for terrorist groups who take advantage of the instability to strengthen their presence and prepare themselves for new actions," Idriss Rebbouh of the Islamist party the Front for Change says.

Thanks to crack organization along with the support of different networks, al-Qaeda has since acquired the capability of traveling long distances to carry out attacks. New targets include Algeria, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. Criminal gangs also carry out kidnappings for terrorist groups in return for financial payment.

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