A top U.S. military commander for Africa says he is worried that three terrorist groups based in Africa are attempting to collaborate to coordinate attacks on the United States and other foreign targets.
General Carter Ham, head of U.S African command, AFRICOM, said on Wednesday that each of the three groups: al-Qaida in the Islamic Magreb, Somalia-based al-Shabaab, and Boko Haram in Nigeria “have very explicitly and publicly voiced an intent to target Westerners, and the U.S. specifically,” not only in the areas in which they operate but also to the United States.
According to Ham, his bigger concern is that the three are looking for ways to work together more closely.
He said, “Each of those three independently presents a significant threat not only in the nations in which they primarily operate, but regionally — and I think they present a threat to the United States.”
This was confirmed by the Defense Department officials later on Wednesday that a large car bomb detonated in August by Boko Haram militants had signature elements of the improvised explosives used by the al-Qaeda offshoot in the Sahel. Analysts suggest that the group had shared its tactics and techniques with the Nigerian terrorist organization.
Ham also expressed worry that some of Libya’s weaponry could fall into the hands of terrorists.