Counter-Terrorism: March 2, 2005


Some of the more exciting counter-terrorism operations are not being reported. Thats because they are unfolding in out of the way places like Africa. But that should not be surprising. East Africa has long (for thousands of years) had a large Arab population. Most of these Arabs are, naturally, citizens of the countries they live in. But since World War II, the Arab minority has felt slighted and oppressed by the black African majority. As a result, Islamic radicalism has become popular, as has membership in organizations like al Qaeda. American Special Forces have been quietly operating in many East African countries, trying to hunt down Islamic radical cells. Many known al Qaeda leaders are still on the loose in East Africa, and there are a lot of local Arabs who will help hide them. This includes Somalia and Djbouti, where the most of the people consider themselves Arabs, even if they arent. The local governments (except in Somalia, which doesnt have a government) have been cooperative, as they dont want any more terrorist attacks in their back yards. So far, a few terrorists have been caught, and there have been no terrorist attacks. But the situation remains murky, and dangerous. This is especially true because of a World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting being held this month in Kenya. Officials from all over the world will attend, making it an ideal terrorist target.


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