Counter-Terrorism: Haiti and al Qaeda

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April 12, 2006: American intelligence has picked up indications that the ongoing chaos in Haiti may be providing Islamist terrorist groups with a safe haven, and an opportunity to plan, organize, and train. This sort of thing was also suspected in Somalia, and known to be happening in remote parts of Pakistan and the Philippines. It's no accident that al Qaeda has been unable to set up permanent and productive training operations anywhere. Many, if not most, of the U.S. Army Special Forces deployed worldwide are not in Afghanistan or Iraq, but in dozens of out-of-the-way and lawless places like Haiti. Restoring order to Haiti would not only do wonders for the economy (especially the once booming tourist business), but provide enough bright lights and bustle to shoo away al Qaeda. But at the moment, Haiti is most hospitable to gangsters and thugs. Every thing is for sale, and justice comes out of the barrel of a gun. The presence of UN peacekeepers in Haiti provides some muscle to go after any terrorist groups setting up shop. While the proximity to the United States may appear attractive to some Islamic terrorists, others know that this proximity works both ways. Keeping some Special Forces in the country on a regular basis, if only for intelligence gathering, would appear as the best antidote for al Qaeda infestation.

 


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