Adam Robertson / Al-Jazeera.com – 2007-05-01 00:59:05
(April 24, 2007) — Al-Qaeda is becoming “more active in North Africa, particularly the Maghreb region of Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria”, the US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters on April 13, a day after bomb attacks killed at least 33 people in Algiers.
The Algeria attacks came just two days after three human bombers detonated their explosives in the Moroccan capital, Casablanca, which also witnessed another attack days later when two bombers blew themselves up near the US diplomatic offices in the city.
The attacks and the US comments about an active “al-Qaeda” cell in North Africa raise serious questions. It’s extremely mysterious that “al-Qaeda” tends to show up in places targeted by the Bush administration. For example, Africa, in particular Somalia, and more recently Algeria and Morocco.
Last February, the US Defense Secretary Robert Gates “announced the creation of AFRICOM, which will ultimately be responsible for all of Africa except Egypt, which has existing military ties with US Central Command,” according to Stars and Stripes, a daily newspaper published for the US military, DoD civilians, contractors, and their families.
The daily said “AFRICOM’s purpose is to make Africa the primary concern of one combatant command instead of a ’secondary or tertiary’ concern for three other commands.”
Some analysts suggested that the formation of AFRICOM indicates that the Bush administration is planning to expand its “war on terror” into Africa.
AFRICOM was formed shortly before the United States used the Ethiopian armed forces, backed by US air power and small teams of special forces, to oust the Islamic Courts Union which had stabilized most of Somalia.
“US Special Forces accompanied the Ethiopian Army when it stormed across the border in late December to support the besieged and isolated Transitional Federal Government (TFG). The United States also provided the Ethiopians with “up-to-date intelligence on the military positions of the Islamist fighters in Somalia,” Pentagon and counterterrorism officials told The New York Times,” wrote Conn Hallinan for Foreign Policy In Focus.
“The ostensible reason for US participation in the invasion was the ICU’s supposed association with al-Qaeda, a charge that has never been substantiated. US warplanes and ships shelled and rocketed parts of southern Somalia where hundreds of civilians have been killed or wounded.”
“The White House’s plans for Africa, which reach far beyond the Horn of Africa, are part of a general militarization of US foreign policy. A recent congressional report found that some embassies have effectively become command posts, with military personnel in those countries all but supplanting the role of ambassadors in conducting American foreign policy,” Hallinan adds.
The United States already spent more than $500 million on the Trans-Sahel Counterterrorism Initiative that includes Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria in North Africa, as well as other countries boarding the Sahara including Mauritania, Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Chad, and Senegal. It’s worth mentioning that a major US base in Djibouti housing about 1,800 forces played a key role in Ethiopia’s invasion of Somalia.
While Africa is expected to provide a quarter of all US oil imports by 2015, AFRICAOM will start focusing on the Gulf of Guinea. The gulf countries of Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Angola, and the Congo Republic all possess huge oil reserves. It’s not a surprise that some of these countries are already suffering from the same kind of “instability” that AFRICOM was formed to tackle.
And thus the “al-Qaeda” threat keeps on rolling, out of the Middle East and right into Africa, where there happens to be an abundance of strategic minerals that will fuel the expansion of Washington’s “war on terror” in the continent.
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You know, its really starting to be hard to believe Al-Qaeda is responsible for everything. If they are they are very busy and very stupid. Bush and Blair have lost all credibility and they are like five year olds that keep pointing the finger. Al-Qaeda has done some horrible things but to blame them for everything in my opinion would be a big mistake. The war Bush and Blair have started on false pretenses is starting to look like the board game called “War”. My Tooth hurts Al-Qaeda must be responsible, my car wont start must be Al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda in my opinion can take a holiday, Bush and Blair are making a big enough mess on their own.
— Lisa from Canada
t is amazing when you want the conclusion to be something how one can find the “facts” to fit in. How about the Kenyan and Algerian bombings by Qaeda going back 10 years. Qaeda has been involved in bombings in that part of the world for at least a decade. Also, we will see more bombings there by them as Europe and the States have taken extensive security measures which means targets in Africa will be much more attractive for Qaeda. Don’t cherry pick the facts to fit your conclusions. And I can understand you disagreeing with US foreign policy.
— Larry from the US
The US is just using al qaida as a pretext to intervene in African affairs. Specially, in the North African countries like Sudan which have long been subjected to US worse criticism and sanctions. US already start its war in Somalia using Ethiopian army. Thousand of Somali people and counting has so far fall victim in the US vicious war and they dont even give a danm in the rising numbers of civilian casualties, they only care for their interests in the region. The people should first take revenge against their leader who openly support US plan of african subjugation. considering the strategic importance of africa, the US with all its might and influence wants to assert its influence in Africa which long been wane in the last decades, due to its increasing unpopularity, even at expense of civilians being killed.
— Kriss from Far East
The media in the West can play this Al-Qaeda crab on the western people not us. but to have a middle eastern media organization playing this Qaeda threat BS is not acceptable… Al-Qaeda is nort an orgunization as the west picture it. Yes it is an Islmic Group of people that practice Islam and defend themselves when neccessary against invaders and colonists. The true evil in the world today is two — the big evil America and the Little evil Israel… NOT AL QAEDA… All Charges against Alqaeda are a hoax.
— Hamdy from Egypt
It is more han probable that the west, led by US and UK, will try to recolonize Africa. The oil means everything to it now, you do not have to be Noam Chomsky to see that. New civilizations are coming up threatening its 515 years of ruling the world with its well known “policy”: If necessary invade the country, set up civil wars and civil puppet, set ethnicities and faiths up against each other, make monsters of the resistance,-here in Latin-America the Indians were called animals witout souls, now the resistance in Iraq are called thugs without souls,-steal as much of the resources as possible, use the puppets to set countries up against each other and destabilze whole regions. It is called the law of split and rule, and was successfully used here in Latin-America for more than 500 years. Later came Asia and Africa, and the oil brought western imperialism and colonialism to he Mid-East. Today it can only repeat itself. Their structures seem unbreakable, and the poor stays on in misery.
— Ola Solstad from Bolivia
I have seen many Muslims from different ethnic backgrounds but I have not seen even one Muslim that supports al-qada. Who are they, really? I seriously doubt they even pray? Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) said “One who hears a Muslim calling for help and does not respond to it, is not a Muslim”. How someone can believe in this sentence and continue to kill their Muslim brother and sisters for reasons that only help Muslims’ enemies? I think Muslims should seriously investigate about this group and find out who are they.
— Saman from Iran
“Al Qaida” is the Shadow of the Anglo-american masonic Oligarchy that is addicted to death to oil, blood and power. Period.
— Hakim from Ummah
“It is the function of the CIA to keep the world unstable, and to propagandize and teach the American people to ha1te, so we will let the Establishment spend any amount of money on arms.”
— John Stockwell, former CIA official and author.