US Commander in Africa: Pentagon Bolstering Operations on Continent

Posted June 25th, 2012 at 3:55 pm (UTC-5)
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The commander of U.S. forces in Africa says the Pentagon is bolstering its operations on the continent as the terror threat there grows.

General Carter Ham told African military leaders in Washington Monday that three of the continent's most dangerous terrorist groups are looking to coordinate their activities — al-Shabab, Boko Haram and al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.

General Ham said U.S. commanders have information that the three may be sharing funds and training on how to use bombs. He called it a real problem for the United States and for African security.

The general said the Pentagon is looking to expand intelligence and military training in Africa, but he said that can only happen at the invitation of host nations.

The United States has just one permanent military base in Africa — in Djibouti.

Last year, President Barack Obama sent about 100 U.S. troops into central Africa to help find Joseph Kony, head of the Lord's Resistance Army. The rebel chief is accused of numerous human rights violations, including murder, kidnapping and recruiting child soldiers.