October 8th, 2013
04:24 PM ET

How big is the terrorism threat in Africa?

U.S. special forces were involved in a pair of raids in Africa at the weekend. In Libya, Delta Force captured a key suspect in the East Africa embassy bombings that took place in 1998. However, Navy SEAL Team Six withdrew before being able to confirm if they had killed a suspected top leader of Al-Shabaab, a terrorist group linked to al Qaeda that has claimed responsibility for the attack last month on a shopping mall in Nairobi.

But what do these raids say about the U.S. role in Africa? How great is the threat from terrorism on the continent, and what should we expect next?

International Crisis Group’s Deputy Africa Director E.J. Hogendoorn will be taking GPS readers’ questions on these and related issues. Please leave your questions in the comments section below.

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Topics: Reader Q&A • Terrorism

soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Chukwuemeka

    How can we track the weapons used by terrorists in Africa bearing in mind the American second amendment?

    October 8, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Reply
    • Alex Scofi

      By embracing the UN arms treaty that specifically says *paraphrased, of course* "WE DON'T WANNA F*** WITH YOUR F***ING SECOND AMENDMENT"

      http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2013/10/07/u-s-keeping-dubious-company-over-arms-treaty/

      October 8, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Reply
    • ✠ RZ ✠

      Chuky, Alex's point above is perfectly valid, however, his paraphrasing of the UN treaty with respect to the 2nd Amendment certainly leaves room for interpretation.Pergaps he might have said that the treaty "COULDN'T GIVE ONE FLYING F*** ABOUT WHATEVER ANY S**TFERBRAINS WANTS TO DO WITH THEIR OWN DUMMASS GUNS IN THEIR OWN GAWDDAM COUNTRY. SO IF YOUR SCROOWED UP GOVERNMENT AND SECOND F***ING AMENDMENT MIGHT ALLOW FOR EVERY JERQOFF AND HIS PSYCO MONKEY TO JUST STAGGER AROUND WHEREVER THEY WANT WITH 9MM FREAKIN GLOCKS OR WHATEVER SHOVED UP THEIR WAZOOS AND MAYBE EVEN PUT A CAP IN SOME POOR NUN OR HELPLESS BABY IN STROLLER ALONG THE WAY,  AS LONG AS YOU KEEP THAT HORSES-HIT IN YOUR OWN S-HITHOLE COUNTRY WE DON'T GIVE A RATSASS. GO RIGHT THE F*** AHEAD.

      October 8, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Reply
    • Joseph McCarthy

      Hey you two, Alex Scofi and RZ. Can you guys cut that filthy Tea Party lingo out? It has no place here on this website!

      October 9, 2013 at 11:11 am | Reply
      • ✠RZ✠

        Without question. Please accept my apologies. I was analyzing some of those comments being plastered about by that GHDFSHGD653789 guy and I think some subliminal encryption in there somewhere irradiated my nanos or something. Won't happen again.

        October 9, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
      • Joseph McCarthy

        Thank you, RZ, for your apology. Like I said before, the English language is extensive enough so one doesn't truly need to resort to Tea Party talk to make a point.

        October 9, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
  2. RTE34555

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    October 8, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Reply
  3. It's an Islame threat

    It's an Islame threat.

    October 8, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Reply
  4. Joseph McCarthy

    How big is the terrorism threat in Africa? In truth, not very but the right-wing media will exaggerate this too in order to further scare the public into supporting more kidnappings by our "special" forces to make them look legitimate!

    October 8, 2013 at 7:12 pm | Reply
  5. ✠RZ✠

    Given China's significant interest in Africa, how does it view the ICG, and in what way does it provide any significant support?

    October 8, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Reply
  6. 100 % ETHIO

    What is terrorism?
    Since when, the word applied to such...group(s)?

    I believe, good and Positive Social Mind-Set would bring different People to the Table, for good.

    ??????????????????????????????????

    Who will be affected/effected, if peace spreads around the Globe?

    October 8, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  7. ZOWRT5559593456456ASFSDF

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    POLITICS TALKING ABOUT NANOTECHNOLOGY.

    CNN REMEMBER THE SPEECH, WHEN HUGO CHAVEZ FRIAZ SAYs.

    SEARCH IN ACHIVE.

    WE HAD VENEZUELAN INTERVENED TO THE TUETANOS (SPINAL CORD).

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    October 8, 2013 at 11:04 pm | Reply
  8. Abdirahman Gutale, MA

    Terrorist threat in East Africa is yet to be fully understood. Somalia, for example, has a Lost Generation (ages between 12-38), which make over 65% of population. Uneducated, unemployed, and unaccounted for they are real force for evil. President Hassan Sheikh noted this point on your show. Yet, Somali, US or UN and other agencies have failed to put in place a comprehensive initiative to address. Hence, Al Shabab and other militant group fill the void. The youth bulge is a real threat in the rest of Africa and Arabia.

    October 8, 2013 at 11:33 pm | Reply
  9. Phelix Unger

    In the absence of law and order in large swaths of the continent I suspect the terror problem grow in larger than where we are today. Do you think that America and her allies will have better co-operation from the African countries then they have had with middle east and near east governments, when trying to deal with terrorism?

    Thank you

    October 9, 2013 at 12:32 am | Reply
  10. Alex

    Are there any similarities between the rise of N. African extremist groups and the rise of offshoot groups like AQAP? Looking subjectively, it's easy to say that the threat is overblown. But within the last few years the world has seen groups like al-Shabaab start from Somalia-centric grievances to exporting its actions to neighboring countries. I do not think it is beyond the scale of reason to assume that the potential for a regional threat to U.S. interests could exist sometime in the future. We are still the "far enemy" that has near interests and involvement.

    October 9, 2013 at 7:07 am | Reply
  11. j. von hettlingen

    Do the two raids in Africa last week signal a shift from drone attacks? They were rather risky operations. Luckily the US didn't suffer any casualty. Is that the new goal of counter-terrorism, to reduce the collateral damage of a lethal drone strike?

    October 9, 2013 at 7:27 am | Reply
  12. Omar Mahmood

    What do you see as the most likely reaction to the raid within the ranks of al-Shabaab? Can they profit from a narrative of a 'failed attack,' or do raids such as this affect the rank-and-file members, potentially reducing recruits due to increase risks even in perceived safe haven areas? Will such raids have any sort of affect on AS's desire to continue planning operations regionally against nations intervening in Somalia, such as Kenya?

    October 9, 2013 at 11:38 am | Reply
  13. Sheher K.

    What is the relevance of kidnapping Abu Anas al-Libi 15 years after the bombing of American embassies? Why now? I mean, what kind of crucial information does he hold to breach Libya's national sovereignty? Its not like any information they acquire now can be used in a trial (he hasnt been read his Miranda rights). So any information obtained now has little relevance for the 98 bombings. Also, does the use of US warships, instead of the so-called black sites or prisons, indicate a decline in support of US rendition programs from the allied countries?

    October 9, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  14. rightospeak

    Terrorism is the smoke , the real action is neocolonialism. Some "journalist' should be able to figure it out.

    October 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  15. May

    THE MUSLIMS ARE NOT HAPPY!
    They're not happy in Gaza ..
    They're not happy in Egypt ..
    They're not happy in Libya ..
    They're not happy in Morocco ..
    They're not happy in Iran ..
    They're not happy in Iraq ..
    They're not happy in Yemen ..
    They're not happy in Afghanistan ..
    They're not happy in Pakistan ..
    They're not happy in Syria ..
    They're not happy in Lebanon ..

    SO, WHERE ARE THEY HAPPY?

    They're happy in Australia .
    They're happy in Canada .
    They're happy in England ..
    They're happy in France ..
    They're happy in Italy ..
    They're happy in Germany ..
    They're happy in Sweden ..
    They're happy in the USA ..
    They're happy in Norway ..
    They're happy in Holland .
    They're happy in Denmark .

    Basically, they're happy in every country that is not Muslim
    and unhappy in every country that is!

    AND WHO DO THEY BLAME?

    Not Islam.
    Not their leadership.
    Not themselves.

    THEY BLAME THE COUNTRIES THEY ARE HAPPY IN!

    AND THEN; They want to change those countries to be like....
    THE COUNTRY THEY CAME FROM WHERE THEY WERE .

    October 12, 2013 at 9:18 am | Reply

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