apr 092014
 

(Reuters) – On a dusty training ground in Niger, U.S. Special Forces teach local troops to deal with suspects who resist arrest. “Speed, aggression, surprise!” an instructor barks as two Nigeriens wrestle a U.S. adviser out of a car. The drill in the border town of Diffa is part of Operation Flintlock, a counter-terrorism exercise for nations on the Sahara’s southern flanks that the United States organizes each year. Washington’s aim is to tackle Islamist militants in the Sahel region [lees verder]

feb 042013
 

Action against al-Qa’ida in North Africa could last decades, PM warns The West faces a decades-long battle to defeat al-Qa’ida in North Africa, David Cameron warned today, as he signalled a dramatic shift in the UK’s fight against terrorism. The heads of MI5, MI6, GCHQ and the Chief of the Defence Staff will gather on Tuesday to begin planning Britain’s response to the burgeoning terror threat from Saharan Africa. Britain will offer money, military co-operation and security training to African [lees verder]

feb 042013
 

WASHINGTON — The United States military is preparing to establish a drone base in northwest Africa so that it can increase surveillance missions on the local affiliate of Al Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups that American and other Western officials say pose a growing menace to the region. For now, officials say they envision flying only unarmed surveillance drones from the base, though they have not ruled out conducting missile strikes at some point if the threat worsens. The [lees verder]

nov 232012
 

Investors going to Africa face political risk in some countries and the very bad transportation and infrastructure, says Erik Prince. Photo: SCMP The man who built up Blackwater – the giant private security force that guarded US diplomats in some of the world’s most dangerous places, including Afghanistan and Iraq – sees Africa as his future. After Erik Prince sold his firm to investors about two years ago, the former officer in the Navy SEALs – the special US military [lees verder]

okt 112012
 

A U-28A plane, painted in a civilian paint scheme, is seen about to touch down on a landing strip, in this file photo. (US Airforce) America’s top commander in Africa revealed that the U.S. military has conducted spy operations all over the continent as part of the fight against international adversaries from al Qaeda-allied terror groups that target the homeland to suspected war criminals like Joseph Kony. “Do we collect information across Africa? Yes, we do,” U.S. Gen. Carter Ham, [lees verder]

okt 112012
 

WASHINGTON – Small teams of special operations forces arrived at American embassies throughout North Africa in the months before militants launched the fiery attack that killed the U.S. ambassador in Libya. The soldiers’ mission: Set up a network that could quickly strike a terrorist target or rescue a hostage. But the teams had yet to do much counterterrorism work in Libya, though the White House signed off a year ago on the plan to build the new military task force [lees verder]

jul 092012
 

In pre-dawn darkness, a Toyota Land Cruiser skidded off a bridge in North Africa in the spring, plunging into the Niger River. When rescuers arrived, they found the bodies of three U.S. Army commandos — alongside three dead women. What the men were doing in the impoverished country of Mali, and why they were still there a month after the United States suspended military relations with its government, is at the crux of a mystery that officials have not fully [lees verder]

jun 202012
 

ENTEBBE, Uganda — Four small, white passenger planes sit outside a hangar here under a blazing sun, with no exterior markings save for U.S. registration numbers painted on the tails. A few burly men wearing aviator sunglasses and short haircuts poke silently around the wing flaps and landing gear. The aircraft are Pilatus PC-12s, turboprops favored by the U.S. Special Operations forces for stealth missions precisely because of their nondescript appearance. There is no hint that they are carrying high-tech [lees verder]

jun 142012
 

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — The U.S. military is expanding its secret intelligence operations across Africa, establishing a network of small air bases to spy on terrorist hideouts from the fringes of the Sahara to jungle terrain along the equator, according to documents and people involved in the project. At the heart of the surveillance operations are small, unarmed turboprop aircraft disguised as private planes. Equipped with hidden sensors that can record full-motion video, track infrared heat patterns, and vacuum up [lees verder]