February 23, 2007

THE SAFER THEY FEEL THE EASIER TARGETS THEY ARE:

U.S. Used Base in Ethiopia to Hunt Al Qaeda in Africa (MICHAEL R. GORDON and MARK MAZZETTI, 2/23/07, NY Times)

The American military quietly waged a campaign from Ethiopia last month to capture or kill top leaders of Al Qaeda in the Horn of Africa, including the use of an airstrip in eastern Ethiopia to mount airstrikes against Islamic militants in neighboring Somalia, according to American officials.

The close and largely clandestine relationship with Ethiopia also included significant sharing of intelligence on the Islamic militants' positions and information from American spy satellites with the Ethiopian military. Members of a secret American Special Operations unit, Task Force 88, were deployed in Ethiopia and Kenya, and ventured into Somalia, the officials said.

The counterterrorism effort was described by American officials as a qualified success that disrupted terrorist networks in Somalia, led to the death or capture of several Islamic militants and involved a collaborative relationship with Ethiopia that had been developing for years.

But the tally of the dead and captured does not as yet include some Qaeda leaders -- including Fazul Abdullah Mohammed and Fahid Mohammed Ally Msalam -- whom the United States has hunted for their suspected roles in the attacks on American Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. With Somalia still in a chaotic state, and American and African officials struggling to cobble together a peacekeeping force for the war-ravaged country, the long-term effects of recent American operations remain unclear.


So it was predictably ineffectual and now we need the Islamists to resume control of a country that is otherwise lawless and therefore a genuine threat.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 23, 2007 7:31 AM
Comments

What the?

So this means Afghanistan would be better off back under the yoke of the Islamist Taliban, right?

Posted by: Anthony Perez-Miller at February 23, 2007 1:05 PM

Afghanistan has an Islamist regime. Our objection to the Taliban, whose initial takeover we supported, was that they wouldn't crack down on the terrorists we opposed.

Posted by: oj at February 23, 2007 1:13 PM

That headline goes for us too.

Posted by: erp at February 23, 2007 3:04 PM
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