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AP: Unguarded Ports Aid al-Qaida in Kenya

Wooden dhows sail into Mombasa’s centuries old port every day, unloading everything from smuggled baby formula to illegal weapons — all under the eyes of police and customs officers bribed not to notice, Kenyan and U.S. officials told The Associated Press. Nearly all the contraband comes from neighboring Somalia, a lawless country where al-Qaida operatives procured missiles and explosives that were smuggled by sea into Mombasa and used in twin attacks on Israeli targets a year ago Friday, according to a recent U.N. report. In the year since, little has been done to staunch smuggling in eastern Africa, making it easy for terrorists to slip weapons through Kenya’s corrupt ports and largely unpatrolled coves that dot its Indian Ocean coast, said a U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. A deeply rooted culture of smuggling is a problem throughout eastern Africa. Al-Qaida has twice struck Kenya and there are indications the Islamic terror network is plotting a third attack; Kenyan police uncovered a plot to destroy the new U.S. Embassy this past June. Full Story

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