Famine Not Fanaticism Poses Greatest Terror Threat in Sahel

Disenfranchised and impoverished nomads living in the Sahel region of West Africa are unlikely to join forces with international terrorist groups because of ideological or religious beliefs, but rather as a result of the money being dangled in front of them, regional analysts said. The United States, fearful that the Al Qaeda terrorist network may have shifted to the southern fringes of the Sahara after its bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan were destroyed, has opened up a West African front on the war on terror, sending crack Marine units to train local troops in Niger, Chad, Mauritania and Mali. But some commentators question the US obsession that local dissident groups may wish to hook up with Al Qaeda. They say that tackling more fundamental problems in the region, like food, water and jobs, would prove a better use of time and money. Full Story

OODA Analyst

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