Obama vows to chase terrorists in Africa
WASHINGTON (PAN): The core of the Al Qaeda leadership might have been decimated in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region, but a new younger splinter group had come up in African countries, US President Barack Obama said Tuesday.
At a crowded White House news conference, Obama described this as shifting nature of terrorism."We had decimated core Al-Qaeda that had been operating primarily between Afghanistan and Pakistan, but you now have these regional groups, some of which are explicitly tied to Al Qaeda or that ideology..."
Few of the outfits had the ability to project beyond their borders, but they could do a lot of damage inside their borders, the president said, calling Africa one of the places where, because of a lack of capacity on the part of governments, it was easier for folks to hide out.
The US would have to continue to go after the militants, Obama said, as he justified his decision to chase terrorists in that part of the world as reflected in the Navy SEAL raids in Somalia and Libya.
He said: "There is a difference between us going after terrorists who are plotting directly to do damage to the United States, and us being involved in wars. The risks of terrorism and terrorist networks are going to continue for some time to come."
Obama stressed a long-term plan that was not just military-based to fight the menace, suggesting: "We've got to engage in a war of ideas in the region, and engage with Muslim countries and try to isolate radical elements that are doing more damage to Muslims than they're doing to anybody else."
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