As strategic reality changes, terror threat will rise

26Jan 2019
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
As strategic reality changes, terror threat will rise

A MASSIVE terrorist attack in Nairobi last week had all the three elements of urban terror operations, namely a car bomb to cause damage and confusion, then gunmen using grenades and heavy rifles, and finally suicide bombing by a self-detonating suicide vest to cause maximum damage in-

the principally targeted area.

The terror attack claimed the lives of 21 people according to Kenyan authorities, who took several days to put the area totally under control and account for the dead and missing.

It is a sad episode that the Kenyan capital has had to live with over the past decade, not just for its anti-terror operations in Somalia but its key US, Israeli links.

As if in response to the Nairobi raid, the US Marine corps stationed in Somalia launched aerial bombardment of suspected Al Shabaab facilities, and the US command said 56 militants were killed.

News agencies covering Somalia and Kenya said however that it wasn't possible to make an independent verification of numbers of those who died, in which case the US report just creates an impression of the scale of that raid, not precisions about Al Shabaab losses. Both that attack and the US response show that terror groups are organizing afresh.

One apparent reason for launching the Nairobi DusitD2 Hotel strike is the precipitated departure of US troops from Syria, which boosted terror groups' morale the way the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital at about the same time the previous year sapped the morale of Mid East peace negotiators.

It was as if President Donald Trump was reaching a 'peace of the brave' with them, that he intends to keep his Jerusalem vow and for that matter act in solidarity with Israel, but otherwise he is leaving the Middle East to the designs of the warlords in the region. The US is tiring of fighting alongside a plethora of undemocratic regimes, for decades on end...

Back on the continent, the US Africa Command which has been blasted by so many radicals has actually helped to douse the fires of uprisings following the Al Shabaab and Boko Haram models, though it must be admitted that the French have been more than active in the Francophone sphere.

It will be remembered that periodic raids of the notorious Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda diminished and the rag tag band disappeared into the triangular forest zone liking Uganda, DRC, South Sudan and Central Africa Republic after the US sent a 100-man commando unit to hunt down LRA leader Joseph Kony. He remains in hiding.

Back home there was a report of Tanzanian 'militants' (which usually mean terror suspects, linked to groups planning attacks) being caught or noticed in hideouts in northern parts of Mozambique, a low density area.

The population is also kindred so they can even pose as locals, except if it comes to speaking Portuguese. With the US retreating from Syria and Afghanistan, terror groups shall expect that if they make strenuous attacks the US will depart from overseas wars and camp at home. The threat of more












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