“The Shabaab network inside the United States is tailor-made for what al Qaida wants to accomplish in this country,” Sanderson said. “They have ties to al Qaida, they have the rhetoric. It’s not a very big stretch to turn that into attacks in the United States.”
To date, a Shabaab’s efforts have mainly focused in Somalia. In Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Taiba — the Army of the Pure — has been around since 1993 and has been focused for most of that time on India. Its biggest attack _—a November 2008 assault on a hotel and other sites frequented by tourists in India’s commercial capital Mumbai — killed 164 people, including six Americans.
The group’s strongly anti-Western rhetoric and alleged ties to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence directorate spy agency have fueled fears that it’ll soon look to strike farther afield — perhaps to the United Kingdom, where Sanderson noted there is “a ready-made diaspora, including youths who’ve become disenchanted with the West.”Similar reasoning applies to al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, which is thought to want to strike outside Africa and particularly in France, the former colonial master in the region. The Algeria-based group has been using money from kidnapping and smuggling to buy up weapons from the caches of former Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi. Military and counterterrorism experts believe AQIM played a role in the success of the Tuareg rebellion in Mali, which touched off a military coup in the West African nation this spring.The group has also thought to have gotten some help from Nigeria’s Boko Haram, a worrying addition to international terrorism whose 115 attacks killed 550 people in Nigeria last year alone. The name — which translates to “Western education is forbidden” — tells of the group’s disdain for the West. Experts fear that its participation in Mali shows it’s willing to operate outside its national borders.“What is happening in Mali started as a nationalist, separatist movement, but has it been co-opted by a collection of Islamists?” said J. Peter Pham, director of the Atlantic Council’s Michael S. Ansari Africa Center. “It’s a propaganda victory, certainly. But more than that, consider that Boko Haram’s activities have forced Nigeria into inactivity in its own neighborhood. That’s an ally we can no longer call on. A local group, now pushing outside its traditional borders, has already hurt our national interests.”Experts agree that the main emerging danger is these localized groups expanding their ambitions outside their homelands. One year after bin Laden, international terror may no longer have a face, but its teeth are still sharp. via KansasCitystar