Somalia: April 17, 2002


The German Navy's screening of the East African coast for Al-Qaeda terrorists escaping from Afghanistan continues. The 2 April New York Times carried a ride-along report from one of the Breguet Atlantic BR 1150 patrol aircraft. In addition to fleeing terrorists, this part of Africa's coast has long been plagued with smugglers and pirates.

But even when they encounter suspicious ships, the German patrol planes were in no position to intercept them. The allied boats patrolling the Somali coastline were spread so thin that they cannot effectively stop most traffic. 

Meanwhile, Kenyan Muslim leaders told American ambassador Johnnie Carson that they were opposed to the use of Kenya's coast in the US-led war against terrorism - primarily due to fears of Somali retaliation. - Adam Geibel


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