Terrorism: May 6, 2003


Task Force Horn of Africa (TFHOA), 1300 soldiers, sailors and marines operating from a U.S. Navy headquarters ship and several land bases in Djibouti, has been hunting for al Qaeda members in Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti and Yemen. All of this activity has occurred without much fanfare. This is because the nations they are operating in, except Ethiopia, all have majority Moslem populations. Al Qaeda is popular with many Moslems, as a sort of Robin Hood operation that can do neat stuff like bring tall towers crashing down and kill thousands of those rich Westerners. But the governments, and many of the citizens, know that al Qaeda are a bunch of murderous maniacs that can just as quickly turn on "friendly" governments. So the local governments have requested that any al Qaeda members seized in the area be quietly taken away. It turns out that Task Force Horn of Africa has picked up "several" al Qaeda operatives in the region, but is, to keep the local governments happy, not issued press releases. TFHOA relies a lot on electronic and satellite intelligence gathering, plus small numbers of troops and agents on the ground, to track local al Qaeda activity. Various techniques, usually employing commandos or bribes, are used to snatch the wanted men.


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