An Executive Summary....
Thesis: HOA is considered a major source of terrorism by the U.S. Pressure should be maintained on the nations comprising HOA to dispatch terrorists from within their borders and nations providing direct or indirect (charities) support should be held to account.
In May 2003, Kenya admitted that Al Qaida was plotting attacks on western targets. This confirmed Al Qaida's presence within Kenya. The trials of four suspects in the 1998 East Africa embassy bombings revealed a thriving terrorist network in Kenya. Evidence exists of an indigenous terrorist movement in Kenya. Leadership of the movement consisted of citizens of Gulf states, Somalia, Pakistan and the Comoro Islands; all assimilated into cultures along throughout the IO and recruited local Kenyans. Kenya requires enormous resources to establish the local institutions and to address the cross-border, refugee, and immigration issues central to effective AT policy.
In Ethopia, people identify with their clan first; Islam remains fairly non-threatening as Christians and Muslims are intermixed throughout the country. Ethiopia has remained free of attacks instigated by AQ and other ME groups. Muslims in Ethiopia have not been receptive to radical Islam and they have no centralized power. US dealings with Ethiopia are a challenge. Ethiopia is a reliable partner for combating terrorism, one with which the US should cooperate on security matters. Need to limit the engagement to US objectives, avoiding those that might unintentionally impact Somalia.
Djibouti is seen as a key transit point for terrorists and as a possible base. As a major port of entry for upper East Africa, Djibouti viewed as a high risk for involvement in transnational terrorism. The government lacks resources to discourage and fight the threat; turning a blind is a viable response for Djibouti in light of this circumstance. US policy toward Djibouti has been described as “benign neglect.” Although Djibouti has not been awarded US aid, the country still allows access to US aircraft without any compensation requirements. Economic assistance at certain levels might enable Djibouti to fight the GWOT with greater skills and resources; would also serve as an opportunity for Djibouti to establish basis for long term relationship with the U.S.
Somalia has served as a transit point for operations into Kenya. Somalia has not:
o Been the site of significant terrorist activity
o Been the site of terrorist attacks
o Hosted terrorist training camps
o Proven to be a profitable recruiting ground for AQ
The Somali government views the GWOT primarily as an opportunity to garner western aid. The primary threat will continue to be unchecked movement of personnel and material into other East African countries.
Eritrea has used the GWOT mantra to eliminate dissention within its borders. Eritrean Islamic Jihad Movement (EIJM) is the only organization that claims to represent Eritrean Muslim grievances. Also the only organization that resembles a “conventional” terrorist group. EIJM remains a mainstay because the regime is unwilling to grant real political participation of Eritrea’s multicultural citizens. US policy described as a “gentlemen’s pact” to leave human rights violations to be dealt with in the future; this policy vacillates between:
o Unconditional support for a regime that joined the fight against terrorism and
o Periodic signals of disapproval for the regime’s crackdown on dissent
Sudan is “at the crossroads;” some high-ranking gov’t officials remain committed to the agenda of radical Islam. Gov’t has a history of harboring terrorist organizations and radical Islamic groups. It openly sheltered Bin Laden and AQ from 1991-1996, and is the only sub-Saharan country on the US list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. Sudan has allowed its territory to be used for training bases and staging areas for numerous groups, including AQ. Sudan has made efforts to clamp down on some terrorist groups since Sept 11th. Viewed as an attempt to improve relations with the U.S. Best option for the US is a “mix of CT and peace advocacy agendas in a focused, targeted and creative way” This would give Sudan better chance to break free of terrorist organizations.
The report concludes that the best way to fight terrorism in HOA is to take a regional approach, vice working with the countries individually. Saudi support of radical Islam through its charities needs to end.