Al Qaeda Branch in Somalia Threatens Americans in East Africa - and the U.S. by Eric Schmitt and Abdi Latif Dahir - New York Times
Al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia, the terrorist group’s largest and most active global affiliate, has issued specific new threats against Americans in East Africa and even the United States, U.S. commandos, counterterrorism officials and intelligence analysts say.
Several ominous signs indicate that the Qaeda affiliate, the Shabab, is seeking to expand its lethal mayhem well beyond its home base, and attack Americans wherever it can — threats that have prompted a recent flurry of American drone strikes in Somalia to snuff out the plotters.
In recent months, two Shabab operatives have been arrested while taking flying lessons — one last summer in the Philippines and another more recently in an African country, intelligence officials say. Those arrests carried eerie echoes of the original Sept. 11 plotters, who trained to fly jetliners. Shabab fighters are seeking to acquire Chinese-made, shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles, which could pose a deadly new risk to U.S. helicopters and other aircraft in Somalia…