Al-Qaida, ISIS Affiliates Team Up in West Africa, Says US Special Operations Command Africa Leader by Carley Petesch – Associated Press
THIES, Senegal — The only place in the world where fighters linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group are cooperating is in West Africa’s sprawling Sahel region, giving the extremists greater depth as they push into new areas, according to the commander of the U.S. military’s special operations forces in Africa.
“I believe that if it’s left unchecked it could very easily develop into a great threat to the West and the United States,” U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Dagvin Anderson told The Associated Press in an interview this week.
The leader of U.S. Special Operations Command Africa described the threat even as the Pentagon considers reducing the U.S. military presence in Africa.
Experts have long worried about collaboration between al-Qaida and the Islamic State group. While the cooperation in the Sahel is not currently a direct threat to the U.S. or the West, “it’s very destabilizing to the region,” Anderson said…