News / Africa

MI5: Somalia, Yemen Pose Increasing Threat to Security

The head of Britain's security services has said al-Qaida plots targeting Britain are increasingly originating from Somalia and Yemen. He described Somalia as a "seedbed for terrorism" and said it resembles Afghanistan during the 1990s.

Jonathon Evans, director-general of Britain's domestic security services, MI5 said Britain's counter-terrorism strategies are getting better but the risk of lethal terror attacks remains.  

Speaking Thursday evening to security industry professionals, Evans said that the nature of the threat is evolving.

Just a few years ago, he said, 75 percent of suspected terror threats were originating from northwest Pakistan, but today that percentage has dropped to 50 percent.

Now, he said, the threat to Britain's security is increasingly coming from elsewhere, namely from the African countries Yemen and Somalia.

Wyn Rees, Professor of International Security at Britain's University of Nottingham, agrees.

"By fighting against and driving al-Qaida out of a country like Afghanistan, it has effectively spread, it's been weakened, but it has gone to other parts of the world," said Rees.

Security professionals have paid increasing attention to Yemen since a failed bomb plot on a U.S.-bound plane in December last year.

Rees says conflict-ridden Somalia is also a ripe breeding ground for terrorism. The country has not had a functioning central government since the early 1990s. The U.N.-backed transitional government has been battling the militant group al-Shabab for the past three years.

Rees says the security threat posed by al-Shabab, which is allied with al-Qaida, goes beyond Somalia's borders.

"They are effectively an armed group within the country who are willing to train foreign jihadist as part of their own struggle and also perhaps for those people to go back to western countries afterwards to conduct terrorist actions subsequently," added Rees.

In his speech, Evans said it's only a matter of time before militants now fighting alongside al-Shabab bring terror to the streets of Britain.

He said defending Britain against a terror threat during the 2012 Olympics will be a major challenge.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid