The head of U.S. anti-terrorism forces in the Horn of Africa says members of al-Qaida and other militant groups are using lawless parts of the region to train and plan new attacks.
In an interview with Reuters news service, Major General Samuel Helland said rooting out militants from the region has been difficult due to their ability to blend in with local populations.
The general said U.S. forces are helping governments in the area with security training to counter the threat, and said this assistance includes helping civilians in those countries.
The operating area for the U.S. anti-terrorism taskforce includes Kenya and Tanzania, where U.S. embassies were attacked by terrorists in 1998, and Yemen, where militants attacked the Navy ship USS Cole in 2000.
Some information for this report provided by Reuters.