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US General Touts Anti-Terror Task Force Successes in Horn of Africa - 2004-03-29


The commander of the U.S.-led military task force fighting terrorism in the Horn of Africa is reporting what he calls "good successes" but provides no details.

Brigadier General Mastin Robeson gives credit to countries in the Horn of Africa region for detaining suspected terrorists in recent actions.

"We have had some good successes lately with bad guys being captured by some of our host nation partners," he said.

Yemen this month arrested nine suspects in the bombing four years ago of a U.S. Navy vessel. It also detained two other militants described as al-Qaida members.

The general makes no reference to the Yemen arrests or any others in his latest pre-recorded weekly telephone message to family members of troops stationed in the Horn.

But he indicates dissatisfaction that the Horn task force, based in Djibouti, is getting little credit for its anti-terrorism efforts.

"I know that you hear a lot on the news that would cause you to doubt the successes out here, but the U.S.-led coalition is being extremely successful both here and in Iraq and Afghanistan," he said.

In another recent interview, General Robeson claimed dozens of arrests have been made in the Horn of Africa of what he was quoted as calling "significant members" of terrorist groups.

He credited regional security forces for the successes. But he suggested their counter-terrorism efforts have been revitalized by the Task Force's presence.