Monday, September 19, 2011

US Signals Possible Greater Involvement in North Africa

US warns oil firms in North Africa of Qaida threat

Updated at: 09/19/2011 5:06 PM

(AP) WASHINGTON - The United States is warning western oil companies operating in North Africa of a potential al-Qaida threat to their personnel and facilities from weapons seized in the Libyan conflict.

The State Department said Friday in a statement that the U.S. Embassy in Algeria had picked up threat information and moved quickly to alert potential targets.

The statement did not elaborate, but a department official said the threat related to weapons, including shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missiles, that may have been obtained by terrorists affiliated with al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, the group’s North Africa wing.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.

The U.S. and other nations have grown increasingly concerned about the whereabouts of large amounts of Libyan weaponry that have gone missing.

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