Will US respond to Islamic extremism in Africa?
All-Star panel weighs in
- Duration 4:50
- Date Jan 16, 2013
All-Star panel weighs in
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An attack today -- a natural gas complex a part owned by BP in Algeria al-Qaeda militants attacking this complex today.
Dozens of foreigners kidnapped among them at least three Americans we are told this was a big operation.
And this is still ongoing at this time.
Who's the best information we have we have.
The House Intelligence Committee chairman you take a look at the facility right now it's surrounded by algerians.
The local Algerian military were told the the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said the kidnapping of Americans and other westerners in Algeria.
Brazenly raises the stakes and already.
Volatile region militant groups and terrorist with ties to AQ I am al-Qaeda in the Islamic -- grab are becoming increasingly brash.
In their activities the Obama administration needs to have a clear and focused policy on eliminating the threats that diverse al-Qaeda affiliated groups opposed to the United States.
And two Americans working abroad.
Off of the usual battlefields additionally this administration needs to better understand the specific threats posed by a Q I am another al-Qaeda affiliated groups if we don't deal with these militant groups.
And terrorists swiftly and effectively they will only pose an increased threat in the future as there are they haven't been Ghazi and doesn't Libya and now Algeria and Molly.
Back with the panel this group said that they were retaliating for the French operation in Mali.
Because Algeria let the French -- airspace.
-- -- Well it shows you how the region -- become.
A no man's land dominated by these islamists.
We had have -- guys you attacked and we thought it was is now -- liar essentially used the same people.
President -- the same affiliated groups and who the groups in the region.
Saw that complete lack of response.
By the United States about -- -- guys he -- About of those leading suspect in the attack going openly in the streets have been guys -- And that they also see that the world had not responded when they took over half a country in Mali which is not.
Like Afghanistan at the end of the world but it's in the middle of Africa right near Europe.
And -- in the heart of the west essentially and nobody was doing anything about it we were organizing.
A group of other French ex colonies to send troops who would not have arrive until the fall.
So I think the fact of the French responded has sparked this response obviously.
From AQ I am and they want to see what the west will do.
I suspect the west is not going to do a lot.
Want the -- -- should do a lot.
That I think that this is obviously now the center terrorist activity in the world.
You can say that that.
Locus has shifted from Pakistan.
And Afghanistan now to hear.
And the question is are people willing to take action now one of the complicating factors today was that the State Department says to our military.
-- rules against you going -- and this is a complicated back story having to do with.
The US military having trained people who were involved in cools in Mali and then it's apparently opened the door to some of this extremist activity.
The State Department does not want military intervention I don't think that statement.
-- military wants direct intervention.
But they wanna be able to help the French and I think that we are moving in the direction that the administration is moving in -- of saying yes it's time there's no question.
These are bad people.
-- -- To charles' point about not getting to the bottom of the Gaza and going after those.
Terrorists who killed the US ambassador there and seeing that Tunisian -- ago.
Do you agree that it's that sends a message.
Absolutely no I don't think there's any question and look it's not to remember it's not just spend got you remember on September 11 and in the days immediately following we had.
Attacks on US facilities throughout the region and you had.
Attacks on the embassy in Tunisia and on September 14 you had the flag flying in Egypt you had.
All of these attacks on US interest throughout the region with.
Basically no response from the US government so I don't think there's any question but that there emboldens the key thing to remember here we were talking about this just last night.
These affiliate groups have been growing in strength.
Over the past several years and Mike Rogers is actually right the sound kind of warnings that he didn't his statement.
He's not the first person do it Carter Ham who was then -- com commander.
In July -- said quote the US government missed an opportunity to deal with al-Qaeda and the in this -- in the Islamic Maghreb.
When they had a chance -- president.
I think a devastating indictment from somebody inside the administration.
We'll hear more about this policy arguments ahead of Secretary Clinton -- January 23 nothing constitute that's it for the panel.