Congressional Report: 40 Americans Training in Somalia Are 'Direct Threat' to U.S.

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Americans in Somalia a 'Direct Threat' to U.S Security

In a speech last month when the Obama administration released their counterterrorism strategy, John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism said, "From the territory it controls in Somalia al-Shabab continues to call for strikes against the United States. As a result, we cannot and will not let down our guard."

Tuesday appearing before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for his confirmation hearing Matthew Olsen, the nominee to head the National Counterterrorism Center, was asked to list his view of top threats. "I would say that beyond Al-Qaeda's senior leadership in Pakistan, its presence in Yemen, probably the next most significant terrorist threat may emanate from the Al-Qaeda presence in Somalia."

Officials have been concerned about evidence that the Somalia group is forging an alliance with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the group responsible for the failed 2009 Christmas day underwear bomb plot and the plan last fall to blow up U.S. cargo planes.

In April 2011 Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame, a senior Al Shabaab commander, was captured by U.S. forces with evidence showing cooperation with Yemen on planning, weapons and explosives training.

The U.S. Military has executed strikes in Somalia targeting at Al Shabaab members. There have been conflicting reports about Omar Hammami being killed and in 2009 US special forces killed Saleh Ali Nabhan, a key Al Qaeda operative who was believed to have taken part in the 1998 attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Nabhan was also believed to have been training some of the US recruits at training in Somalia before he was killed.

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