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February 11, 2008

African Highway through the Danger Zone
Posted by Adam Blickstein

Sorry for the consecutive sport's posts  (there might be one more as the Met's head to spring training this week), but the three decades old Dakar Rally is moving from North Africa to South America next year after this years rally was canceled due to fear of terrorism. The marathon off-road endurance motor-race normally traverses through parts of Northern Africa, including through the Sahel region known for a growth in terrorist activities, where last Christmas Eve a French tourist was killed in Mauritania which prompted the Dakar's cancellation.  With President Bush leaving this Friday for Africa, nothing on his schedule shows him addressing terrorism and terror elements on the African continent. Deadly bombings over the past year in Algeria and Morocco along with the continued terrorism presence in North Africa, ongoing issues with radical Islam in the African Horn, Sudan and Egypt, and terror cells of African origin posing problems in Europe illustrate Africa as another breeding ground for terror. So it's curious that even as Bush tries to make fighting terror the centerpiece of legacy that he isn't addressing it or AFRICOM on his upcoming trip.  While dancing with the Kankouran West African Dance Company might make a good photo-op, it certainly won't help solve the problem of African-based terrorism.


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