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Horn of Africa: Terrorism

Volume 470: debated on Friday 25 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment has been made of the potential threat to the UK from terrorist activity in the Horn of Africa; and if he will make a statement. (180739)

Al-Qaida and its local affiliates have a long history of terrorist activity in East Africa, from the Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam bombings of 1998 through to more recent activity in Somalia. Al-Qaida has exploited the absence of an effective Government in Somalia to use the country as a base for both terrorist training and planning. This is mainly focused on the region, but some has been directed against the UK. The UK is home to a small number of extremists of East African origin, as the failed 21 July 2005 attacks in London demonstrated.

The Government’s policy are to promote peace, stability and good governance in the horn of Africa. We are working, with our international partners, through the UN, EU and other international fora, to support programmes in the region that will assist development in these areas. We also support programmes to reduce the instability and lack of governance in Somalia. These mechanisms will help counter the terrorist threat to the UK from the horn of Africa.