Al-Qaeda's East Africa network 'regrouping, rearming in northern Somalia'
Al-Qaeda's network in East Africa is regrouping and rearming in northern Somalia, according to the president of the region.
Abdirahman Farole, the president of Puntland, said that if the extremists manage to regroup in this mountainous region, they could attack Ethiopia or Kenya, both of which have deployed troops in Somalia.
Al-Shabaab, the Somali Islamist movement which has merged with al-Qaeda, was expelled from Mogadishu, and much of the south earlier this year.
According to the Telegraph, instead of this being a decisive setback, however, the evidence suggests that key figures have moved northwards to Puntland, a self-governing area covering 130,000 square miles of northern Somalia.
Last week, two Islamist commanders and nine fighters were arrested in this region.
Abdirahman Farole said that the successful offensive mounted by African Union forces against al-Shabaab in and around Mogadishu had caused a 'spillover' of extremists into his area, the report said.
Among the 11 al-Shabaab operatives who were arrested in Puntland is the alleged leader of its assassination squad, the report added.