The United States says Al-Qaeda and ISIS are looking to make an inroad into Southern Nigeria. It also said Al-Qaeda has started penetrating the north-western part of the country.
In a media briefing, Dagvin Anderson, commander of the US special operations command, Africa, said Al-Qaeda is also expanding to other parts of West Africa.
Anderson said the US will continue to partner with Nigeria in sharing intelligence.
“We have engaged with Nigeria and continue to engage with them in intel sharing and in understanding what these violent extremists are doing,” he said.
“And that has been absolutely critical to their engagements up in the Borno state and into an emerging area of northwest Nigeria that we’re seeing al-Qaeda starting to make some inroads in.
“So, this intelligence sharing is absolutely vital and we stay fully engaged with the government of Nigeria to provide them with an understanding of what these terrorists are doing, what Boko Haram is doing, what ISIS-West Africa is doing, and how ISIS and al-Qaeda are looking to expand further south into the littoral areas.
Anderson regretted that despite successes recorded in previous years, there has been a setback, adding: “We as a community of international nations, keep thinking we have defeated them or we have put them on their back foot and that they’re just moments from disintegration.”
Anderson said for international efforts to yield desired results in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria, the government must take the lead. “When it comes to Nigeria in general, Nigeria, obviously, is a critical nation to West Africa. It is a critical nation and we realize that Nigeria is a lynchpin,” he said.