U.S. offiicals fear profits from piracy help fund terrorist groups in West Africa.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. and some of its allies are considering an increase in anti-piracy operations along Africa's west coast. They're concerned that money from the attacks is funding a Nigerian-based insurgent group that is linked to one of al-Qaida's most dangerous affiliates.
Senior U.S. defense and counter-piracy officials say they are weighing whether beefed up enforcement efforts that worked against pirates off the Somalia coast might also be needed in the waters off Nigeria.
There has been growing coordination between Nigeria-based Boko Haram and al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which was linked to the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, last September that killed four Americans, including the ambassador. U.S. officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly about the discussions.
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(Photo: AP Photo/Jon Gambrell, File)