NAIROBI, Kenya – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Thursday honored the victims of the deadly 1998 al-Qaida-linked attacks on the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
A day before the 11th anniversary of the Aug. 7 bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam that killed more than 200 people, Clinton paid a somber visit to a memorial at the site of the former embassy in the Kenyan capital.
The site, she said, is a reminder of “the continuing threat of terrorism, which respects no boundaries, no race, ethnicity or religion, but is aimed at disrupting and denying the opportunity of people to make their own decisions and to lead their own lives.”
Clinton vows new US support for Somolia
NAIROBI, Kenya — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today pledged to “expand and extend” American support for Somalia’s weak interim government as it struggles against Islamist extremists believed linked to al-Qaida.
Accusing the extremists of trying to turn Somalia into a base to launch worldwide terrorist attacks, Clinton said the Obama administration would boost military supplies and other aid to the government and an African peacekeeping force supporting it. She did not detail the new aid.
“They see Somalia as a future haven for global terrorism,” she said of the extremist Somali militia known as al-Shabab. To make her point, she noted the recent arrests of four men allegedly linked to the group who are suspected of plotting attacks there in Australia.
“Our information is that al-Shabab not only uses foreign fighters and foreign money but foreign ideas in its attack on the people of Somalia,” she said.
“There is also no doubt that al-Shabab wants to take control of Somalia and use it as a base from which to influence and even infiltrate surrounding countries and launch attacks against countries far and near,” Clinton said after meeting beleaguered Somali President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed at the U.S. Embassy in Kenya.
“Their aim is to make Somalia a ground to destabilize the whole world,” said Ahmed, who appealed to Clinton for additional resources. “We cannot suffer any longer. The people of Somalia have a right to peace.