"...after there's an American base, there comes trouble."
November 25, 2017 2:59 PM Subscribe
Sudarsan Raghavan and Craig Whitlock of the Washington Post report from Agadez, Niger on a US drone base under construction nearby, that local residents fear will become a target for Islamist extremists.
"Such concerns have escalated since an ambush last month by Islamist militants that killed four U.S. and five Nigerien soldiers in the village of Tongo Tongo, along the Niger-Mali border. Agadez is in north-central Niger, more than 600 miles from that attack site, but the militants have also targeted this region in recent years.
"Now, the growing perils faced by U.S. troops here are intensifying questions about the decision to build a drone base near Agadez — the second such facility in Niger, an impoverished West African country twice the size of Texas.
"Local officials and community leaders say unemployment is rising in the area, boosting crime and creating opportunities for Islamist militants to exploit the disaffected. Many Nigeriens already view U.S. and other Western forces in the country as occupiers, according to interviews here and in the capital, Niamey. At least one Western embassy recently warned its citizens about extremist groups operating in areas outside Agadez."