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a city in niger worries a new us drone base will make it a \'magnet\' for terrorists

by:Newland     2019-09-08
AGADEZ, Niger -
\"Military zone\" sign other than olives
The green Hummer patrolled near a security tower, lined with brown tents across the desert.
In the past two years, this remote, barren place has become the home of hundreds of countries in the United States. S.
The troops work day and night and turn it into a high
Technology, millions-
Dollar drone base
Mohammed Seraj did not like what he saw.
The dust from the building makes 29-year-
Old Hawker cough
In the evening, the noise kept him awake.
But what worries him most is
Except for Nigerians like him who live in the city, only a few minutes away-
Will be the target of Islamic extremists.
\"The base is too close,\" Seraji said . \".
\"People will be exposed if someone attacks it.
\"This concern has escalated since the Islamic militants ambushed last month that killed four American soldiers. S.
In the village of Tongo in Niger, there are five Nigerian soldiersMali border.
Abaz is in the north.
Central Niger, more than 600 miles from the attack site, has been targeted by militants in recent years.
Now, the danger facing the United States is growing. S.
The army here is stepping up questions about the construction of a drone base near Abaz.
The second such facility in Niger, the poor West African country, is twice the size of Texas.
Local officials and community leaders say unemployment is rising in the region, increasing crime and creating opportunities for Islamist militants to take advantage of grievances.
Many Nigerians have seen the United States. S.
According to interviews here and in the capital Niamey, as well as other Western forces in the country as occupi.
At least one Western embassy recently warned its citizens of extremist groups operating outside the amadez area.
The United States in April 2016S.
The security forces here foiled a convoy of three pickup trucks and a half truck in a suspected attack on their compound.
According to a truck in the United StatesS.
The Air Force account was recently made public.
In the dark, Air Force guards found the truck heading towards the compound and parked about 50 yards from the wall.
Vehicles retreated after the United States. S.
According to the Air Force, the sharpshooter targeted the laser at them as a warning.
\"This is a magnet for terrorists,\" said Anastafidan el Souleymane Mohamed, head of the Abaz traditional Chiefs Association, referring to the United States. S. base.
\"Who are they looking for, they are looking for Westerners. \"The U. S.
In 2013, the military began treating the Niger government as a center for drones, almost after convincing the government to allow Mr. Abaz to fly drones from Niamey.
A year later, the government approved the construction of the second base.
Abaz is about 500 miles northwest of Namey, closer to the Sahara smuggling route used by Islamist militants to transport weapons and fighters from Libya to northern Mali. U. S. MQ-
The range of the receiver drone is about 1,150 miles.
The Air Force initially budgeted $50 million to build an airport, living area and other facilities at the AZUZ site, but the completion of the project was much longer than expected.
According to a report last year from The survey media site The concept, The cost doubled to about $100 million. U. S.
Military officials initially wanted to take off from Abaz by the end of 2016, but the start date was delayed until the second half of 2018. U. S.
Officials attribute the delays to the inherent challenges of building a new airport and military base in such a remote area.
According to the planning documents submitted by the Air Force to Congress, the project requires the laying of more than 17 acres of desert to create runways, taxiways and aircraft parking areas.
Although the base is mainly used as a drone center, the runway is designed long enough to accommodate large C-
Transport aircraft.
The staff must also install the main new water, sewer and wires between the base and the city.
On May 23, 2013, more than a year before the base was approved, Islamist militants launched two coordinated attacks in the region.
The first attack was aimed at a Nigerian military base in Abaz, killing 23 soldiers and one civilian.
The second is a suicide bomb attack on France. owned and -
A uranium mine runs in the nearby town of Argos, killing a worker.
The economy is getting worse today.
Enforcement of tough villains
Immigration laws have reduced the smuggling business, and smuggling is a profitable creator of the employment and currency movement in Abaz.
Some uranium and gold mines have also shed hundreds of workers, according to local officials.
The robbery took place in a city where people had not locked their cars and doors in the past night.
Tribal elders Mohammad and other community leaders are concerned about this.
He said that in recent years he has witnessed the way Islamic militants have infiltrated communities along the border with Nigeria and Mali and recruited unemployed youth.
\"Young people without jobs are like a bomb that can explode at any time,\" Mohammed said . \".
\"We are worried that they may do other things to make money.
This is the door open for terrorists.
He added that the door could lead to the US base.
Many residents are skeptical about the United States, he said. S.
The military presence of Abaz
It is said that the army is here to serve the agenda of its own country;
Others argue that the goal is to mine the mineral resources of Niger.
\"No one here was told,\" Mohammed said . \".
\"They don\'t understand what\'s going on.
The base is really not normal for them.
\"In the market in the city center, people\'s opinions are mixed.
Some people don\'t know Americans. S.
The base is being built.
Others say they have not seen an American soldier.
But Zeinabou Salou, a 37-year-old traditional drug seller, approved the project.
She heard that Americans have machines to see people from heaven.
\"I\'m glad the base is here,\" she said . \".
\"Americans will see who enters our territory and who leaves.
This will protect us from terrorist attacks.
Mamadou Meduka, a 37-year-old owner, disagrees.
He thinks Americans are occupi.
\"Ensuring National security is the work of the Niger Army, not the work of the Americans,\" he said . \".
Agadez mayor Feltou Rhissa said he kept in regular contact with the base and added that the Americans were \"to protect us\" if something happened \".
For most people, he admits,S.
The army is still a mystery.
But he saidS.
Among other projects, the military is helping local communities, restoring school and hospital equipment.
Rhissa said: \"When the base is up and running, it will have a significant impact on Azuz.
But elder Mohammed still does not believe it.
\"We have seen in all Arab countries that there will be trouble after setting up bases in the United States,\" Mohammed said . \".
\"We are worried that such a thing will happen to us. \"---
Washington reports.
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