In a visit to Algeria, the Deputy State Department Counter-Terrorism Coordinator Alina Romanowski reiterated the quality of the “partnership” between Algeria and the United States in the fight against terrorism.
Romanowski spoke of the globalised threat of the return of Daesh fighters from places like Syria and Iraq where they have lost their strongholds in recent years and are looking to regroup elsewhere.
“Algeria has experienced terrorism for many years. People have learned from the Algerian experience. Algeria is an important partner for us,” Romanowski added.
The official “took advantage” of the presence of representatives of the region to “listen to their views on security issues in order to expand bilateral and multilateral cooperation,” during her tour of the region after her participation in the Global Counterterrorism Forum in Tunis.
“I met Abdelkader Messahel and Major-General Abdelghani Hamel, and discussed our common visions and ways to further strengthen our cooperation,” she said. “These discussions allow us to see how to meet challenges at regional and global levels.”
“[Daesh] fighters are looking for places where there is no authority or where governments are weakened,” Romanowski added in reference to the turbulent Sahel region. “We have to work together to deal with it,” she says. “It is very important to have information sharing, that there is a data sharing system,” she further added, referring to the UN Resolution 2396 on the exchange of information between states in the fight against terrorism.
The US is hoping to use Algeria’s experience of counter-terrorism operations and de-radicalisation after its civil war in the 1990’s for its own de-radicalising operations.
According to the US diplomat, exogenous factors, such as drugs or the unresolved Palestinian conflict, fuel terrorism and feed terrorists with various political ideologies.
In reference to recent reports that the former leader of Daesh, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi is in Africa, Romanowski commented that she was “unable to answer or confirm” that information.