Despite scant evidence, government officials are concerned by potential operational links between Al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb, Boko Haram in Nigeria, and Al Shabaab in Somalia.
A car lies upside-down, vandalized on June 17 by Christian mobs in reprisal for a suicide bomb attack. Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamists claimed responsibility for suicide attacks on three churches that sparked reprisals by Christian mobs who rampaged and burned mosques, killing least 52 people. (Victor Ulasi/AFP/Getty Images)
NAIROBI — The top US military commander for Africa has warned that Al Qaeda affiliates are seeking to strengthen ties across the continent. General Carter Ham, commander of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM), described Nigeria's Boko Haram, Somalia's Al Shabaab and the Saharan Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb as "dangerous and worrisome" but added that there were signs the groups were trying to coordinate their activities.