Statement attributable to U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, U.S. Africa Command commander
Today marks nineteen years since al-Qaeda hijacked four aircraft with intent to terrorize our citizens and jeopardize our way of life. On this anniversary of the tragic attacks on America on Sept. 11, 2001, this day serves as a reminder of the unfortunate reality that terrorism remains a fact in our world. This fact requires our resolute and sustained attention and efforts.
There are terrorists who wake up every morning thinking of ways to attack our way of life and rob our people and partners of the future they deserve; violent extremist organizations are a common threat and enemy we share with our African and international partners.
The service members and civilians of U.S. Africa Command work hard to suppress and keep this very real threat at bay. al-Qaeda, the terrorist group responsible for the attacks on 9/11, uses the African continent as a sanctuary and to regroup, but their ambitions are broader than the African continent. Al-Shabaab, a terrorist organization aligned with al-Qaeda has expressed their intent to do harm to Americans.
Today, U.S. Africa Command continues the fight against al-Qaeda and its affiliates across the African continent, protecting the American people as well as our African and international partners. This important work safeguards our nation, strengthens our partners, and protects our way of life from enemies intent on our destruction.
Our resolve remains strong. We are not tired. We will continue to stand watch and fight when necessary to ensure groups like al-Qaeda, al-Shabaab, and ISIS cannot bring harm to Americans or our Allies at home and abroad.