Terrorist groups in Somalia, North Africa and Nigeria are eyeing ways to coordinate their training, funding and terror activities, triggering increased U.S. national security worries, the top American commander for Africa told Congress on Wednesday.  Army Gen. Carter Ham said terror leaders from al-Shabab, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and Boko Haram in Nigeria want to more closely synchronize their efforts.  If they are able to better share their training and funding, "that presents a real challenge for us," he told the House Armed Services Committee.

...He added that the formalized merger of al-Shabab and al-Qaida, announced Feb. 9 by al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri, may allow the groups to focus on threats against American interests.  In other comments, Ham said there are small pockets of foreign fighters who were involved in the resistance in Libya that ended up fighting against U.S. and coalition troops in Iraq. And he said al-Qaida may be trying to re-establish those insurgent networks.

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