Top United States General Carter Ham urged a global fight against the Al-Qaeda terrorist group based in Africa on Wednesday, saying it could "export violence" to the West, AFP reported.
Ham, the head of the U.S. Africa Command, reaffirmed the suspicion that the Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) was linked to the deadly September 11 attack on the American mission in Benghazi, which resulted in the murder of U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three others.
"If we, the international community, don't find a way to help the Africans address this threat, it's going to worsen," he said.
"That network will become stronger and they will gain capability to export violence throughout a broader region (other) than Africa and certainly the high potential to export violence into Europe and to the USA," he added.
Ham said while the network did not pose an "imminent threat" on US soil, it did so for U.S. interests worldwide.
"That network has already killed four Americans," he said, referring to the Benghazi bombing.
"That to me says that there is an imminent threat,” he continued. “So that is why I think there's a degree of urgency to the international community finding a way to help the Africans address this problem."
Ham also discussed African and international efforts toward a possible military intervention in northern Mali, which is controlled by AQIM and other terrorist groups.