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countries. The value of the PSI was confirmed during the autumn of 2004 when these troops played a vital role in helping kill and apprehend the members of a GSPC warparty looking to kidnap competitors taking part in that year’s Paris-Dakar rally.13

Indeed, this success helped persuade Washing- ton to launch a new program called the Trans-Saha- ra Counter Terrorism Initiative (TSCTI) in June 2005. With an annual budget of $100 million, it was more ambitious in scope and involved Algeria, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia. Its goal remains to help the governments of these countries stem the flow of money, people, and weapons across the porous borders that divide them. Nigeria’s inclusion in the TSCTI was an acknowledge- ment by Washington of both AQLIM’s potential reach and ambitions, and of the country’s importance to U. S. efforts to contain and combat the group. This recogni- tion has been reinforced by the country’s receipt of a significant portion of the military assistance fund man- aged by the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).14

Radical Islamic Groups in Northern Nigeria.

Helping preserve Nigeria’s domestic stability, therefore, is a major concern for the United States. Although the threat from Islamic radicals is concen- trated almost entirely in the north, the consequences of their activities continue to ripple throughout the rest of the country. Every army and Mobile Police (MOPOL) unit sent to the region to contain a demonstration or quell a riot orchestrated by Islamist youths cannot be deployed in the Niger Delta to counter MEND or the other insurgents. In addition to the strain this places


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