Portugal risks “increasing threat of terrorism from North Africa”

Portugal risks “increasing threat of terrorism from North Africa”

Currently in talks to secure the future of the American airforce base at Lajes in the Azores, foreign affairs minister Rui Machete has been talking of the increasing risk of terrorism from North Africa and the Sahel region that threatens not just Portugal, but Spain and Italy as well.

In a 21-page document, Machete outlined a “situation of security instability” posed by “various armed military and terrorist groups”, a number associated with drug trafficking.

“Europe, in particularly the Iberian peninsula and Italy, is increasingly under threat from these developments,” he said at the opening session of a diplomatic seminar at the Museu do Oriente in Lisbon on Tuesday.

Islamic State is an enemy that requires “more sophisticated instruments of combat” than habitually used, and a “different military approach”.

This is why Portugal is involved in the international coalition that brings together 60 countries and organisations, he explained.

It is also why Portugal is loathe to lose the contact it has with the Americans through the Lajes air force base on the island of Terceira.

Machete’s comments came on a day that Germany saw huge anti-Islamic protests take to the streets in Berlin, Cologne, Kassel and Hamburg.