The director of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) told Fox News Digital that there are ten times as many Islamic jihadist terrorists in Africa. In an exclusive virtual interview with Fox News Digital on Sunday, U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Michael Langley—the leader of AFRICOM—discussed the upcoming African Chiefs of Defense Conference in Gaborone, Botswana, this week.


In an extensive interview, Langley discussed the dangers posed by China, Russia, and Iran. She also provided information on what seems to be a change in U.S. military strategy, mainly in West Africa, in response to Niger‘s directive for the withdrawal of 1,000 American soldiers.


The general said, “We’ve been monitoring and identifying indications and warnings for a number of years regarding Islamic terror.” For the sake of statistics, just 4% of Islamic jihadists worldwide in 2008 were found in Africa. That percentage is now 40%. Therefore, AFRICOM’s ability to monitor, react, and issue indications and warnings is all done for the sake of protecting the nation.”

He said that AFRICOM “is charged with executing our mission, which expands from deterring threats on the African continent, gaining access and influence and being able to respond to crises.”

Langley expressed particular alarm about Chinese efforts in Africa to Fox News Digital. “We look at the threat of the People’s Republic of China, we know that they are exploitative for possible and coercive when necessary, when they engage across the continent through the Belt and Road Initiative first.”


However, sometimes, they aspire to be military personnel. They already have a base in Djibouti, at Doraleh. Their broader goals will become clear with time. Which tactic will be used—power projection or defense via air denial? We’re not sure. They now claim that it is for anti-piracy. Thus, we always keep an eye on the PRC’s overarching strategic aims across the world.”


The commander of AFRICOM turned to face Russia. “Yes, in the last few years, we saw Wagner’s activities encroaching upon a number of African countries and then sowing the seeds of disinformation, trying to get to be the security partner of choice in a number of these countries across the Sahel, all the way down to the Central African Republic and as far north as Libya.”

The general said, “So, through their disinformation campaigns, it has evolved into the sponsorship of the Russian MOD (Ministry of Defense) following Yevgeny Prigozhin’s demise.” We are observing and closely monitoring this to determine the Russian Federation’s overarching strategic imperatives or goals.