U.S. Builds New Firewall to Stop Spread of Militant Islamists

OUALLAM, Niger—The front lines in the war between the West and militant Islamists have shifted to Africa, from Somalia on the continent’s eastern tip to the West African Sahel, a semidesert strip south of the Sahara.

In the Sahel, the U.S. and its allies are betting that Niger, the worst-off country in the world by a U.N. measure, offers the best hope of stopping the seemingly inexorable spread of al Qaeda and Islamic State.


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