Ghana and other African countries are facing real threats from terrorists and they must be taken seriously, a security analyst told Xinhua in a recent interview.
Prosper Nii Nortey Addo, the deputy head of the AU mission in Liberia, said there could be threats against any country, looking at the modus operandi of the terrorists.
"No country is immune from terrorism because perpetrators target specific countries and their interests. So if a group thinks a particular country is doing anything against its interest, that country and its interests become a target," said the expert, who had worked as a research fellow with the African Security Dialogue and Research (ASDR).
Citing the example of the 1998 bombing of the U. S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, Addo said even the mission of a target country in another country could draw the host country into the line of terrorist threat.
In view of this, the analyst pointed out that Ghana does not necessarily have to do anything particularly to become a target for terrorists, but the mere presence of some foreign missions here could make the country a target.
"Ghana must therefore be careful and take the necessary security measures because the terrorists use ordinary-looking people in the communities, and so are difficult to predict," he stressed.
He also believed that the multiple splinter groups of terrorists in Africa alone, like Somalia-based Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram in Nigeria, coupled with the fact that they use ideology as a platform, make it difficult to suppress them perpetually.
The expert advised that citizen sensitization should be taken up seriously just as it was done towards the recent ruling by the Supreme Court in the Election Petition case, to make all citizens alert about actions of terrorists.
In addition, he said the security forces need to be extra vigilant and collaborate with friendly countries, just as Kenya had to bring in expertise from Israel and Britain to fight the terrorists in Nairobi's Westgate Mall.
"Security needs to be beefed up in public places, such as the shopping malls springing up in the capital, while 'Good Intelligence' which is sensitizing citizens is employed, because terrorists take advantage of loose security in their target areas, " he said.
Above all, international collaboration, including internalizing all the African Union (AU) and regional and sub-regional action plans for dealing with terrorism, must be employed, according to the analyst.
"No single country can combat terrorism alone. The impact is felt internationally and so response must also be international," the expert added.