AP National Security Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - The United States is struggling to confront an uptick in threats from the world's newest jihadist hot spot, North Africa, with limited intelligence and few partners.
The Obama administration is weighing how to keep Islamic extremists in North Africa from jeopardizing national security.
The spread of militants across Libya, Algeria and Mali - many of them linked to al-Qaida - is in part a natural outgrowth for terror networks that have been pushed out of places like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen.
It also reflects a rise in local extremist movements that have been emboldened since the September attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
U.S. counterterror officials agree that U.S. and Western interests in North Africa are at increased risk.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)