Qatar funding Islamist rebels in Mali

mali-rebelsMoney Jihad:

A French military intelligence source has divulged that Al Qaeda-linked rebels in Mali have received financing from Qatar.  This disturbing but predictable news comes as France attempts to pacify the Malian countryside while receiving logistical and political backing from the U.S.

There have been earlier allegations of financing Malian jihadists by Saudi Arabia as well.  This would be consistent with the flow of money from Saudi Arabia and Qatar to dissidents and rebels in countries undergoing “Arab Spring” uprisings.  The difference this time is that Western officials are on the opposite side.  Saudi and Qatari state sponsorship of enemy fighters united against France suggests a burgeoning proxy war between Nato and the Gulf Cooperation Council.

From France 24:

Is Qatar fuelling the crisis in north Mali?

Oil-rich gulf state Qatar has a vested interest in the outcome of the north Mali crisis, according to various reports that have been picked up by French MPs, amid suspicion that Doha may be siding with the rebels to extend its regional influence.

Since Islamist groups exploited a military coup in the Malian capital of Bamako in early 2012 to take control of the entire north of the country, accusations of Qatari involvement in a crisis that has seen France deploy troops have been growing.

Last week two French politicians explicitly accused Qatar of giving material support to separatists and Islamists in north Mali, adding fuel to speculation that the Emirate is playing a behind-the-scenes role in spreading Islamic fundamentalism in Africa.

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen and Communist Party Senator Michelle Demessine both said that that Qatar had questions to answer.

“If Qatar is objecting to France’s engagement in Mali it’s because intervention risks destroying Doha’s most fundamentalist allies,” Le Pen said in a statement on her party website, in response to a call by Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani for dialogue with the Islamists. ‘Cash from Doha’

The first accusations of Qatari involvement with Tuareg separatists and Islamist groups came in a June 2012 article in respected French weekly the Canard Enchainé.

In a piece title “Our friend Qatar is financing Mali’s Islamists”, the newspaper alleged that the oil-rich Gulf state was financing the separatists.

It quoted an unnamed source in French military intelligence saying: “The MNLA [secular Tuareg separatists], al Qaeda-linked Ansar Dine and MUJAO [movement for unity and Jihad in West Africa] have all received cash from Doha.”

A month later Sadou Diallo, the mayor of the north Malian city of Gao [which had fallen to the Islamists] told RTL radio: “The French government knows perfectly well who is supporting these terrorists. Qatar, for example, continues to send so-called aid and food every day to the airports of Gao and Timbuktu.”

The presence of Qatari NGOs in north Mali is no secret. Last summer, in the wake of the separatist takeover, the Qatari Red Crescent was the only humanitarian organisation granted access to the vast territory.

One member of the Qatari humanitarian team told AFP at the end of June that they had simply “come to Gao to evaluate the humanitarian needs of the region in terms of water and electricity access.”

Read more

See also:

Mali: analyst, Qatar is funding Islamists (ansamed.ans.it)

Disarming Americans, Arming Terrorists

obama-libya-copy-450x350By

While the White House was busy drafting proposals to ban assault rifles, the last of the regulations imposed on Saudi travel to the United States after September 11 were being taken apart. While some government officials were busy planning how to disarm Americans, other officials were negotiating the transfer of F-16s and Abrams tanks to Muslim Brotherhood-run Egypt.

Obama is unwilling to trust Americans with an AR-15, but is willing to trust a genocidal terrorist group with Abrams tanks and F-16 jets. The F-16’s M61 Vulcan cannon can fire 6,000 rounds a minute and the 146 lb warhead of its HARM missiles can do a lot more than put a few dents in a brick wall. The Abrams’ 120 mm cannon can penetrate 26 inches of steel armor making it a good deal more formidable than even the wildest fantasies of San Francisco liberals about the capabilities of a so-called “assault rifle.”

While Obama has not been willing to respect the Constitution of the United States and its Bill of Rights, he was willing to arm a terrorist group whose motto is, “The Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader, Jihad is our path and death in the name of Allah is our goal.” If a High School student wrote that on his Facebook page, he would be in police custody within the hour, but an international organization and national government that trades in such rhetoric gets devastating firepower from our government… free of charge.

In addition to giving the Hezbollah-run government of Lebanon two hundred M113 Armored Personnel Carriers, Obama deliberately turned a blind eye while Al Qaeda and other Islamist rebel groups in Libya received arms shipments from Qatar. Those weapons included a good deal more firepower than anything you can buy at Wal-Mart and later made their way to Mali and Syria. More weapons made their way into the hands of Hamas terrorists in Gaza. Whether any of these weapons were used in the assault on the Benghazi mission is unknown, but entirely possible.

While the Al Qaeda attackers at Benghazi were heavily armed, with the complicity of the Obama Administration, the Americans had been forced to abide by Libyan gun control laws, because while Obama was willing to bomb a country and help arm its terrorists, he wasn’t willing to allow embassy security personnel to flout firearms law in a city ruled by terrorist militias. Instead the terrorist militia of the Muslim Brotherhood was hired to provide security for the Benghazi mission… with tragic results.

There has been a great deal of ink spilled about Nancy Lanza’s irresponsibility in keeping guns around the house; but what of Obama’s irresponsibility in sending guns to Mexican drug lords and jets and tanks to Muslim terrorists?

Based on his track record, Obama believes that it is safe to send weapons to Mexican drug lords, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda terrorists, not to mention the Muslim Brotherhood, but that it’s far too dangerous for an American to own a clip that can hold more than 10 rounds.

And that means that Obama doesn’t think much of the moral character of Americans, but thinks a great deal of Muslim terrorists.

This double standard is the defining motif of this administration. A handful of mass shootings is enough to deprive all Americans of their constitutional rights, but the worst act of mass murder of Americans is not enough to deprive Saudi Muslim students looking for a good flight school of their visas.

Even while Obama and Biden are pushing more background checks for gun owners, Saudi students will undergo fewer background checks. In The Audacity of Hope, Obama vowed to stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction. But when the political winds shift in an ugly direction toward gun owners, then Obama can be found blowing on the fan.

Read more at Front Page

See also:

France in Mali fights the unfinished Libyan War

Trouble in store: French troops arrive at Bamako's airport Photo: AP

Trouble in store: French troops arrive at Bamako’s airport Photo: AP

Debka:

On January 11, a few hundred French troops and a handful of fighter jets and gunships launched a campaign against Islamist terrorists in Mali, a West African desert vastness larger than Texas and California combined. This former French colony appealed to Paris for aid to throw back a mixed al Qaeda-rebel advance on the capital, Bamako. But France, no more than the US, had learned from the Afghanistan War that Al Qaeda cannot be beaten by aerial warfare – certainly not when the jiahdists are highly trained in special forces tactics and backed by highly mobile, well-armed local militias, armed with advanced anti-aircraft weapons and knowledgeable about conditions in the forbidding Sahara.

Within 48 hours, this modest “crusader” intervention had united a host of pro-al Qaeda offshoots and allies, some of them castoffs from the army of Libya’s deposed Muammar Qaddafi. They are led by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb – AQIM; the West African jihadist MUJAO; and the Somali al-Shabaab which is linked to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula – AQAP. Together, they are threatening to execute one by one the 10 or eleven French hostages they are holding as part of their revenge on France. The French declared their mission to be to dislodge the Islamists from an area larger than Afghanistan in the north, including the principal towns of Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal. Without several thousand special forces’ troops on the ground, this is just a pipedream. The disaffected Touareg tribes are supporting al Qaeda against the French as part of their drive for independence. Their added value is the training in special forces’ tactics some 1,500 Touareg fighting men and their three officers received from the US.  The US originally reserved them as the main spearhead of a Western Saharan multi-tribe campaign to eradicate al Qaeda in North and West Africa. Instead, the Sahel tribesmen followed the Touareg in absconding to Mali with top-quality weapons for desert warfare and hundreds of vehicles from US and ex-Libyan military arsenals.

This major setback for US administration plans and counter-terror strategy in Africa tied in with Al Qaeda’s assassination of US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three of his staff in Benghazi last September. Because the United States held back from direct US military action in both cases, Qaeda has been allowed to go from strength to strength and draw into its fold recruits from Mali’s neighbors. They are tightening their grip on northern Mali and have imposed a brutal version of Islam on its inhabitants, putting hundreds to flight.

France stepped in when al Qaeda drove south to extend its rule to all parts of Mali and pose a terrorist threat to Europe.

Mali Islamists Hit in Lightning Strikes by French

Map showing Mali's location in Africa (Source: CIA)

Map showing Mali’s location in Africa (Source: CIA)

Determined to win and win in a short time, French fighter planes began lightning strikes on Islamist strongholds in northern Mali Friday. Since then, the strikes have intensified, as have the amount of ground troops – now at 550 – that France has brought in for support.The French specifically stepped in as radical Islamists, who had taken over northern Mali last April, began a successful expansion campaign into the central region of the country, threatening to reach Bamako, the capital.

Seven other countries have joined the effort, including the U.S., who is providing communications support, and Britain, who is sending aircrafts to help transport troops from neighboring countries.

Since taking over the northern part of the country (an area greater than the size of France), the Al Qaeda-linked groups have imposed the most extreme form of Sharia (Islamic) law on the territory, amputating arms for those accused of thievery, public whippings of women for wearing perfume or makeup, flogging men for smoking cigarettes, and stoning to death individuals accused of adultery. Alcohol, music and watching sports on television have also been forbidden. The Islamists began their campaign in the region by smashing historic tombs and shrines located in Timbuktu.

See RadicalIslam.org’s related report Mali Islamists Amputate Thief’s Hand. Threaten 60 More

Tens of thousands of Malians have fled the region, with those left behind having to deal with the horrors of everyday life under the Islamists.

“France’s goal is to lead a relentless struggle against terrorist groups,” the ministry said, “preventing any new offensive of these groups to the south of Mali,” said France’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Mali map (Source: CIA)

Mali map (Source: CIA)

The Islamists rapid expansion into central Mali prompted the French to take action to prevent Al Qaeda terrorists from establishing large terrorist bases from which to launch attacks in Europe and link to other Islamist groups in Somalia, Yemen and northern Africa.

France’s goal is also to provide support to Malian government forces, who are hoping to soon be joined by troops from other African nations to take back their country.

Read more a Radical Islam

Welcome to Africa’s Alqaedastan

Mali-Islamist-via-AFP1By Daniel Greenfield

“When it was my turn, they took me blindfolded,”  the thief said. “Suddenly I felt a pain in my right hand that was out of this world. My hand had just been chopped off.”

This is Gao, once the seat of an empire, and then a glorified village, and now a city the size of Scranton under the boot of its Islamist conquerors. Gao has become a place where thieves have their hands cut off, where women are forced to wear the stifling Hijab in 113 degree heat or be lashed and where unmarried couples are stoned to death.

Borders are an illusion in Africa. No more than paper mirages that cannot be seen from the air or the roads where a thousand ethnic groups with dreams of glory move back and forth, striving and feuding, until the blood begins to flow.

The Tuaregs were one of them. Like so many others they wanted their own country. Like so many others they were a minority that felt aggrieved and persecuted by the majority. Like so many others they found neighborhood patrons willing to give them money and a sanctuary in exchange for more fighting. After their uprising failed, the Tuaregs set up shop in Libya under Gaddafi who was always looking for a few more African mercenaries to remake the continent into his hashish-fueled visions. And when Gaddafi fell, the Tuareg separatist militias still dreaming of glory, took his weapons and went west to carve out a state in Mali.

For the last hundred years there have been two kinds of movements in the Muslim world. Nationalist and Islamist. Some Tuareg dreamed of a nation. But others dreamed of merging into a Caliphate that would impose Islamic law on thieves and little girls, on Gao and Timbuktu and then on the whole world. Both sets of Tuaregs had stockpiles of Libyan weapons. But the Islamists had a lot more money and support from the dark heart of the Middle East where the oil wells pump and the preachers scream the call to prayer. And the Nationalists didn’t have a prayer.

Al Qaeda now has its own Alqaedastan in Northern Mali, a territory the size of Texas. Al Qaeda began its true war against the West in Africa. The continent which wavers between a Christian and Muslim majority is to Islamic Colonialism in the 21st Century what it was to European Colonialism in the 19th Century. But the Muslim colonizers were here first, ferrying cargos of slaves into caves and then selling them in the slave markets of Gao.

The Tuaregs are among the few in Northern Mali to still keep slaves, but now that the Islamists have taken Mali, it is uncertain who the masters and the slaves are. Many of the Islamist fighters wandering around Gao are foreigners, from North Africa and beyond, dedicated Salafis and mercenaries drawn by Gulf oil money, aspiring drug dealers looking to protect smuggling routes and rapists and thieves plying their trade with the authority of the Koran.

Around the core of Koranic students who memorize verses and preach death, is a larger outer ring that consists of sociopaths, stray killers, hustlers, junkies and young men looking for adventure and a group that is organized enough to feed them and provide them with a spot on the ground floor of a shiny new Emirate where women have no rights and their weapons are the only law that counts. That is what Al Qaeda really looks like: a ball of dung gathering speed and growing in size as it rolls downhill. A gang of sadists building their own forts in the cliffs and fighting to hang on to the new kingdom that opened up for them when Libya fell.

Nations are oases of order in the desert. As cruel and ugly as they might be, they provide some structure to the eternal feuds and grudges that are only ever truly settled with slavery or death.

Obama toppled Gaddafi without considering or caring for the consequences. An Alqaedastan in Mali is one of those consequences. Weapons from Libya have gone west and east carried by old militias looking for a new fight. Gaddafi’s weapons stockpiles are in Gaza and Aleppo now, they will soon find their way to Afghanistan, if they haven’t already, and tens of thousands more will die.

Read more at Front Page

Jihadists Occupy Mali With Impunity

0702-ansar_full_600-450x344By Joseph Klein

Foreign Islamist jihadists from Sudan, Algeria, Libya and elsewhere, who are part of a network of terrorist groups that affiliate themselves with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, are entrenching themselves in yet another African country. Al Qaeda is currently occupying an area the size of France in the northern portion of Mali. Like a virus exploiting a weak immune system, the jihadists, mostly Arabs, are exploiting a power vacuum created by internal fighting among ethnic tribes within Mali that had led to a coup and a weakened central government.

Yet, in the face of both a strategic and humanitarian crisis in northern Mali caused by Islamist jihadist invaders, the Obama administration is dithering as conditions in northern Mali worsen by the day.  So is the United Nations on which the Obama administration appears to be relying for a global consensus regarding what to do next.

Reports from the ground indicate that the jihadists have stepped up their forces in the area, turning northern Mali into another breeding ground for the spread of Islamic terrorism throughout Africa. According to the top American military commander in Africa, Gen. Carter F. Ham, the jihadists in Mali are providing arms, explosives and financing to their counterparts in northern Nigeria, where Christians are already being murdered and churches burned. Moreover, al Qaeda is using its control of northern Mali to increase recruiting across sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Europe, according to Gen. Ham.

Northern Mali is also near the tipping point of becoming the current version of the Afghanistan of the 1990′s, in terms of its use as a base for plotting, training and launching of terrorist attacks around the world. Indeed, according to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Mali-based extremists played a role in the September 11th attack in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. That fact alone would merit direct American action to eliminate the al Qaeda presence in Mali. Yet there is silence from the Obama White House.

The jihadist occupiers have also committed gross human rights violations against the local Malian population. Imposing Taliban-style sharia law in place of Sufism that most Malians practice, the occupiers have destroyed the local population’s most revered religious monuments the jihadists considered idolatrous and subjected Malians to amputations, stoning, extra-judicial executions and recruitment of children as soldiers. As usual when sharia law is applied, women have been targeted for the harshest treatment. Over 412,000 people have been forced to flee the north.

Mali leaders have pleaded for help from their neighbors with whom they have had peaceful relations. The African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) responded with an offer of military assistance to uproot the Islamist invaders. In accordance with the United Nations Charter, these regional groups have gone to the UN Security Council to seek authorization and support for an African-led military force to drive out the occupiers.

The Council passed a resolution in October.  It stated the Security Council’s readiness to consider requests for international military force under African auspices to intervene in Mali, but kicked the can down the road until it received a report from Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the situation in Mali and further recommendations for UN action.

Under Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman presented the Secretary General’s report on Mali to the Security Council on December 5th, followed by statements from representatives of Mali, ECOWAS and the African Union.  The disconnect on what to do next between the UN Secretary General’s passive recommendations and the call for forceful action by the Mali, ECOWAS and African Union representatives was glaring.

Although conceding the urgency of conditions on the ground in northern Mali, the Secretary General’s report urged patience.  Give “national dialogue” more time to sort out Mali’s internal issues, prepare a “transitional roadmap” (a favorite phrase the UN bureaucracy uses when it has no concrete plan of action) and establish the conditions for a credible election, the report recommended.

“A military operation may be required as a last resort to deal with terrorist and criminal elements in northern Mali,” Under Secretary General Feltman told the Security Council in summarizing Ban Ki-moon’s report, “but the priority must be on supporting the national authorities to restore constitutional order and reach a political settlement to the ongoing crisis.”

The report expressed concern that the request to the Security Council to authorize a United Nations support package for an offensive military operation could have an “impact on the image of the United Nations,” as if its image could become any worse in dealing with the global Islamist threat. The United Nations is “not best placed to directly tackle the security threat posed by terrorists and affiliated groups,” the report conceded.

Nevertheless, while disavowing the UN’s responsibility for providing direct support or funding from the UN’s regular budget for targeted military operations required to dislodge the terrorists from northern Mali, the report recommended that the Security Council set down “benchmarks” the African-led forces and Malians must meet before they are permitted to commence military operations.  The benchmarks would include “positive developments in the political process…and the effective training of military and police personnel of both the support mission and the Malian forces in their obligations under international human rights, humanitarian and refugee law.” The UN should then send in a “sufficient number” of human rights observers to monitor “strict adherence to international humanitarian and human rights law” by the Malian forces and their allies.

In other words, the United Nations’ top leader Ban Ki-moon is recommending that the Malians defending their own country with the help of their neighbors against a foreign invasion by the world’s worst  specimens of human rights abusers must first prove to the UN that they have their own house in order before they can repel the jihadist invaders. Second, the Malians and their allies must effectively pass a human rights certification course and then show that they will play by the rules flouted by the terrorists, all under the watchful eyes of UN monitors for which, by the way, funding will somehow be made available even though there are evidently no monies in the vast UN budget that can be found to support the military operation itself.

The Malian representative, not surprisingly, had a very different take. She pleaded for military assistance to rid Mali of the jihadist scourge without delay.  She mentioned several times that the terrorists occupying northern Mali are foreign. Mali is addressing its own human rights issues in dealing with ethnic minorities, she assured the Council, using what she described as “affirmative action” to integrate minorities into significant positions in government institutions. The process for holding credible elections is already underway, she added.  Responding to those concerned about human rights violations in Mali, she declared that “the best way to preserve human rights” is to quickly set up an African-led military force with international backing that would “allow the Mali government to restore territorial integrity of the entire country.”

Kaddre Ouedraogo, the president of ECOWAS and former Prime Minister of Burkina Faso, told the Security Council that “political dialogue must be combined with a military option to dismantle the terrorists.”  He called for the Security Council to pass a resolution by the end of this year under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter authorizing the use of military force against the terrorists.

The African Union representative Tete Antonio concurred, adding that past experience of the United Nations in Sudan and Somalia has shown the limitations of voluntary contributions to pay for the support of military operations.  He wants funding to come through the UN assessed budget this time  rather than have to pass the hat for voluntary contributions.

Where is the Obama administration regarding the Mali crisis? Leading from behind would be an overstatement. It is outsourcing the matter to the UN and to France.

Read more at Front Page

Al Qaeda is No “Remnant,” Mr. President

By Bob Beauprez for Townhall:

During his interview recently on the Jon Stewart Show, President Obama continued his established narrative that he has driven al-Qaeda into the ground sufficiently that only a few “remnants” of the radical Islamic terrorist organization remain.

A “remnant” is a “small group of surviving people” according to the dictionary.  But, remnants don’t grow, multiply, and spread. A remnant doesn’t extend across a significant portion of the planet.

In the final debate, the President claimed that “al-Qaeda is much weaker than when I came into office.”

At the Democratic National Convention – just five days before the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya – and frequently on the campaign trail, Obama brags that he has put al-Qaeda “on its heels.”

True enough, Osama bin Laden is dead and other al-Qaeda leaders have joined him. But, the assassination of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi is a brutal reminder that radical Islamic terror groups have not disappeared and certainly are not dormant.

“al-Qaeda is not ‘on its heels,’” asserts KT McFarland, a National Security Expert and former Reagan Defense Department official. “al-Qaeda and its affiliates are planting the flag into new regions around the globe and are now active in more than 30 countries,” says McFarland.

The West Africa nation of Mali is among the latest tragic manifestations of al-Qaeda influence. Northern regions of Mali have been under control of the Islamic radicals since March. Malian military forces assisted by the French military (Mali was a French Colony until 1960) are currently preparing an attempt to retake the region by force.

McFarland’s assessment that al-Qaeda is “active in more than 30 countries” certainly exposes the phoniness of the President’s contention. So, too, does the following report filed today by Reuters describing the expansive methodology of al-Qaeda and its affiliates in Mali and elsewhere.

Flush with cash, Al Qaeda-linked gunmen – dubbed “gangster-jihadists” by French parliamentarians – are now key players in a web of Islamists and criminal networks recruiting hundreds of locals, including children, and a trickle of foreign fighters. Among the shifting alliances, Al Qaeda’s North Africa wing, known as AQIM, has forged links with Malian Tuareg Islamists, and MUJWA, a group that splintered off from AQIM but still operates loosely with it.

The Islamists, who advocate a political ideology based on Islam, are trying to impose a strict form of sharia law. At least three suspected criminals have been stoned to death or executed by firing squad in Mali while several others have had hands and feet amputated.

Almahamoud, a man from Ansongo who was accused – wrongly, he says – of stealing cattle, suffered an amputation in August. “They cut off my hand to make an example of me,” he said. “They will continue mutilating people to impose their authority. I don’t know how I will live with just one hand.”

Traditional, moderate Islamic customs have been crushed. Music is banned, women cover themselves with veils and residents are flogged for smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol. Ancient religious shrines central to the Sufi Islam practiced by many Malians have been smashed because they are deemed illegal by the hardliners.  Read more.

Bob Beauprez is a former Member of Congress and is currently the editor-in-chief of A Line of Sight, an online policy resource. Prior to serving in Congress, Mr. Beauprez was a dairy farmer and community banker. He and his wife Claudia reside in Lafayette, Colorado. You may contact him at:  http://bobbeauprez.com/contact/

Foreign jihadists continue to pour into Mali

Ansar Dine fighters fly al Qaeda’s banner in Northern Mali in late April 2012. (Source: PanAfrican News Wire)

By Bill Roggio:

Both Malian security officials and Ansar Dine’s spokesman have confirmed that  foreign fighters are continuing to travel to northern Mali, where al  Qaeda-linked jihadists from the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa  (MUJOA), Ansar Dine, and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb have been in control  since February. From Magharebia (which has done an excellent job of covering the  conflict in Mali):

Foreign fighters have begun arriving in Mali, but these are not the  long-awaited African military forces come to liberate the country from al-Qaeda  in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the MUJAO and Ansar al-Din.”Hundreds of jihadists, mostly Sudanese and Sahrawis [Africans from Western  Sahara], have arrived as reinforcements to face an offensive by Malian forces  and their allies,” AFP quoted a Malian security source as saying on Tuesday  (October 22nd).

“They are armed and explained that they had come to help their Muslim  brothers against the infidels,” a Timbuktu resident said.

Sanad Ould Bouamama, official spokesperson for Ansar al-Din, says, “The  arrival of hundreds of young mujahideen from different areas across the Islamic  world to support us in our war against the infidels and crusaders is not strange  or surprising.”

“The same thing happened in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Chechnya, Somalia and  Iraq,” the Ansar al-Din official tells Magharebia.

Ould Bouamama adds, “The war that the world is planning to wage against us is  a war against Islam and all that is related to Islam. Its goal is to combat  God’s Sharia, and therefore, all mujahideen have to stand by our  side.”

 

One month ago, AFP reported that foreign jihadists from West African  countries such as Togo, Benin, Niger, Nigeria, Guinea, Senegal, and the Ivory  Coast, as well as Egyptians, Algerians, and Pakistanis, have been filling out  the ranks of the three main jihadist groups in Mali. Additionally, at least two  training camps have been established in Gao, the largest city in northern Mali  [see Threat Matrix report, West  African jihadists flock to northern Mali].

Meanwhile, the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union, the  Economic Community of West African States, and the US are still trying to figure  out how do deal with the deteriorating security situation in northern Mali. All  indications are that no military action will occur until  sometime in 2013. And the African Union has  indicated that it “will leave the door of dialogue open to those Malian  rebel groups willing to negotiate.”

Once the international community decides to take action, the jihadists in  northern Mali don’t stand a chance in holding territory in the long run (see  Somalia and Yemen for recent examples of jihadist group’s abilities to stand up  to organized armies over time, but also note that al Qaeda in the Arabian  Peninsula and Shabaab still control territory in rural areas of Yemen and  Somalia respectively and are still able to conduct organized attacks). But a  significant threat that is being ignored is that the delay in taking actions in  northern Mail has given the jihadists an opportunity to indoctrinate, train, and  organize recruits from the West African nations, and then send them home to  establish networks there.

Read more: Long War Journal