Fri Sep 14, 2012, 04:44 AM
UnrepentantLiberal (11,700 posts)
In Mali, Al Qaeda now controls an area the size of France
Two Al Qaeda-linked fighters patrol the streets of Gao, northern Mali, on July 16, 2012. (Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images)
By Marc-Andre Boisvert
September 10, 2012
BAMAKO, Mali ó Just eight months ago, Mali was held up as a model of democracy in Africa. Today, it is practically a failed state with much of the north governed by a consortium of militant groups sympathetic to Al Qaeda.
This new territory has enlarged the global terror organizationís footprint in Africa ówhich now stretches from Somalia, across to Nigeria, Algeria and now Mali ó at a time when itís influence is waning elsewhere in the world.
The shocking turn of events worries security officials in the United States, which has been chasing Al Qaeda all over Asia, the Middle East and the Gulf for more than a decade.
Maliís descent from democracy began in March when soldiers, unhappy with the amount of government resources given to them to fight a band of nomadic Tuareg rebels in the north, gave up that fight and instead staged a coup in Bamako, Maliís capital.
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