To #15 and others. These attacks throughout western Africa are definitely linked by both common goals and interlinked organizations. While the Algerian Al Qaeda/militants/Islamic terrorists have been carrying on a bloody war against the Algerian government, it is a fundamentalist, Taliban-like organization which MEANS that it automatically was seeking ties to like-minded jihadist groups in Africa, the Middle East and Asia Minor.
The same for those jihahists and Al Qaeda-linked groups i n Tunisia, Libya, Egypt/Sinai Peninsula, Syria, Morocco (the next major target), Mauritania (a secondary target), and other African countries with majority Moslem populations (including Chad, Niger, Nigeria, etc).
Mali was the number one target because it resembled Afghanistan and Somalia, a weak central government that had only a minute presence in the outerlands, was often corrupt or unskilled at nation ruling, and had a weak army.
The same applies to Yemen (where a bunch of Al Qaeda bombmakers apparently blew themselves up today by accident, aka the original Weather Underground Bombers in the Greenwich Village townhouse in March 1970).
Al Qaeda’s main leadership may have been decimated, but its’ 2nd Lieutenants and Majors have spread out, like a cancer, to infect other countries (per the above) and to unite similarly inclined Moslem extremist groups into an “Al Qaeda Affinity Network”.
The link of “affinity groups” is an old concept from the 1970’s re the PLO/PFLP, Japanese Red Army, IRA,MIR - Argentina, Tupermeros - Uruguay, eventially the Sandinistas, and the Basque ETA of Spain, among others.
This is what is happening again in the Middle East, similar groups with similar religious ideologies unite to attack a common enemy be it the Saudis, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, or Mali.
If the French succeed in defeating the Islamists in Mali, the key question to ask is what kind of information on the organization of the terrorist groups are they getting from captured jihadists?
The few survivors, and those from Algeria (if there were any), and captives taken in Libya, can provide extremely valuable information about the national and international contacts of their leaders and weapons trainers.
That is what we need to look for in the news media (I don’t mean CNN, MSNBC, etc. Fox, maybe, CBS, NBC and ABC, forget about. Look to the BBC channels for better and indepth coverage of Africa. Assuming that there is a French news channel that we can get in the US which might be trustworthy, but then again, they are from the French Left who are never trustworthy).
Also follow the Israeli press - Arutz, Jerusalem Post, Aaron Klein’s columns and Steve Emerson’s “Terrorism Investigative Project” on the internet.
By reading a lot of different sources across the spectrum, you will be able to get a much better picture of what is really going on than you will from our spineless State Department and Hillary Clinton, the two jokes of our foreign policies.
Listen to Hillary’s congressional testimony this week and see what she leaves out, how she dodges certain questions, and how many times she blames a lack of “clear” intelligence one what allowed the killings in Benghazi to take place.
We are now facing several international, but interlinked “jihadist”, Al Qaeda, and possibly Moslem Brotherhood, terrorist movements who move from one country to another like several simultaneous plagues of locust.
The refusal of the Clinton Administration to recognize this in the 1990’s is what has led to this, as well as 9/11 and other attacks on American soil.
The signs were all there, and a few people, esp. in the media, did yeoman’s work in putting the pieces together for their readers, but the Administration totally abdicated their role in having top-notch intelligence operations overseas, and we paid for it in blood.
Good analysis of the situation.