On Eve of Obama’s Second Inauguration, Al Qaeda Opens New Front

Mali fighting

The killing of Osama bin Laden was touted as the beginning of the end of Al Qaeda (the term “war on terror” having long since been abandoned). Yet as the nation’s capital prepares for President Barack Obama’s second inauguration, Al Qaeda is opening new fronts, including ground assaults on French forces in Mali and, today, the kidnapping of foreign workers at a natural gas facility in Algeria, which borders Mali to the north.

French troops are preparing to fight Islamist guerillas in northern Mali, which has been turned into a virtual Al Qaeda state following the collapse of the Gaddafi regime in Libya. In what has been described as a failure of U.S. strategy and intelligence, former Libyan soldiers united with terror groups and American-trained defectors from the Malian army to stage a coup and to begin imposing sharia law on the residents of the area.

French air strikes began last week, and French ground forces were committed to the campaign as U.S.-led multilateral efforts failed. The French forces are expected to welcome a combined African regional force soon.

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