Mali, Timbuktu and the curse of Islamism

 

Former Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb emir Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who is believed to be behind yesterday’s attack
Former Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb emir Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who is believed to be behind yesterday’s attack

The Economist has long since had a strong, interventionist view on global terror. It vigorously championed the war in Iraq, having less vigorously argued for the war in Afghanistan. Later, it revisited the case for the war in Iraq, and found it be more lacking than initially granted. So how might it respond to the latest conflagration in Algeria and Mali?

In the briefing from this week's print edition, the newspaper (as it still likes to call itself), is very on the front foot - but sceptical about over-reach. Here's their pay-off: "Should radicalised and militant forms of Islam spread farther, current grounds for confidence will be undermined. Intelligence agencies already have a heavy presence in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, to sniff out terror links with the east African diaspora in the West. The real threat, though, is to African countries themselves. In many, including resource-rich ones like Nigeria, religious cleavages are widening. Both action by jihadists and action against jihadists could exacerbate the dangers."

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