The Islamist Takeover Of Mali


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However, while the MNLA may be satisfied with its current military achievement, it’s far from clear if the rebellion’s Islamist factions are of the same mind. For example, the Islamist Tuareg group known as Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith) — which has only around 300 fighters as opposed to the MNLA’s 3,000 insurgents — is believed to be playing a larger and more powerful role in the Malian conflict than the MNLA.

Those fears were recently echoed by French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe who said, “It appears that an extreme Islamist-jihadist faction (Ansar Dine) is taking the upper hand among the different Tuareg factions.” For starters, it was the Ansar Dine, led by Salafist leader Iyad Ag Ghaly, which was the group which actually captured the city of Timbuktu, raising its black Islamist flag over the city and claiming it as its new base.

In addition to Timbuktu, it is reported that the Ansar Dine has already begun to flex it muscle by imposing new Islamic measures in recently captured cities of Kidal and Gao, measures which include the banning of Western-style clothes, music and alcohol.

The rise in influence by the Ansar Dine may be traced to its reportedly growing alliance with al-Qaeda-linked groups that inhabit the vast sub Saharan region: al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJWA). AQIM’s alliance with Ansar Dine was most recently on display when three of its top leaders — Abou Zeid, Mokhtar Belmokhtar and Yahya Abou Al-Hammam — met in Timbuktu with Ansar Dine leader Iyad Ag Ghaly and the city’s imams only days after the town’s capture.

For its part, MUJWA, which split from AQIM last year, has issued statements that it has been taking part with the Ansar Dine in the recent advances that have swept across northern Mali. AQIM — which operates in parts of Mali, Algeria, Niger, Chad and Mauritania — has long terrorized the Sahara. Specifically, it has subjected the region to terror attacks, kidnappings of Westerners, weapons and drug trafficking, and a burgeoning partnership with the Nigerian Islamic terror group Boko Haram.

Like the Tuareg, AQIM also took advantage of the downfall of the Gadhafi regime to rearm itself with looted weapons, including thousands of shoulder-fired heat-seeking surface-to-air missiles. That shopping spree is reportedly still ongoing with recent reports that Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a top fugitive leader in AQIM, has been in Libya searching for new weapons. Unfortunately, as one analyst said, there is “a direct connection” to the fall of Gadhafi and the weapons which continue to flow out of Libya to help the Tuaregs, Islamists and al-Qaeda establish power in the region.

While it still remains unclear how much power each of these groups will eventually amass, it’s certainly clear that the biggest loser stands to be the more than 200,000 Malian people who have been uprooted since the violence began, a number that only promises to grow larger.

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  • Schlomotion

    Barack Obama, in a George Bush move, teamed up with Al Qaeda to destroy Libya and hand its plunder to British Petroleum. This drove the Tuareg out of Libya back into Mali where they began attacking cities as the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (their territory). In response to the mismanagement of this secession by the Malian government, Malian soldiers had a coup d'etat. Frank Crimi is describing this as an "Islamic takeover of Mali." The mansas of Mali have been Muslims since Mansa Musa I, in 1280 AD. The country only became "democratic" by coup in 1992, and by that means that the guy who ran the coup, Amadou Toumani Toure, served as military commander and then as "elected" President of Mali for a decade until ousted by the next coup. Before that, many of his ministers were Muslim. At stake is that the Malian government wasn't sharing the national wealth and infrastructure with other ethnic groups. The author presumes that the Tuareg, who are secular and just wrested land from Mali with the aid of Ansar Dine will be overtaken by Ansar Dine and submit to Salafi rule, in short Al Qaeda again. SO WHY DID OBAMA AND BP SET AL QAEDA LOOSE IN NORTH AFRICA? Maybe Tony Hayward knows. Jack Straw and Gordon Brown definitely know.

    • Western Canadian

      Your habit of drawing false equivalencies, besides demonstrating your weak and second-rate mind, is actually rather boring.
      Add to that your habit of falsifying history to match your ignorance, and your post is typical of you: vapid and dull.

      • Ghostwriter

        I couldn't have said it better myself.

        • Schlomotion

          You couldn't? That's depressing.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Those fears were recently echoed by French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe who said, “It appears that an extreme Islamist-jihadist faction (Ansar Dine) is taking the upper hand among the different Tuareg factions.” For starters, it was the Ansar Dine, led by Salafist leader Iyad Ag Ghaly, which was the group which actually captured the city of Timbuktu, raising its black Islamist flag over the city and claiming it as its new base.

    Sounds like a fight and power struggle between what are mainstream orthodox Muslims and syncretic Muslims is brewing. Syncretic Muslims are seen as non-Muslims unbelievers (kafirs) by true mainstream orthodox Muslims. Indeed, most people in that part of Africa which live on the fringe of the Islamic world are Syncretic Muslims and they are seen as non-Muslim kafirs by true mainstream orthodox Muslims because they don't live strictly according to the will of Allah.

    In any event, if the mainstream orthodox Muslim forces win, take over the country, and impose Sharia, those Syncretic Muslims will soon become mainstream orthodox Muslims.

    Nevertheless, the notion that the rebels are Islamists, i.e., radical Muslims, is a false dichotomy of Islam stemming from PC multiculturalism, which is a leftwing manifestation, and the fact that this article is being written by an allegedly right wing writer is a measure and a sad testament to how much leftism has seeped into the right today.

    AQIM — which operates in parts of Mali, Algeria, Niger, Chad and Mauritania — has long terrorized the Sahara. Specifically, it has subjected the region to terror attacks, kidnappings of Westerners, weapons and drug trafficking, and a burgeoning partnership with the Nigerian Islamic terror group Boko Haram.

    The writer is conflating and confusing what is really jihad as being terrorism. Nevertheless, Muslims don't ever fight terrorism in the cause of Allah, as terrorism is blasphemy in Islam. Instead, Muslims fight jihad, which is holy fighting in the cause of Allah against non-Muslim kafirs to make Islam supreme and in which constitutes total warfare that employs both violent and non-violent means.

    In the West, Muslims employ primarily covert and deceptive non-violent means of jihad, i.e., mass Muslim immigration to the West for the purpose mass Muslim infiltration and stealth demographic conquest, because violent jihad against the West would inevitably backfire and lead to their annihilation. While in the sub-Saharan and other primitive regions of the world, on the other hand, violent jihad is more appropriate because there is no fear of Islam being annihilated.

    Meanwhile, again syncretic Muslims are seen as non-Muslim kafirs in the eyes of true mainstream orthodox Muslims that the writer misconstrues as being radical Muslims, i.e., extremists or Islamists, because he obviously buys into the fictional nonsense and PC multicultural myth that Islam is a so-called Religion of Peace™ being hijacked by a tiny minority of extremists, i.e., radical Muslims or Islamists, in his book.

  • wctaqiyya

    Mali has been a big barbaric mess from word go. First, after independence from France, it tried to administer itself as a socialist/commie entity. This naturally resulted in economic collapse and a partial rapprochement with France. But, Mali never had any of the requisite foundations for self rule. So, corruption and strong man rule was the order of the day. As it is and will continue to be in Libya, Egypt, Syria, etc. Unfortunately, the French were short sighted colonists and did not plant any of the institutions required for self rule. Such as a comprehensive education system,a fair and balanced court and law enforcement apparatus, a trained cadre of professional administrators, transportation, international relations and trade, etc. The present conditions in Mali are the inevitable consequence of an almost completely corrupt and malicious de facto dictatorship. Because the minority, nomadic Tuaregs have been severely abused, they rebelled. Good for them. To portray this situation in terms of an Al-Qaeda take-over is misleading. Certainly the extremists will try to take advantage, they are opportunistic. However, the Tuareg's primary interest is to remain unmolested by corrupt officials. Thus, what Al-Qaeda wants in Mali won't amount to much. It's just a big desert anyway, as in, there is nothing there to blow up. I would again remind dear readers that Islamic culture will guarantee perpetual barbarity in those countries so burdened. However, in the case of north Mali, it doesn't really matter. It's miles upon miles of sand dunes interspersed with small bands of nomads on camels. Leave them in peace and they won't molest us.