Friday, December 02, 2016

Welcome, Canada!

"We give the French invading forces and their henchmen glad tidings of more strikes with permission from Allah."
"And what is coming is more grievous and bitter."
"[Grad missiles target] French forces that invaded the lands of the Muslims."
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Timbuktu, Mali
Photo distributed Nov. 29 by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, showing Grad missiles being fired at Tikbuktu airport.
SITE    Photo distributed Nov. 29 by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, showing Grad missiles being fired at Timbuktu airport.

"[There were 228 al-Qaida-linked attacks in the region in 2016, many  in northern Mali.] This represents a significant increase in the al Qaeda-led insurgency in northern Mali since last year, which has also spilled over the borders more frequently than the prior two years."
The Long War Journal
It is primarily France that has committed to battling the Islamists in Mali. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has established its fighting forces in the region and it means to drive all western military powers from the area. France's military was successful in dispersing the Islamists from Timbuktu at a time when priceless religious heritage artefacts and sites were being looted and destroyed. But there is that about an religion-inspired ideology, it lives on and metastasizes.

Al-Qaeda is evidently not too proud to learn the strategies of public relations fundamentals from its rival Islamic State, and to that end it has posted photographs on social media showing two Grad missiles firing at Timbuktu airport targeting French forces. The UN peacekeeping office at Gao airport was destroyed in its turn, by a truck weighed down with explosives. While Ansar Dine, associated with AQIM, celebrated its attack on a French armoured vehicle with the use of a mine.

A UN truck parked in front of a peacekeeping forces camp on June 1, 2016 in Gao
A UN truck parked in front of a peacekeeping forces camp on June 1, 2016 in Gao -- Getty Images

The message directed to France, will, it seems, soon be extended to Canada as it appears on the cusp of committing the contribution of 600 Canadian military and 150 police officers to Mali, to bolster the united Nations peacekeeping mission there. The Gao bombing was claimed by AQIM-linked Al Mourabitoun which, according to the Public Safety Canada website has a "goal ... to spread jihad across North Africa".

Gao peacekeepers base after attack. U.N. peacekeepers stand in front of a camp used by Chinese peacekeepers in Gao, Mali, June 1. The camp was attacked by Al-Qaeda militants on May 31, killing one Chinese soldier.   STR/AFP/Getty Images

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