BREAKING NEWS: 50 Hostages, including several foreigners, have managed to escape the Saharan gas facility in Amenas near Libyan border.
Latest report: Two Algerian army helicopters attacked the gas complex where Islamists have seized dozens of foreigners and Algerians.
MILITARY RESCUE OPERATION: Is happening as we speak with conflicting stories, many hostages and militants are killed. Algerian government states they had to act in order to save lives.
CRISIS ENDS IN BLOODSHED: 30 Hostages were killed of which 7 foreigners; 11 militants also killed. More to follow …

EXECUTION: Somali militant group al Shabaab have announced that they killed a French hostage.

PART I of some sequence of events that may have been under the radar leading to the decision by France to intervene in Mali. Recently the Obama administration led us to believe “Al-Qaeda” was defeated. I have voiced a different opinion during the last 12 months. The consequences for North Aftrica and possible backlash for Europe is already seen by this week’s news headlines.  

1. US special ops training Malian troops since 2004 – defect to Tuareg rebels

(Business Insider) Apr. 5, 2012 – The Tuareg rebel’s Islamist allies, Ansar Dine, have not called for an end to fighting at the time of writing. They have different aims to the Tuareg rebels, calling for Sharia law rather than an independent state, and the BBC reports that they have links with Al Qaeda.

What’s more, the allies may be splitting. The latest AFP reports suggest that Ansar Dine (which means “Defenders of Faith”) have chased Tuareg rebels from Timbuktu, forcing women to wear headscarves and cutting off the hands of thieves. Three Algerian members Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb’s (AQIM) are also said to have been spotted in the city.

 « click for Letter from Timbuktu (Vanity Fair)
Malian government soldiers being trained by US Special Forces in 2004 (AP)

2. Tuareg Declare Independent State in Mali (Gaddafi Mercenaries)

As the US with Hillary Clinton and the Monarchs of Qatar and Saudi Arabia were busy arming and funding the phony Syrian Freedom Movement, the Libyan Freedom has come at great expense. Armed militant factions have resumed fighting and the Tuareg fighters have returned with heavy arms to Mali. In a few weeks time, the Malian army chose a coup d’etat and the MNLA fighters have now occupied northern Mali, the size of the state of Texas.

Al-Qaeda’s New Homeland – Mali

3. U.S. expands secret intelligence operations in Africa

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (WaPo) June 13, 2012 — The U.S. military is expanding its secret intelligence operations across Africa, establishing a network of small air bases to spy on terrorist hideouts from the fringes of the Sahara to jungle terrain along the equator, according to documents and people involved in the project.

At the heart of the surveillance operations are small, unarmed turboprop aircraft disguised as private planes. Equipped with hidden sensors that can record full-motion video, track infrared heat patterns, and vacuum up radio and cellphone signals.  

4. Three Prostitutes Were Involved In That Fatal US Army Car Crash In Mali

(Business Insider) July 9, 2012 – A senior Army official and a U.S. counterterrorism consultant briefed on the incident told the Post that the women killed in the wreck were identified as Moroccan prostitutes who had been riding with the soldiers. However, a statement by U.S. African Command (AFCOM) said that they “have no reason to believe these women were engaged in acts of prostitution.”

AFCOM said that the three men were among “a small number of personnel” who had aided the Malian military before the coup and had remained in the country to provide support for the U.S. Embassy.

Whitlock notes that Special Operations forces, which include members of the Navy SEALs and the Army’s Delta Force, work openly to distribute humanitarian aid and train local militaries at the same time as being hailed as the new cornerstone in U.S. global counterterrorism strategy.

US Commandos in Mali participate in African program called Operation Sand Creek   [American Indian War – Battle at Sand Creek]

5. Massacre of 17 Muslim preachers in Mali sign of broken army

DIABALY, Mali (AP) Sept. 22, 2012 — It was dusk when the aging Toyota pickup truck pulled into the first military checkpoint, loaded with at least 17 bearded men fingering prayer beads. This pinprick of a village in central Mali is not even large enough to appear on most administrative maps. Cars pass through here so rarely that donkeys fall asleep in the center of the highway.

The preachers were coming from Mauritania and had paperwork showing they were on their way to a religious conference in Mali’s capital, 270 miles (430 kilometers) away. None of them was armed.

The Toyota minibus with plate No. 0148AN00 RIM rolled in just as dark was enveloping the bridge at Dogofri, nine miles (15 kilometers) north of Diabaly. Anyone in these parts would have recognized the letters RIM as standing for Republique Islamique de la Mauritanie, or Mauritania, Mali’s more religious neighbor to the north.

Soldiers arrested them and brought them to a military camp. There they opened fire on the stationary truck, spraying it with their machine guns. Then they dragged out the corpses, buried them in a mass grave and launched a manhunt for those who had escaped. Within 1½ hours of the car arriving at the checkpoint, 16 of the 17 men were dead.

France Says Diabaly Falls to Malian Insurgents

6. Rebels advance south toward central cities and crucial airport

(Bridges from Bamako) Jan. 8, 2013 – Mali has been swirling with rumors of an Islamist offensive since Sunday 6 January, when panicked posts on Facebook reported dozens of pickups full of heavily armed militants advancing on the town of Mopti, and contended that nearby Sévaré (home of the Malian army’s forward HQ) was being “quietly encircled” and infiltrated.

The next day a Malian newspaper claimed that Islamists were also threatening the towns of Koro, Diabaly and Nara. Let’s recall that similar panics have occurred in Mopti before and proved to be unwarranted. This much is sure: Islamist forces are reinforcing at least some of their positions over a front line stretching nearly 500 km, from the Mauritanian border to the border with Burkina.

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