I listened to a U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing on the “threat of Islamist terrorists in northern Mali.”
It seems Mali has become a “magnet for foreign fighters”, who are flocking into that country to train new recruits to use weapons recently misappropriated from Libya in the confusion and mess of the U.S. backed regime change.
As such Mali has now become a new breeding ground for terrorism.
Islamic militants associated with Ansar Dine, and al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb [AQIM] are “recruiting” young Tuareg boys with promises of food to eat ( a luxury for some in Mail) and money, are teaching them to hate the West and use weapons in a network of madrassas or religious schools, funded by our friends in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Oddly U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Johnnie Carson tried for some reason to make a distinction between Tuareg rebels and Islamist terrorists. He suggested they be handled separately.
Absent from the discussion was any real discussion on the root cause of terrorism in Mali and stopping the financing flowing to the terrorists.
Who is funding terrorism in Mali?
The answer is “complicated”.
It involves countries that the United States considered allies and who we are giving military and economic aid to.
WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE…
Take for example Qatar.
Evidence exists that Qatar is funding terrorist entities in Mali.
Both the Tuareg rebels of the MNLA (independence and laity), Ansar Eddine, AQIM (Al Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb) and Mujao (Jihad in West Africa) were assisted with dollars from Qatar, according to one report (see: Canard Echainé: Qatar finances terrorism in Mali – El Watan http://www.northafricaunited.com/Canard-Echaine-Qatar-finances-terrorism-in-Mali-El-Watan_a1648.html )
The rub here is this – we (meaning the United States government) support Qatar with billions of dollars, as well as military support and assistance…
Granted we have our own motives in doing so (see report: Qatar: Background and U.S. Relations http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL31718.pdf ).
It is still no excuse!
In the end, when you support a supporter of terrorism, you become a supporter of terrorism yourself.
It is a vicious cycle.
The best thing the United States can do is link continued U.S. aid to Qatar with it cooperation on the fight to end its financing to Islamic terrorists, such as Hamas, AQIM, and Jihad in West Africa – something the U.S. appears incapable or unwilling to do.