Militants who embrace the rigid Salafi brand of Islam are on a rampage in Timbuktu and other parts of Mail. They are allied with Al Qaeda, and it is not difficult to imagine this region becoming an incubator of terrorism and transnational crime — or to imagine that the United States will react by making Mali the newest front in its ever-expanding drone war. This catastrophe did not “just happen.” It is the direct result of an episode that may at first seem unrelated: the US-led intervention in Libya last year.
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