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10/26/2018 Mali (International Christian Concern) – Mali has extended their state of emergency by another year due to continued Jihadists activity in the northern half of the country as well as terrorist activity throughout it and other nearby countries. This extension shows that even with the help of France, they have not been able to defeat the ever growing problem of extreme Islam in Mali.

There are several large and still growing terrorist groups, who are based in Mali. The most notable of these is Jama’a Nusrat al-Islam Wal Muslimeen(JNIM). It is the official branch of Al-Qaeda in West Africa. It is an amalgamation of several smaller groups that joined together in early 2017 to increase their ability to conduct attacks and take land in Mali.

This group now controls large swathes of land in Northern Mali, despite a major French led offensive into the area in 2013. This group is able to radicalize some of the more illiterate and migratory groups, such as the Fulani tribes in Mali, towards their cause. By doing this, they have been able to continue attacks on government and military targets in Mali. They have also been able to kidnap missionaries, doctors, nuns, and many other westerners in Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso. They have also taken custody of the individuals who were kidnapped by the smaller groups which formed JNIM.

With this continued growth, some have speculated that west Africa may be the new training grounds for some of the world’s largest and most deadly terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda, ISIS, and Boko Haram.

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