Nigeria has now sent 200 men into Mali as well. One wonders, Nigeria being 50% Islamic ... are those 200 Christian? Islamic? Mixed?
Anyway, the thing I wanted to say was that I read this article half a year ago about the Tuareg. The Tuareg have, for a long time, been laid back Muslims. Muslim like an Anglican is Christian. They observed salat ... when convenient. If you're busy with something, finish the task and skip a salat or two. Women were largely equal to men, not worth a third of a man like in Islam. And they observed some 'pagan'
started preaching to the Tuareg a decade or so ago. And these days, Tuareg are often as bad as the Taliban. Bans on female education, bans on music, bans on any books other than the Quran, women's rights have almost completely evaporated. Some Tuareg have tried to escape, but where can you go when you're a nomadic desert people? None of the already overpopulated countries around the Sahara are eager to take on even 'just' another 100000 people. So, the non-fundamentalist Tuareg have pretty dispersed into nothingness. A hundred over here, two dozen over there, that sort of thing. This has cleared the path for the fundamentalist Tuareg to completely seize control of Tuareg society.
Now, where do the Tuareg live? The middle of a fucking huge desert ... the perfect location to train people for combat without anyone noticing. And it's these people who are now attacking Mali. The link to the 9/11 people is extremely flimsy ... but we call them Al Qaeda anyway.