Al-Qaida Resurgent As Terror Spreads Across N. Africa
Islamofascism: The terrorist attack on a vast Algerian gas plant Wednesday shows a resurgent al-Qaida that puts the lie to the Obama administration's claim that the war on terror is all but over. It may in fact be just beginning.

Everything about the al-Qaida "Blood Brigade" attack on the Al Amenas natural gas plant 800 miles east of Algiers — where hundreds of workers, including Americans, were taken hostage in a bloody standoff — suggests an organization growing in strength with a bigger game than just retaliating for the French invasion of Mali.

You'd never know that from our silent White House, which has continually downplayed the new horrors after Benghazi and has yet to call a terrorist a terrorist.

Even so, here are the awful facts:

• Algeria is the "big dog" on the block in the Maghreb, a nonfailed state with a $267 billion economy, 90% of which comes from oil and gas.

Its leadership in the region makes al-Qaida's strike there effectively a strike at the king. The attack shows that al-Qaida has the capacity to attack the strongest regional state to retaliate for Mali. That sends an unambiguous message to the region full of weaker states.

Last October, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sought Algeria's help on the terrorist takeover of Mali because it was the strongest state. Now it's a target.

• The natural gas plant attacked was operated by state-owned Sonatrach, Algeria's largest consortium, accounting for 30% of the country's GNP. Its high gas production (9 billion cubic meters a year) is the product of partnerships with the West and Japan based on Algeria's 2005 reforms. Seizing it took unusual planning and preparation, another sign of terrorist strength.

• Mali is important, too — as a source of cash. Al-Qaida in the Maghreb is a well-financed organization that gets its cash from cigarette smuggling and its control of air routes in Mali now being used by drug lords flying in their loads from Hugo Chavez's Venezuela, ever since Chavez cut drug cooperation with the U.S. in 2005, with few repercussions from the U.S.

• The extreme violence in Mali is a sign of al-Qaida strength. It's not just the Shariah-law amputations and beheadings that terrorize the Malians. For years, Mali has been a weak backwater, with one unusual source of excellence, its exquisite music, which is a powerhouse in World Music.

It's also destroying Mali's only other cash cow, its ancient city of Timbuktu, which until recently attracted tourists. These are the cultural actions of terrorists intent on destroying a national identity for the sake of financing a greater war.

This ought to be a major concern, but the Obama administration's impulse has always been to dismiss the war on terror as a relic of Bush administration warmongering, dismissing even the murder of a U.S. ambassador in Libya as the act of an overexcited mob instead of the coldly organized terrorist attack it was.

Now the problem is getting bigger. And they remain blind to it.
Posted by: Beavis 2013-01-18