The problems of Islamist extremism are not new, but we, in the West, we ignore to understand it, as we include them in the very generous category of 'nothing new under the fighting sun of Africa'. However, as in the case of the insidous expansion of the terrorist network in many Western cities, the presence of Al Qaida's affiliates in Africa is a new danger against normality.
Especially in those countries lacking a proper democratic prospect, Al Qaida terrorism, in strong collaboration with the networks of drug traffickers and money laundering, can easily win the war. And the success will mean the increase of underdevelopment of the African continent.
The latest serious example in this direction is the case of Mali, where the terrorists are taking the advantage of permeating borders with Libya and relative poverty of the population. Those reunited in the Jihad in Western Africa, Ansar Dine or the Movement for Unity are trying to get more jihadist support and expand their territory. At the end of November, they got the control of a couple of towns and little villages, and increased their activities of kidnapping foreigners and threatening Western businesses. The requests for 'Touareg independence' are another name for the setting up of jihad-driven cities, where there is no respect for humanity, women and historic heritage.
There are not too many chances of a military intervention in the near future, even though France - whose citizens are often kidnapped in Mali - is interested in finding a proper solution to the current crisis, that started in March.