The threat of Islamic terror is global, and cannot be attributed solely to Al-Qaeda. However, there are numerous indications that that organization itself is far from incapacitated, even if its involvement in some recent attacks may have been exaggerated. Middle East Newsline now reports that “Al Qaida operatives have been relocating to the southern Sahara Desert in Algeria and have prepared secret bases near the border with Mali.
“Western intelligence sources said the Al Qaida effort was detected in early 2003 and has been aided by the Salafist Brigade for Combat and Call. They said the Salafist leadership has provided Al Qaida with hideouts and logistics in the mountain region.
“‘The area is ideal for Al Qaida training and command functions,’ an intelligence source said. ‘The area is isolated and is located along the border with Mali, where there is no trace of government control.’
“The sources said the Al Qaida operatives use the Sahara as a base to move into neighboring countries as Libya and Mauritania. The focus of the Al Qaida presence is the Mali desert near the Algerian border.”