The Wall Street Journal quotes Africa Center Nonresident Senior Fellow Rudolph Atallah on the perpetrators of the deadly hostage attacks in Mali, which left twenty-seven dead:
Still, it isn’t clear the schism will be as deep in Mali as it has been in Iraq and Syria. Malian Islamist groups have traded fighters, fought together, and trained each other in ways that make it difficult for foreign analysts to keep up, said Rudy Atallah, former Africa counterterrorism director at the U.S. Defense Department, and a senior Africa researcher at the Atlantic Council in Washington.
“In terms of who’s affiliated with who, that’s just really loose: One day they can be in one camp, and another day in one camp, and another day in one camp, and it keeps shuffling,” he said. “It’s going to continue to be confusing for analysts to say who’s doing what where, but the characters will stay the same.”