Mali Islamists seize town while French government braces for terror attacks

Despite upbeat reports over the weekend of progress by French forces in beating back the Islamists in the northern region of Mali, the jihadists scored a victory by taking a town in central Mali. New York Times: The French Defense Ministry said on Monday that a town in central Mali had fallen to Islamist insurgents from the north, hours after Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said his country's dramatic intervention there had succeeded in blocking a rebel advance that could have had "appalling consequences." At the same time, an Islamist leader in Mali said France had "opened the gates of hell" for all its citizens by intervening, reinforcing concerns that the far-flung military operation in Africa could inspire vengeance in mainland France. French forces, Mr. Fabius said in a radio interview late Sunday, were now "taking care" of rear bases used by Islamists who took control of much of the north of the country last year after a military coup in the capital, Bamako. The...(Read Full Post)