Some sadness from Mali along with an encouraging dose of justice.
- The branch of Al Qaeda in Mali carried out a terrorist attack in Ivory Coast this past spring.
- The lead terrorist who destroyed many cultural artifacts in Timbuktu gets 11 years in prison after a humiliating confession in court.
3/14/16 – Wall Street Journal – Al Qaeda Turns Sights on Africa Success Story – On 3/14, terrorists from al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb shot up a beach resort in Grand-Bassam, Ivory Coast, killing at least 15 people. That is the al Qaeda offshoot operating out of Mali that has been terrorizing Mali.
Quoted experts have been concerned that group would start reaching out to economically developed countries, such as Ivory Coast or Senegal.
The attack was in Grand-Bassam, which is about 25 miles from Abidjan.
Ivory Coast has worked hard to achieve an average 9% growth rate over the last four years. Good for the people there and their government!
9/27/16 – Wall Street Journal – Islamist Sentenced to Nine Years for Timbuktu Shrine Destruction – Soldiers of Ansar Dine destroyed Muslim shrines in Timbuktu that are many hundreds of years old. Nine mausoleums in total were destroyed. The door to the Sidi Yahia mosque, so the story goes, hasn’t even been opened in 500 years. All but one of the destroyed sites were on the World Heritage roster of UNESCO.
(Over five hundred years old! Here in California, we are impressed by buildings that are standing 50 or 60 years later. A notable historical restoration project in my city consists of sprucing up a gas station from the ’50s that is on the old Route 66.)
The Islamist who conducted the wanton destruction negotiated a plea deal with the International Criminal Court. He agreed to plead guilty and not appeal his sentence. The negotiated term is 11 years in prison. At trial, he faced a potential 30 year sentence. Sentence was actually 9 years.
Regardless of your faith tradition, I’m sure you agree destroying historical sites of that age is a travesty. (Just so you know, I worship in the Christian religious tradition.) Prison for the lead destroyer won’t restore any of those treasures, but will declare that the world won’t tolerate such waste.
8/31/16 – Wall Street Journal – A Landmark Precedent to Protect Cultural Heritage – Article explains the symbolic victory and PR triumph accompanying the justice of an Islamist pleading guilty to criminal charges in the ICC.
Instead of a fiery martyrdom, the terrorist appeared in court (rule of law!), wearing a suit and tie (how submissive!), acknowledging his guilt (publicly declaring the destruction was wrong & illegal!), asking for “pardon” from all of the citizens of Timbuktu (how humiliating!), and urging other Muslims not to destroy cultural artifacts (repudiating his organization and his bosses!).
Article explains the further humiliation for the terrorist who will spend 11 years in prison: the prosecutor was a Muslim woman from Gambia.
Savor the justice.
He was lawfully, successfully prosecuted by a devout follower of Islam.
A woman made sure he went to prison.