My, what a difference three months makes. Back in November, Barack Obama was running around the country bragging about vanquishing Al Qaeda. See, Bad Ass Barack killed that motherfucker Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda was kaput. Seemed like a swell story at the time. Only one little problem–the Salafists, i.e., the muslim extremists–did not get the message.

This week saw a dramatic terrorist strike against a British Petroleum site in eastern Algeria (right up against the border with Libya). The suspected culprits behind this attack are described as Al Qaeda in the Mahgreb aka AQIM. The muslim terrorists initially claimed they were inspired to carry out this attack because the French had deployed troops to Mali (Algeria’s neighbor to the south) in a bid to beat back a radical muslim insurgency.

Well, that’s a crock of horseshit. The muslims who carried out the attack at Anemas, Algeria had this baby on the drawing board for a while. This was not a spontaneous, hastily planned attack. This had been in the works for several weeks. Why? Because the site is quite remote. In fact, we must assume that at least one of those involved in the attack had worked previously at the site. Otherwise, the average person could not find it on a map.

When these muslim thugs struck on Wednesday morning, their were several hundred employees at the facility. Most of the workers escaped unharmed. Some were taken hostage. Others managed to hide and evade captivity.

As I write this tonight, the U.S. Government has confirmed the death of one American–he died of a heart attack. The number who escaped and/or are in hiding is not being revealed to the public. I know what the numbers are but I refuse to do the intel work for the terrorists. Algeria launched a rescue attempt of sorts on Thursday morning when they detected the terrorists loading up some of the hostages in vehicles. Fearing the terrorists would drive off into the desert and attempt to escape into the vast wilderness that is the Sahara, the Algerian military struck the vehicles. Some of the hostages reportedly were killed (but the actual number who died remains uncertain as I write this) and several of the hostage takers were eliminated.

The Algerians being criticized by some in the West for acting hastily and failing to secure the site. I do not think some of the criticism is justified. They had to act once they detected the muslim extremists making preparations to flee the oil facility with hostages.

However, there were over 100 Algerian police at the facility and they failed to act to prevent the take over. I am inclined to think some of the police were alerted to the impending terrorist strike and opted to get out of the way.

What does this mean? The fundamentalist radical muslims are emboldened in part by the demise of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Muammar Qaddafi in Libya. Barack Obama made that possible. But now, with muslim extremists working frantically to expand their influence and control over other parts of the African continent, the naive foreign policy of Obama is fully exposed for the feckless debacle that it is. There is Boko Haram in Nigeria and a growing number of equally extreme Islamic inspired terrorist/criminal groups in Mali, Algeria and Libya. The events of this week in Algeria mark a new phase in the revival of the aspirations of muslim extremists eager to revive the mythical Caliphate.

Obama, sadly, is not up to the task. The White House is crippled by inaction at this point. They are biding their time while trying to figure out what to do. France has sent troops to Mali (Algeria’s neighbor to the Southwest), but France failed to provide the logistical support that will enable those troops to effectively carry out the mission of defeating the defacto Islamic army that has taken over northern Mali.

The situation in Africa is likely to worsen significantly before it gets better. And Obama is playing whack-a-mole. There is no strategic vision or policy. Instead, there is an ad hoc response to rapidly changing events in several countries. The unrest is growing in Mali, Algeria, Libya and Egypt. Such developments are dangerous, not just for the United States of America, but for our friends and allies in Africa and Europe. Heck of a job, Barky!!

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Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.