How African Jihadists Took Root in Mali and Beyond

Islamist militants are wreaking havoc in West Africa. A separatist insurgency that began in northern Mali in 2012 first enabled jihadists to gain a foothold in the country. Attacks have since spread to neighboring Burkina Faso and are threatening coastal states including Benin, Ghana and Ivory Coast. Thousands have died in recent years. Increased defense spending weighs heavily on the budgets of some of the world’s poorest countries. Frustration over the Malian government’s inability to quash th