Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Friday, July 27, 2012

Al Qaeda's 'last chance' for a country?

(CNN) -- Islamic radicals linked to al Qaeda have seized the northern half of Mali, one of Africa's largest nations, and there are widespread concerns that the region could soon become a terrorist haven.

The militants have been able to capitalize on the instability of the country, which has seen a rebellion and a government coup within the past few months.

Now, about 500,000 Malians have fled their homes in fear of the violence and discrimination that come with the radicals' strict interpretation of sharia law.

CNN's Erin Burnett has been meeting with rebels and refugees this week and reporting on the growing crisis in Mali. She talked to CNN.com about the security concerns, the desperate humanitarian issue and how the United States might respond.

CNN.com: Why are some referring to Mali as "the next Afghanistan"?

Erin Burnett: We've talked to senior sources in the U.S. government and local rebels on the ground who say al Qaeda wants this to be their next haven. The people here in Mali really feel like this is al Qaeda's last chance of a country as their haven, just as Afghanistan was. Read More