Another Al Qaeda attack. This time it’s on Splendid Hotel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, a landlocked sub-Saharan country. The fact that this hotel is frequented by foreigners brings this issue to a whole new level.
On January 16th 2016, an Al Qaeda affiliated terrorist group managed to bomb two nearby cars, ambush unarmed citizens, storm the luxury hotel, and take 28 hostages.
Witnessing this bloodshed, a 28-year-old bystander Salif Ouedraogo, an agent at the country’s international airport, explains the horrific event that began around eight in the evening, “I saw people who were shooting, and so I quickly got down and put myself on my stomach on the floor.”
In less than two months, this tragedy marked an unfortunate second major attack on a hotel carrying foreigners by Al Qaeda’s regional affiliate (AQIM). With at least 20 civilian casualties the gun battle was seized by French and US military support to this heart-rending cause.
This event is as an embodiment of imminent danger to many countries frequented by people all over the world. In retrospect, jihadist organizations and numerous other Al Qaeda’s regional affiliates focused in Mali and Algeria. However, this particular tragedy implicates expansion of Al Qaeda’s targeting range to little-known countries. This may be hard to admit, but a specialist on political and security issues in the region Andrew Lebovich said the attack in Burkina Faso showed an evolutionary improvement in the group’s tactical ability. The previous attack in Mali was executed with terrorist weapons and grenades.
But recent reports noted that these attackers in Ouagadougou were armed with more sophisticated weapons. This attack involved at least two car bombings and shows a more advanced operational method with an addition of more serious weapons, resembling fight scenes you will often see in movies.
Now, this is a huge problem. I am not trying to downgrade the seriousness of such issue, but minor terrorist attacks in cities and towns have been carried out with a few bombs and less sophisticated operational strategies.
If Burinka Faso attack was carried out with improved strategy and enhanced weaponry, Al Qaeda affiliated groups will be more prone to ambush larger cities or bigger department stores carrying hundreds of people. Al Qaeda affiliated groups and other numerous terrorist organizations have been justifying their actions in the name of god. This recurring rationale does not fit into the context of the Qur’an whatsoever. God, no matter what religion, openly condemned killing and promoted love.
Danger awaits humanity. Religion has played a great role in galvanizing ethnic conflicts and igniting rebellions ever since the early days of human civilizations. Many people tend to say that religion does not play a significant role nowadays. However, those people are neglecting the overarching premises of issues such as the Burkina Faso attack.

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