"Even if they (western forces) don't come here, when we have finished conquering France, we will come to the USA, we will come to London and conquer the whole world. The banner of Mohammed (peace be upon his head) will be raised from where the sun rises in the east to where it sets in the west."...
I look forward to Muslims across the world denouncing and condemning this declaration of global jihad. Channel 4 news reports: (thanks to David)
A militant Islamist leader whose forces have just conquered two-thirds of the West African state of Mali vows to launch holy war against the West.
They trek across the desert by donkey cart, pots, pans and blankets piled high on top. Many refugees fear that foreign forces may soon start to attackthe Islamists. "What I fear most is aeroplanes bombing from overhead," said Intinwilou Ag Hamadallamce, 75, as he waited for his family of 11 to be registered.
Every few days a bus takes the refugees to Mbera camp, where 100,000 Malians, mostly Tuaregs, are surviving the rainy season in "baches", makeshift dwellings of pliable sticks, covered in cloth and tarpaulins displaying the blue logo of the UN High Comissioner for Refugees. Aid workers say one-fifth of their children are malnourished and malaria is rife.
In the last two weeks, militants from the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa, which controls the area around Gao, stoned a couple to death for adultery in the town of Aguelhok and amputated the hand of an alleged thief in Ansongo.
Women are forced to stay inside unless fully covered and accompanied by a male relative and anyone who smokes risks a whipping. "We're a democratic, sovereign, secular state," said Hauroye Toure, a political science graduate from Gao, who fled to the Malian capital in April.
She and her family are now reliant on food donations. "We are in our own country and we should be free to behave as we wish. We are Muslims but they insist on spreading Sharia, and that's what's so serious."
In the town of Segou, a few hours drive from Bamako, a few units of the Malian army are trying to regroup. Several years of training under the US anti-terrorism programme appear to have had little effect on their skills.
"We need every support - air support, ground support, logistics support, personnel support, experienced support. We are in need today," said Lieutenant Cheickne Konate, a company commander who had been based in Timbuktu.
The West African states have readied 3,000 troops, but neither they nor the United Nations Security Council can move without an invitation from an internationally recognised Malian government. But the military which, despite a facade of civilian rule, is in charge in Bamako is resisting demands that foreign troops should first stabilise the capital.
"We've never said we're against the intervention of international soldiers in Mali," said Yamoussa Camara, the defence minister, "but their mission should be to help us liberate the north of the country, not to secure the institutions in Bamako."
Across southern Mali, militia are forming to chase away the jihadis.