July 26th, 2012
09:36 PM ET

Al Qaeda's surge in lawless Mali; Official says U.S. weighing its options

CNN's Erin Burnett has just returned from the border of the western African country of Mali Thursday and witnessed just how desperate the security situation is. Islamic radicals linked to al Qaeda have seized the northern half of the country after a rebellion and coup left the country leaderless.

The Assistant Defense Secretary for Special Operation Michael Sheehan said today the Defense Department is weighing its options when it comes to Mali.

Burnett spoke with a man who knows the security situation in Mali. She asked Rudy Atallah, the Defense Department's former Africa Counterterrorism Director - what options the U.S. military had in the region.

Filed under: International • Mali
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