At least 22 people were killed recently in the West African country of Mali as al-Qaeda affiliated gunmen stormed the Radisson Blu Hotel which is just over 1 mile from the United States embassy in Mali. This popular Mali hotel, in an upscale neighborhood in the capital city of Bamako, is a hub for international guests, and is a 15-minute drive from the main international airport.
Eyewitnesses reported that the gunmen shouted “Allahu akbar” and sprayed bullets toward people who were gathered at tables in the dining area for breakfast. According to Mauritanian news agency Al Akhbar, a militant Islamic group called Al Mourabitoun, claimed joint responsibility for the attack which was carried out in cooperation with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). The attack was supposedly carried out in retaliation for government aggression in northern Mali. The group also demanded the release of prisoners in France. However, in a disturbingly ironic twist, the Radisson Blu Hotel was hosting a meeting of diplomatic delegations working on a peace process in the landlocked country of Mali that was formerly a French colony that has been battling Islamist extremists with the help of U.N. and French forces. The tactics used by these terrorist groups should sicken us but it should not surprise us. Such actions are resultant of the sin nature of humanity and are expressly condemned by Scripture. The Bible clearly teaches against the shedding of innocent blood. The Scriptures repeatedly reprove all those who would use violence against the innocent and helpless (Deuteronomy 27:25; Proverbs 6:16–18). Those who use common terrorist tactics such as attacking non-combatant civilians, and trying to inspire others to commit acts of terror are also clearly condemned by Scripture (Jeremiah 7:6; 19:4; 22:3, 17). As such, we should be ever the more vigilant in our prayers over such situations. – PNL
PRAY: For the leaders of Mali to remain strong in their resolve to combat the terrorist groups in their midst. Pray for comfort for the families of those killed in the Mali hotel attack. Pray for the leaders of the various countries impacted by this attack; that they would take seriously the threat of such terrorists and respond in an effort to neutralize and contain this threat.