March 25, 2013
The U.S. Department of State warned U.S. travelers and diplomats in Mali that terrorist dangers still lurk in parts of the country after the French-lead offensive rolled them back in January.
The department issued a travel warning on March 22 warning U.S. citizens against all travel to Mali because of ongoing fighting in the northern part of the country, fluid political conditions, and continuing threats of attacks and kidnappings of westerners.
It also designated Islamist group Ansar al Dine as a terrorist organization on March 21. The group was added to the list of the agencyâ€™s Al Qaeda-affiliated organizations, freezing any assets of the group in the U.S. and for bidding U.S. citizens from transactions with the group. Ansar al Dine, along with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), are linked to factions still operating to some extent in the northern part of the country, it said. The same day, the United Nations Security Council also listed Ansar al Dine as a terrorist organization.