A recent piece on John Kerry about al Qaeda in Africa was interesting. Pull up a map of Africa and list countries where there is a north-south civil war along religious lines with Islam in the north. Mali, Nigeria, Sudan.
String them together and the broader picture becomes clearer. These "separate" conflicts are part of a larger pan African campaign as Islam expands from the middle east across north Africa and pushes south by force. Never mind about some imaginary al Qaeda bogeyman. That's a convenient distraction to avoid thinking about what's really happening.
There's also a northward campaign into Europe but for now the demographics and situation requires a different approach in Europe.