Article Photos: Al-Qaida presence in Mali, Yemen and Afghanistan 2/3

FILE - In this Aug. 31, 2012 file photo, fighters from the al-Qaida-linked Islamist group Ansar Dine stand guard in Timbuktu, Mali, as they prepare to publicly lash a member of the Islamic Police found guilty of adultery. Mali once enjoyed a reputation as one of West Africa's most stable democracies with more than 90 percent of its 15 million people practicing a moderate form of Islam. That changed in April 2012, when Islamist extremists took over the main cities in the country's north amid disarray following a military coup and began enforcing strict Shariah law. (AP Photo/File)