"Even if these groups are narrowly locally focused, they see the United States as an impediment to their goals. They have regional and global pretentions. Also historically, it's rare that any terrorist campaign remains localized."
In the Arab world, remnants of Al-Qaeda are still active in Syria and Libya, according to Valentina Soria, a counter-terrorism analyst at the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies.
Soria says the democratic revolutions that swept across much of the Arab world in the past two years have also provided opportunities for Al-Qaeda.
"The developments in the Arab world are providing ungoverned areas to pretty much relocate and connect between themselves and exploit the advantage," Sora said from her office in London. "Their actual capability to conduct terrorist operations around the world has been greatly degraded. But the threat remains in the kind of ideology that still resonates with militants."
Soria says Western terrorism and military analysts are carefully watching Mali right now to see if it becomes another Al-Qaeda hub, like Afghanistan or Pakistan in the past. While France is sending drones to the region, the United States and its allies are reluctant to get involved. African nations have discussed intervening, but a plan send 3,300 troops to oust the terror groups has been delayed until late 2013, according to the Los Angeles Times story.