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The Monitor's View A jihadist’s cultural redemption

A former leader in an Al Qaeda affiliate admits guilt – and regret – in a world court for destroying ancient artifacts in Timbuktu, Mali. His advice to jihadists: Save all of humanity’s cherished culture rather than destroy it.

REUTERS

In an age of violent jihadists trying to spread fear, it is worth noting when one turns away from them and shows unusual contrition. On Aug. 22 at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, a former leader of an Al Qaeda affiliate pleaded guilty to destroying historic cultural and religious sites four years ago in the ancient city of Timbuktu in Mali.

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