Africa No terrorist 'safe haven' in North Africa? That's a tall order.

The attack on the gas plant in Algeria took place in the middle of a complex, sprawling desert region the size of the continental United States. 

Jerome Delay/AP

After more than a decade of interventions as far-flung as the Hindu Kush, the banks of the Tigris River, and the wadis of Yemen, Washington and its allies are suddenly staring at another remote Islamic militant "sanctuary" – this time the size of the continental United States.