Three years before masked gunmen stormed a hotel in the capital of Mali, killing at least 27 people early Friday morning, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was mocked by certain media figures for warning about the spread of terrorist activity in the small West African country.
During the final 2012 presidential debate, which focused on foreign policy, Romney cautioned that instability in the Middle East had given way to the rise of terrorist influences in several key countries, including Libya, Syria and Mali.
"Mali has been taken over, the northern part of Mali by al Qaeda type individuals," Romney said. "With Mali now having North Mali taken over by al-Qaeda, with Syria having [Bashar al-Assad] continuing to kill, to murder his own people, this is a region in tumult."
Prior to the third and final presidential debate, Romney had received intelligence briefings from the Obama administration. It's tradition for presidential candidates to receive these types of briefings following their nominating conventions. A former Romney adviser later confirmed to BuzzFeed that Romney had indeed been given intelligence on possible terrorist activity in Mali.