This chapter lays out the most salient variables in the complex equation, including the significance of changing religious practice, of illicit economic activity, and of local micropolitical realities. While figures like General Wald claimed that the Sahelian terrorist threat was imminent, others have been equally adamant that there have been no jihadi attacks in the SaharaSahel zone. Benjamin Soares has argued that such anxieties reveal much more about West African Islam's interpreters than about their object of study, which becomes a kind of mirror for others' concerns. The anti-terrorism attention of the United States government has been turned on the West African region at the same time that a United States intelligence estimate suggested that by 2015, 25 percent of American oil would come from Africa. Though many in West Africa surely retain great affection for specific American citizens, the general view of the United States in the region has degraded significantly.