Foreign Policy Blogs

Terrorism

New Iraqi Documents Show Increasing Rift Between Former al Qaeda Allies

The NEFA Foundation has posted some interesting documents highlighting the growing rift between the Ansar-al-Islam organization in Iraq. The group, formerly known as the Ansar al-Sunnah Army, has been ravaged by infighting between core members and a breakaway splinter organization 'the Shariah Committee of the Ansar al-Sunnah Army”. Ansar-al-Islam (Partisans or Supporters of Islam) is […]

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The Battle for Pakistan Relocates To the Capital

The Taliban in Pakistan have denied responsibility for the Islamabad Marriott bombing that left over 50 dead and 250 injured. According to Al Jazeera, Talibani senior commander Baitullah Mehsud claims "that their group does not believe in killing so many locals and would never overtly attack civilians.' Mehsud backs this assertion by highlighting the use […]

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Yemen Embassy Attack Should Have Been Much, Much Worse

In an immediate response to the attack on the US Embassy in Yemen, local authorities (with much American aid) have arrested at least 30 people in or around the capital. The terrorist attack, which left 16 dead including the assailants, highlights an increasing trend of small-arms, non-sophisticated explosives, and loosely affiliated individuals targeting immediate "soft-targets'. […]

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India: The New Theater in the "War on Terror'

With every passing explosion in downtown New Delhi, it became more and more clear that America and its western partners are ignoring a valuable ally in their war against Islamic fundamentalism. India has always been regarded as somehow unique to the league of democracies, although there are no legitimate reasons for this exclusion. Perhaps it […]

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Wave of Bombings Hit New Delhi

Wave of Bombings Hit New Delhi

A wave of bombings swept across New Delhi on Saturday, killing 20 people and injuring at least 50.  While information is still coming in, multiple sources have confirmed at least six explosions in five different locations, with police defusing an additional two bombs.  Areas affected by the bombings were: Gaffar Market, Connaught Place, M Block […]

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Al Qaeda Releases New Video Slamming Iran and Hezbollah: Highlights a Shift Back to the 'Near Enemy'

Al Qaeda Releases New Video Slamming Iran and Hezbollah: Highlights a Shift Back to the 'Near Enemy'

To commemorate the 9/11 attacks on the United States, al-Qaeda has released a 90-minute video featuring their No. 2 man, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri.  The tape, released to al Jazeera in Qatar, references the crisis in South Ossetia as well as other current events, dating the recording of the statement to some point in mid august. […]

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US Ground Forces in Pakistan: Hunt for al-Qaeda Begins, Again…

It appears as if American frustration over the growing threat of al-Qaeda in Pakistan has forced the US military to act alone. After years of courting the Musharraf regime, and now in the face of increasing instability, ground forces have entered Pakistan to combat high-level al-Qaeda and Taliban targets. The incident occurred in South Waziristan […]

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Suicide Bombing in Iraq Kills 28: Is Diyala the New Anbar?

How does an Iraqi province renowned for its orange and date groves devolve into a hotbed of suicide bombings and civil unrest?  Diyala, an agricultural region of almost 7,000 square miles directly northeast of Baghdad, has become one of the most dangerous places in Iraq.   The escalating trend of violence continued on Tuesday, as a […]

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Al-Qaeda's Second in Command Speaks Out on Pakistan

At some point in mid August, al-Qaeda second-in-command Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri released a statement regarding Pakistani instability and the impending departure of President Pervais Musharraf.  While the document proceeds with the usual litany of religious excerpts, requests, demands, and injustices, it does contain some interesting and noteworthy news.   Uniquely, it is written in English, an […]

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Terror in the UK: PM Assassination Plot Highlights Differences Between UK and US Muslim Minority

Britain's homegrown terror crisis has taken on a new dimension in previous days.  Five men have been arrested in central England over a terrorist-plot to assassinate Prime Minister Gordon Brown and former PM Tony Blair.  The organization, al-Qaeda in Britain, made the threats on a popular jihadist website in January and has been under surveillance […]

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The Genesis of Bin Laden

It is easy, indeed customary, for contemporary politicians and pundits to dismiss Osama bin Laden as "insane', "illogical', and "evil'. If this were true, the man and his movement would be far easier to dismantle. Instead, OBL is a result of a methodological, organized movement based in decades of Islamic thought. This article outlines the […]

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Pakistan Suicide Blast Kills 60, Civilian Government Under Strain

At least 60 people were killed north of Islamabad when two suicide bombers detonated explosives at Pakistan's largest weapons manufacturing facility. The attackers were on foot and struck during the work shift change to inflict maximum casualties. The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack. “Our bombers carried out today's attack. It is in […]

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Baghdad bombing highlights the difficulty of gender in Iraqi society

On Sunday, a suicide bombing in Baghdad killed Faruq al-Obaida, Deputy leader of the Awakening Council of Adamiya. In total, at least 15 were killed and almost 30 wounded. Awakening Councils, locally organized and US-financed militias, are largely credited with the reduction of Sunni-affiliated violence around Baghdad. It is not surprising that these organizations are […]

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In Terror, Does "Why' Matter? Lessons from Lebanon and Iraq

The terrorist activity of the past week has been particularly violent, as well as illuminating.  Wednesday's bombing in Tripoli, Lebanon saw at least 12 people dead and over 50 injured.   The next day, 19 Shia pilgrims were killed and over 75 hurt a mere 50km south of Baghdad.   These attacks, while inflicting similar damage, reflect […]

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