Terrorism

Sajid Javid accused of evading questions about suspects facing death penalty

Home secretary delayed to answer questions by Caroline Lucas about fate of British citizens allegedly part of Isis cell Owen Bowcott The Guardian A senior Conservative MP has reprimanded the home secretary, Sajid Javid, for failing to answer parliamentary questions about the government exposing British citizens to the death penalty overseas. Charles Walker, chair of the Commons procedure committee, wrote to Javid describing his failure to respond to written queries from the Green MP Caroline Lucas as an “unacceptable discourtesy to a fellow ... Read More »

The Russian Navy Is About to Become A Lot Deadlier

Moscow is deploying “Black Beret” Marines on all its warships. Michael Peck The National Interest The Russian Navy is deploying marines aboard all its warships sailing to overseas stations. Their mission is to secure these ships against terrorists and saboteurs.  The anti-terrorist groups will be posted on ships sailing to distant sea zones, according to Russian newspaper Izvestia . “Marines often accompanied the ships and vessels of the Soviet Navy from the late 1960s to 1991. They strengthened the crews ... Read More »

Trump Asks for Unity, but Presses Hard Line on Immigration

WASHINGTON — President Trump delivered a message of bipartisan unity on Tuesday night in his first address to Congress in the new era of divided government, but signaled that he will continue to wage war for the… Peter Baker The New York Times In a nationally televised speech that toggled between conciliation and confrontation, Mr. Trump presented himself as a leader who can work across party lines even as he pressed lawmakers to build a… “We must reject the politics ... Read More »

Trapped in shrinking Syria holdout, Daesh turns to human shields

BAGHOUZ: On a rooftop near the front line with the Daesh group’s collapsing caliphate in eastern Syria, a US-backed fighter and his comrades sip tea as they await orders to restart the battle. AFP Arab News The Syrian Democratic Forces halted their ground assault on Daesh’s final shreds of territory last week, saying the militants are increasingly using civilians as human shields to block the advance. In the desert hamlet of Baghouz, held mostly by the SDF, 22-year-old Mohammed Ibrahim ... Read More »

China calls for harmony as it welcomes Qatar emir amid Gulf dispute

Chinese President Xi Jinping called for a return to “unity and harmony” on Jan. 31 as he welcomed gas-rich Qatar‘s emir to Beijing, amid a festering dispute that has seen some Arab states lead by Saudi Arabia severing… BEIJING – Reuters Hurriyet Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic, trade and transport ties with Qatar in June 2017. They accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism and cultivating ties with Saudi Arabia’s regional foe, Iran. Qatar, which denies the charge, says the boycott seeks to curtail its ... Read More »

Interpreting the U.S. Talks with the Taliban

Talks with the Taliban in the Qatari capital Doha have raised hopes that the U.S. could end its involvement in Afghanistan’s war. ICG Our Asia Program Director Laurel Miller and Afghanistan analysts Borhan Osman and Graeme Smith break down what was achieved and what remains unresolved. How significant were the U.S.-Taliban talks? Last week’s six-day talks between the U.S. and Taliban were the clearest sign yet that the U.S. is intent on withdrawing its forces from Afghanistan, and that the ... Read More »

Australian pro-democracy activist ‘detained’ in Vietnam

Vietnamese-Australian pro democracy activist Chau Van Kham was on a “fact-finding” mission in his home country when he is said to have been detained. AFP – SBS A prominent Vietnamese-Australian pro-democracy activist has been detained by security services on his return to Ho Chi Minh city, colleagues in Australia told AFP on Friday. Just days after an Australian blogger and author was arrested in China, Australian citizen Chau Van Kham is said to have been detained by Vietnamese authorities. The retired ... Read More »

U.S. Considering Plan to Stay in Remote Syrian Base to Counter Iran

The Trump administration could face legal issues maintaining a small force at al-Tanf. Lara Seligman FP Despite President Donald Trump’s December pledge to withdraw all U.S. forces from Syria, the U.S. government is considering a plan to keep some troops in a remote U.S. base in southeastern Syria to counter Iranian activity, sources tell Foreign Policy. The al-Tanf garrison, located near Syria’s eastern border with Jordan, was established to help local forces fight the Islamic State militant group. But the ... Read More »

Two arrested over Northern Ireland car bomb

Two men were arrested early on Jan.20 over a car bomb attack in Northern Ireland‘s Londonderry and police were looking into whether the New IRA militant group was responsible, officers said. LONDONDERRY – Reuters Hurriyet The men in their twenties were detained hours after the explosion on Jan. 19 outside the city’s courthouse, Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton told a news conference. “Fortunately it didn’t kill anybody but clearly it was a very significant attempt to kill people here in this community,” he said. Hamilton said the main focus of ... Read More »

Kenyan president says Nairobi attack over as ‘terrorists’ killed

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Jan. 16 that gunmen who stormed an upmarket hotel complex, killing 14 people, had been “eliminated” after an almost 20-hour siege in which hundreds of… NAIROBI – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The attack was claimed by the Al-Qaeda-linked Somali group Al-Shabaab, which has repeatedly targeted Kenya since it sent its army into Somalia in October 2011 to fight the jihadist group. At least one suicide bomber blew himself up and gunmen engaged security forces in numerous shootouts during the assault on ... Read More »

The Turkish president’s epic distortion of facts on Syria

On Jan. 7, the New York Times published an opinion piece by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that is a masterpiece in historical revisionism better suited to Turkey’s state-controlled media. Brian Glyn Williams The Hill Erdogan relies upon most Americans’ lack of awareness of the situation on the ground in Syria and makes bold claims with outright falsehoods. For example, Erdogan begins by stating: “In 2016, Turkey became the first country to deploy ground combat troops to fight the so-called Islamic State ... Read More »

Trump threatens to ‘devastate’ Turkish economy over Syrian Kurds

US President Donald Trump has threatened to “devastate Turkey economically” if it attacks Kurdish forces in Syria following a planned pullout of US troops. BBC In two tweets on Sunday, Mr Trump said that he did not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey either. US forces have fought alongside a Kurdish militia in northern Syria against the Islamic State (IS) group. Turkey, however, regards the People’s Protection Units (YPG) as terrorists. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has spoken angrily about American ... Read More »

Docs Show US To Massively Expand Footprint At Jordanian Air Base Amid Spats With Turkey, Iraq

Tens of millions of dollars will turn this base in Jordan into a new major regional hub for combat jets, drones, cargo planes, and more. Joseph Trevithick The Drive The U.S. military is moving ahead with plans to dramatically expand its presence at Muwaffaq Salti Air Base in Jordan to better accommodate a broad mix of fighter jets, ground attack aircraft, armed drones, cargo planes, and… The multi-million-dollar construction project comes as President Donald Trump’s administration moves to withdraw American ... Read More »

Is Turkey Capable of Defeating ISIS in Syria?

The first responders in the case of a threat like ISIS should be those nations most affected. Doug Bandow The National Interest The Islamic State exploded in the Middle East, gaining control of large sections of Iraq and Syria. No nation was safe from its ambition to create an Islamic caliphate. But Turkey initially accommodated Daesh, even profiting from illicit oil sales. Eventually, the insurgents turned terrorist inside Turkey, forcing the Erdogan government to respond. However, Turkish forces still targeted ... Read More »

US withdrawing gear from Syria, but not troops

The US military has begun moving non-essential gear out of Syria but is not withdrawing troops for now, defense officials said amid uncertainty over America’s planned exit from the war-battered nation. Washington – AFP Hurriyet President Donald Trump last month claimed ISIL had been defeated in Syria and said all US troops were “coming back now.” But in the weeks since he gave the order, and the Pentagon began to implement it, Trump himself and members of his administration have delivered mixed messages about when ... Read More »

Don’t Blame Everything on Erdogan

The Turkish government doesn’t have a soft spot for the Islamic State, and Ankara stands to lose more than anyone if the terrorist group makes a comeback. Selim Sazak FP Washington’s Turkey experts were left working overtime during the holidays when a routine conversation between Donald Trump and Recep Tayyip Erdogan ended with the announcement that the… Trump’s maneuver had raised worries that a premature withdrawal risks reversing the gains that have been made against the Islamic State. Indeed, on ... Read More »