Terrorism

Rightsizing the Transnational Jihadist Threat

The number of Salafi-jihadists in action around the world has risen markedly since 2001. But this is no homogenous army, and the key point is that most are fighting locally. Sam Heller ICG Understanding how different jihadist groups operate in varying contexts is essential for an effective policy response. A recent report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has warned that the worldwide jihadist menace is more dangerous than ever. The November 2018 report, “The Evolution of the ... Read More »

‘Help us’: Call for greater assistance to locate 3000 Yazidis taken hostage by IS

More than 3000 Yazidi women and girls taken hostage after IS swept through northern Iraq in 2014 remain missing. By Fares Hassan, Sylva Mezher, Abdallah Kamal Presented by Good Morning Australia 6-9 AM Published: December 10 A councilman in the northern Iraqi region of Sinjar has called for a greater international assistance to locate the more than 3000 Yazidi women and girls still missing and presumed under IS captivity. Khodaida Al-Hamo, a Yazidi member of the Nineveh governorate council which overseas Sinjar, ... Read More »

Afghanistan: the Hazaras are not safe

In late October 2018, the Taliban in Afghanistan launched a new campaign of attacks, taking them into areas which until then had been “peaceful”. Niamatullah Ibrahimi and William Maley Lowy Interpreter The attacks started in the Khas Uruzgan district, part of the very province where Australian defence personnel served as part of their lengthy deployment in Afghanistan. In the first week of November, the Taliban extended the campaign into the Jaghori and Malestan, districts of the neighbouring province of Ghazni. ... Read More »

Even a ‘Diplomat’s Diplomat’ Can’t Solve Syria’s Civil War

The United Nations’ Syria envoy, Staffan de Mistura, is stepping down. Is there any role left for the international community to play in ending Syria’s slaughter? David Kenner The Atlantic BEIRUT—If the only thing you knew about Syria was UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura’s briefing to the Security Council this month, you might assume dramatic events were afoot. There had been an important meeting in Istanbul, he said, while equally vital summits in Astana, Kazakhstan, and of the G-20 countries in ... Read More »

Feted as hero after life of crime, Trolley Man just wanted to do something right

Michael Rogers has been feted as a “homeless hero” after he tried to ram a shopping trolley into the terrorist in the Bourke Street attack. Jewel Topsfield The Age Since earning the title “Trolley Man” on Friday, he’s been mobbed by strangers wanting selfies, hunted by the media and lionised in tributes at the site of the tragedy. A crowdfunding campaign “Not all heroes wear capes” had raised more than $90,000 by Sunday evening to thank him. But in an ... Read More »

Khashoggi murder: how states are increasingly repressing dissidents beyond their borders

Authoritarian states have long tried to suppress dissidents who oppose the regime But in the age of globalisation, they are increasingly able to mobilise beyond their territorial borders and target political opponents overseas. Aurhors: The Conversation The brutal murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a former Saudi regime insider who became a critic in self exile of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is an extreme example of this new reality. Although the precise details of Khashoggi’s murder have yet to be proved, his grim fate – he ... Read More »

Muslims Surround Toronto Synagogues With Protective ‘Rings Of Peace’

“We want them to know that we will always be there for them.” Liz Haq HuffPost People from various faiths came together in a moving act of solidarity for the victims of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh on Oct. 27, as well as a show of strength and protection for Jewish people across Canada. Numerous “Rings of Peace” were formed around Toronto synagogues on Friday night and Saturday morning, made up of multi-faith worshippers standing shoulder-to-shoulder and ... Read More »

German jailed in Turkey on terrorism charges

His family claimed Patrick K. was on a hiking holiday, but Turkey said he was fighting for the Kurdish YPG militia. Author Rebecca Staudenmaier (with DPA) DW Now a court in Sirnak has sentenced the German man to over six years in prison. A Turkish court on Friday sentenced a German man to six years and three months in prison for membership of a terrorist organization. In addition, he received a suspended sentence of one year and eight months in jail for entering a ... Read More »

Beyond Short-Term Solutions in the Middle East and North Africa

The United States and Europe should pursue a strategy of long-term civil society development in the MENA. They should also seek stability and an end to conflicts in the short term. Richard LeBaron The National Interest In the final months of 2018, seven years after historic change swept the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), countries in the region still face significant political, economic and security challenges. In most countries that underwent a transition, the situation is worse than before: ... Read More »

Dozens of casualties as multiple blasts rock Kabul polling centres amid Afghan elections

Multiple explosions rocked polling centres across Kabul on Saturday, causing dozens of casualties, amid growing anger among voters as they waited hours to cast their ballots in long-delayed legislative… Hurriyet KABUL – AFP At least 30 people have been taken to a trauma hospital run by the Italian NGO Emergency, including a dead child, the organisation said on Twitter, hours after the Taliban warned voters to boycott the ballot “to… Afghan officials confirmed there have been casualties but would not ... Read More »

Kandahar Assassinations Show Rising Taliban Strength in Afghanistan

The Taliban have claimed the assassination of an influential Afghan police chief and another official in an attack that narrowly missed the head of U.S. forces. ICG Senior Analyst Borhan Osman and Consultant Graeme Smith explain the repercussions for political stability in southern Afghanistan. What happened? At least one gunman attacked a gathering of Afghan and U.S. officials inside the Kandahar governor’s compound on the afternoon of 18 October. The shooter, believed to be one of the governor’s guards, killed the most powerful ... Read More »

Isis kidnaps dozens of women and children as it makes desperate last stand in Syria

Around 90 women and their children were among the hundreds of civilians captured from a camp for displaced people in the eastern Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Richard Hall Independent Isis fighters have kidnapped dozens of women and children in the eastern Syrianprovince of Deir ez-Zor, where the group is making a desperate last stand. The captives were among some 250 civilians taken from the al-Bahra displacement camp, near the town of Hajin, after Isis fighters stormed the area on ... Read More »

World has been slow to wake up to Saudi depravity

It’s reassuring to see that the Western world still has the capacity to be outraged at the abuse of human rights. Specifically, a government that appears to have murdered a journalist. Peter Hartcher Brisbane Times The Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi walked into a Saudi consulate in Turkey two weeks ago. He was a critic of the Saudi dictator and living outside his home country for his safety. By setting foot in a Saudi diplomatic property to pick up marriage papers ... Read More »

Brussels casts pall over Tunisia’s desert jewel

New environmental rules in the EU threaten the country’s phosphate mines, which have spluttered since the revolution. Emmet Livingstone Politico REDEYEF, Tunisia — In the desert, far from Tunisia’s bustling ports, tourist beaches and sprawling olive plantations, lies a colossal state company that was once the beating heart of the national economy. Brought to its knees by inefficiency and social unrest, it is now threatened with extinction — by an obscure bit of legislation making its way through the Brussels machinery. The Compagnie ... Read More »

PACE expresses ‘deep concern’ over Turkey’s Akkuyu nuclear plan

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on Thursday expressed “deep concern” on the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant in an earthquake-prone region of Turkey, only 85 kilometers from the… TM At a session on Thursday, PACE discussed a series of steps governments should take to improve the safety of nuclear power stations in Europe and minimize the risk of accidents or terrorist attacks. In a resolution it adopted, the assembly expressed its deep concern regarding ... Read More »

Secret deal with Turkey paves way for American pastor’s release

North Carolina pastor Andrew Brunson is expected to be released in coming days after two years of detention in Turkey. Carol E. Lee and Courtney Kube NBC news WASHINGTON — The White House expects North Carolina pastor Andrew Brunson to be released by the Turkish government and returned to the U.S. in the coming days, two years after he… Under an agreement senior Trump administration officials recently reached with Turkey, Brunson is supposed to be released after certain charges against ... Read More »