Terrorism 2013-15

Written by  //  December 8, 2015  //  Terrorism  //  1 Comment


Why aren’t we looking into the Saudi role in San Bernardino attack?
Shooter Tashfeen Malik was radicalized in Saudi Arabia, her Pakistani family said
(CBC) It was Saudi Arabia, for example, that led the effort to strangle the Arab Spring. Saudi troops helped crush Shia protests in Bahrain a few years ago, and are at this moment conducting an ugly, ruinous campaign in Yemen, with little regard for civilian life.
They are also energetically confronting criticism from within by hunting down and torturing, or killing, dissidents or apostates (abandoning Islam is a capital offence in the kingdom).
From a domestic mass shooting, the San Bernardino has become the object of terrorism investigation
San Bernardino shooters Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik were both radicalized for ‘some time,’ FBI says
Couple participated in target practice just days before shooting dozens of people at holiday party
The husband and wife who carried out the San Bernardino, Calif., massacre had been radicalized “for quite some time” and had taken part in target practice, in one case within days of the attack that killed 14 people, the FBI says.
Obama: San Bernardino shooters example of terrorism’s ‘new phase’
Investigators trying to determine path to radicalization after San Bernardino shooting
Tashfeen Malik Was a ‘Saudi Girl’ Who Stood Out at a Pakistani University
(NYT) Bahauddin Zakariya University in the southern city of Multan struggled to halt spreading intolerance, with mixed results.
That university has come into the spotlight in recent days as one of the few known way points for Tashfeen Malik, the Pakistani-born woman who along with her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, took up assault rifles and, the police say, killed 14 people last week in San Bernardino, Calif.
Ms. Malik’s role in the decision to attack is of particular interest, in part because on the day of the assault she posted on Facebook that the couple was dedicating the massacre to the Islamic State. She and her husband were killed in a gun battle with the police after the attack. …
Critics of Saudi influence usually focus on the funding of hard-line mosques and religious schools, a criticism echoed on Sunday by the German vice chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, who connected the export of Saudi-style Islam to the danger from growing extremism in Europe. “We must make it clear to the Saudis that the time of looking the other way is over,” Mr. Gabriel said an interview with the newspaper Welt am Sonntag.
But Ms. Malik’s family represents a different strand of the same phenomenon: changes wrought by Pakistanis who, since the 1970s, have migrated to Saudi Arabia for work, only to return with a far more conservative creed.
28 November
Mali attack: Rocket kills three at UN base at Kidal
Two UN peacekeepers from Guinea and a civilian contractor were killed in the attack in Kidal, officials said.
The peacekeeping mission in Mali was approved in 2014 after France led a military campaign to drive out Islamist militants from the north.
The Minusma force comprises some 10,000 soldiers from dozens of different contributor countries – the majority from Mali’s west African neighbours.
The UN mission – criticised by some at the time of its approval because there is no peace deal to support – has suffered more casualties than any other in recent years, with 56 troops killed.
27 November
Several die in Nigeria suicide attack near Kano
(The Guardian) At least 21 killed and many wounded after suicide bomber targets Shia Muslim procession in Dakasoye
Boko Haram, the radical Sunni jihadis who want to create a hardline Islamic state in north-east Nigeria, has previously been blamed for attacks on Shias in the region. It sees Shias as heretics who should be killed.
Last November at least 15 people were killed and about 50 others injured after a suicide bomber targeted the Shia festival of Ashura in Potiskum, Yobe state. Ashura marks the death of Hussein.
In April a suicide bomber blew himself up as Shias prayed at an open-air mosque in Potiskum. Three worshippers were wounded in the attack.
Last Sunday a bomber killed eight in the north-eastern city of Maiduguri, and a day earlier four teenage girls blew themselves up in northern Cameroon, killing five.
Boko Haram’s six-year insurgency has left at least 17,000 people dead and made more than 2.6 million homeless. It has increasingly used suicide bombers against civilian targets since the start of a military offensive this year that has pushed them out of controlled territory.
Terror in Mali: An Attack on China and Russia? One Third of the Victims were Russians and Chinese
(Global Research) Coming on the heels of the terrorist attack in Paris, the mass shooting and siege at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, the capital of the African nation of Mali, is still further evidence of the escalation of terrorism throughout the world. While there has already been much written about the incident in both western and non-western media, one critical angle on this story has been entirely ignored: the motive.
International media have now confirmed that at least nine of the 27 killed in the attack were Chinese and Russian. While this alone would indeed be curious, it is the identities and positions of those killed that is particularly striking. The three Chinese victims were important figures in China’s China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC), while the Russians were employees of Russian airline Volga-Dnepr. That it was these individuals who were killed at the very outset of the attack suggests that they were the likely targets of what could perhaps rightly be called a terrorist assassination operation.
Mali arrests 2 suspects in hotel terror attack
(CNN) Malian forces arrested two men linked to a cell phone found at the scene of a deadly hotel attack by militants last week, authorities said Friday.
(Global) Gunmen stalked guests through Mali hotel as staff struggled to save them
20 November
The Threat Is Already Inside And nine other truths about terrorism that nobody wants to hear.
(Foreign Policy) … No. 7: Meanwhile, poorly planned Western actions can make things still worse.
So in the wake of the Paris attacks, the fat, happy, over-privileged West wants to turn away the hundreds of thousands of desperate Muslim families seeking shelter and peace, just because a tiny fraction of those refugees might be militants? Islamic militants couldn’t ask for a better recruiting gift.
The same goes for stepping up military action against the Islamic State. If we respond to the Paris attacks by sending a large number of ground combat troops into Syria and Iraq, we once again become foreign occupiers — and big fat targets. If we respond by bombing every Islamic State target we can find, odds are high we’ll end up bombing some people we never wanted or intended to bomb, and this won’t help us make new friends. Also, if we take out the Islamic State in Syria, we may just end up helping Syria’s other extremist rebels — or helping embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, though it was Assad and other brutal regional leaders whose actions helped inspire and strengthen the Islamic State in the first place. Besides, what happens next in Syria, do we get rid of the Islamic State or Assad? As Iraq should remind us, nature abhors a vacuum.
29 September
How Dragging Our Feet on Refugees Creates More Terrorists
By Anne Speckhard, adjunct associate professor of psychiatry at the Georgetown University School of Medicine, and  author of “Talking to Terrorists” and “Bride of ISIS.”
Experience from many conflict zones teaches us that the longer these refugees are left to languish in despair in camps the more prone they become to radicalization
(NYT Op-ed) The administration emphasized that it would not relax the lengthy criminal and terrorist background checks demanded of refugee applicants, a vetting process that can take 24 to 36 months.
Those of us in the security community know this is dangerously long. It is in America’s best interest to speed up the refugee acceptance process for humanitarian reasons and our national security. Not helping refugees resettle as quickly as possible is, in itself, a factor that can increase risk for Americans the world over.
No doubt it is important to weed out radicalized individuals seeking entry into the United States. But while the Islamic State has threatened to embed itself among refugees heading to the West, terrorists don’t need to go through the entry process to operate in our country. The Islamic State is already recruiting vulnerable, born-in-America citizens by connecting with them through social media.
Counterterrorism data is clear: Most of the terrorists on American soil do not come from the ranks of refugees but are individuals who are born here and who become vulnerable to recruitment because of mental illness, social marginalization, issues of discrimination and other factors that have nothing to do with admitting refugees into our country.
Meanwhile, the vast majority of war-torn Syrian refugees are fleeing terrorist groups. But they are at risk. Experience from many conflict zones teaches us that the longer these refugees are left to languish in despair in camps the more prone they become to radicalization. … There are cases where resettled refugees have become terrorists, but the examples are very rare, and the radicalization most often happened after they entered the United States. …
With four million Syrians having fled their country, the United States has accepted only a small number to date, and many have become desperate. Our national security interest requires us to diminish the Islamic State’s recruiting grounds wherever they are. We have failed to enact efficient practices and sufficient resources to allay our fears that within the refugees’ ranks might lurk a soldier of misfortune who wishes to do us harm. Denying safe haven to thousands of suffering Syrians because of that is itself the threat — to our security, to our role as a leader in today’s complex world, and to our compassion as a nation.
17 September
PASSPORT TO TERROR: MailOnline reporter buys Syrian papers being sold to ISIS fighters sneaking into Europe hidden among refugees

24 August
Americans and Briton Receive Top French Honor for Stopping Train Gunman
(NYT) President François Hollande of France on Monday awarded the Legion of Honor, France’s highest award, to three Americans and a Briton for their role in stopping a gunman on a high-speed train traveling to Paris from Amsterdam on Friday.
The three Americans — Airman First Class Spencer Stone, 23; Alek Skarlatos, 22, a specialist in the Oregon National Guard; and their friend Anthony Sadler, 23 — received the honor in the gilded halls of the Élysée Palace, where they were joined by Chris Norman, 62, a British consultant.
26 June
France, Kuwait and Tunisia attacks: What we know
(BBC) Three suspected terror attacks been carried out within the space of three hours in France, Kuwait and Tunisia.
The incidents, in which scores of people were killed, took place around the time of Friday prayers – typically the most crowded of the week – during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
ISIL on 24 hour ‘killing rampage’ through Kobane
At least 146 civilians killed in massacre activists describe as one of the worst to have taken place in Syria
France put on high alert after attack on chemical plant
Officials say one person was decapitated and two others injured after attack on chemical depot near Lyon.
Islamic State claims responsibility for deadly blast at Kuwait City mosque
Attack inside Imam Sadiq mosque during Friday prayers kills at least 25
Al-Shabaab kills dozens of African Union troops at base in Somalia
Al-Qaida-linked group launches major attack on Amisom base in village of Lego, with witnesses claiming up to 50 dead, some of them beheaded
Attack on Tunisian coastal resort leaves at least 37 dead
22 June
Shocking Footage Captures Taliban Bombing Of Afghanistan Parliament
(WorldPost) A suicide car bomb detonated just outside Afghanistan’s Parliament building on Monday, beginning an attack by seven Taliban gunmen on the government body. In harrowing footage from Afghan television station Tolo News, the moment the explosion rocks the building can be clearly seen as unflinching speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi addresses members of Parliament.
31 May
Jihadists’ social-media recruitment sparks online battleKyle Matthews DMAPL
By Sidhartha Banerjee
(Canadian Press) ‘Bureaucrats are not creative’: Fighting digital jihadism has to come from ground up, say Canadian activists
Montreal-based human rights think-tank wants to fight jihadist groups on their own online turf, saying it’s time to push back against the propaganda.
Kyle Matthews,
who heads Concordia University’s Digital Mass Atrocity Prevention Lab, says the use of social media by groups like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria to lure young people and promote its cause goes largely unchecked.
Groups like ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) are evidence of the increasing convergence between new technology, atrocities and extremist factions, said Matthews. …
The lab was introduced this year and is part of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, where Matthews is deputy director.
While some people advocate closing down social media accounts and outing jihadist cheerleaders, Matthews said responding to such propaganda and tackling the ideology is equally important. “They’re creating a narrative that kind of makes the ISIS fighter look like the Che Guevara of 2015,” Matthews said. … Matthews and his team will present ways to deal with digital jihadism at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum in Germany in June.The best line of attack, he believes, may lie in a diverse group of untapped sources such as creative filmmakers, tech firms and Muslims who understand the situation and can provide a counterpoint. (HuffPost) Digital Mass Atrocity Prevention Lab Wants To Use Social Media To Fight Jihadists
28 May
Global cyber-strategy needed to confront ‘IS’ and other terror groups
(Deutsche Welle) “Islamic State” is not only a threat on the battlefield, but also on the Internet, writes Kyle Matthews from the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies.
The world’s most well-known coalition of religious fanatics is using digital technology in many innovative ways. Take, for example, how it created an Android Phone App “the Dawn of Glad Tidings”, which builds up a user database that churns out flash news items and horrific imagery. ISIS also produces online guidebooks like the ‘Hijrah’ (Holy Emigration) providing tips to people on how to get into Syria undetected. Last but not least, it controls an estimated 46,000 active Twitter accounts. It appears that online jihadists are always one step ahead of governments in cyberspace, using alternate platforms that western intelligence agencies have trouble monitoring, such as the Russian version of Facebook, known as VKontakte.
Newly formed non-governmental groups and private citizens, upset at the slow response of national governments in countering “IS” and other jihadists groups online, have taken the issue into their own hands. This has turned into what one could call a “cyber-war”, in which “hacktivists” have launched “online coups” against “IS” cyber presence. Among these is “Anonymous”, a group of loosely connected worldwide hackers, which in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks launched a campaign entitled “OpIceISIS”, aiming at “destroying ISIS through ideological means rather than physical actions”. So far, Anonymous has identified 9,200 “IS” affiliated Twitter accounts and taken down numerous websites.
Kyle Matthews is the Senior Deputy Director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS) and will presenting his research at Deutsche Welle’s upcoming Global Media Forum
5 April
Gunman In Kenyan Massacre Was Government Official’s Son
(AP) One of the gunmen who slaughtered 148 people at a college in Kenya was identified Sunday as the law-school-educated son of a Kenyan government official, underscoring the inroads Islamic extremists have made in recruiting young people to carry out attacks against their own country
Patrick Gathara: Kenya massacre: No lessons learnt from Westgate
Kenya government response to Garissa massacre shows nothing has changed since Westgate Mall attack.
(Al Jazeera) In truth, the president had deemed the country’s security less important than the egos and jobs of his top security officials. If you want to understand why 147 people died at the hands of terrorists two days later, and why for the last two years Kenyans have continued to regularly perish in large numbers at the hands of terrorists, that tells you everything you need to know.
2 April
Al-Shabaab: from al-Qaida rejects to a fighting force of thousands
The group’s latest attack in Kenya, it’s 17th in three years, echoes previous atrocities in which non-Muslims are singled out for execution or kidnap
The group, whose name means “the youth” in Arabic, emerged as the radical youth wing of Somalia’s now-defunct Union of Islamic Courts in 2006. It advocates the Saudi-inspired Wahhabi version of Islam, while most Somalis are Sufis. It imposed a strict version of sharia laws in areas under its control, including stoning to death women accused of adultery and amputating the hands of thieves.
Al-Shabab Gunmen Attack Garissa University In Kenya, Killing Dozens
29 March
Gwynne Dyer explains why terrorism is overblown and why Islamists want western countries to attack the Islamic State
(Straight.com) According to Dyer, if western countries expand their bombing campaigns against ISIS into Syria, it will only make the Islamic State stronger.
That’s because it will reinforce ISIS’s message that western infidels are attacking and killing Muslims. Dyer said that this provides a perfect recruiting tool to attract more desperate people to join their cause.
The former instructor at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (where British officers are trained to lead soldiers) described this as “political ju-jitsu”. And he said this is why ISIS releases grisly, well-edited videos showing westerners being beheaded.
“You poke the bear,” Dyer said, “and the bear comes down and attacks not just you, but everybody around you and people you’ve never met—and drives some of those people into the revolutionaries’ arms.”
24 March
Boko Haram abducts over 400 from Nigerian town, residents say
Nearly a year after Boko Haram shocked the world by kidnapping more than 200 schoolgirls at Chibok, the radical Islamist militia appears to have struck again with another mass kidnapping in northern Nigeria.
Boko Haram has abducted between 400 and 500 women and children in the northeastern Nigerian town of Damasak, according to residents and a military commander quoted by Reuters and the BBC Hausa language service on Tuesday.
23 March
ISIL courts al-Shabab as al-Qaeda ties fade away
Recent ISIL communications show attempts to secure influence in East Africa – the stronghold of al-Shabab and al-Qaeda.
(Al Jazeera) Nigeria’s Boko Haram swore allegiance recently to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in an audio message with French and English subtitles.
What most failed to notice was a few weeks earlier an “emissary” of ISIL sent a public invitation to the emir of al-Shabab in Somalia, Abu Ubaidah, urging him to do the same.
The emissary was Hamil al-Bushra, the nom de guerre used by two media outlets that have been described by Washington Institute for Near East Policy fellow Aaron Zelin as “official semi-official accounts” from ISIL.
In the message Bushra praised the “brothers in Somalia” and encouraged them to attack “inside Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia”. He told Abu Ubaidah all that is needed to pledge loyalty to ISIL is for the al-Shabab media wing, al-Kataib, to issue an audio message.
20 February
Somalia deputy PM wounded, 10 killed in hotel suicide bombings
Al-Shabaab claims responsibility for attack that killed 2 Mogadishu legislators
The attack is the latest blow to the Somali government’s efforts to contain the deadly insurgency by the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab that, despite the loss of key strongholds in Somalia, continue to stage attacks in the capital and elsewhere. The Islamic insurgent group claimed the responsibility for the twin suicide bombings, according to the group’s radio station, Andulus.
7 February
This is of course a Canadian perspective and aimed at the legislation proposed by Bill C-51
A ‘war on terrorism’? No thanks. There are smarter ways to meet the threat
(Globe & Mail editorial) Terrorism is a weapon of the weak. It aims to maim and to kill, but above all it seeks to provoke a more powerful opponent. A madman with a gun on Parliament Hill, conspirators dreaming of blowing up a bridge, a lunatic turning a car into a weapon – these can take life, but they are not an existential threat to Canada. They cannot destroy democracy, the rule of law or our rights and freedoms. They cannot overthrow the Canadian government. By themselves, they cannot accomplish much beyond murder. To gain recruits, to advance their cause and to leave behind anything other than death, they need our help.
21 January
Who are Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists?
(BBC) Since the Sokoto caliphate, which ruled parts of what is now northern Nigeria, Niger and southern Cameroon, fell under British control in 1903, there has been resistance among some of the area’s Muslims to Western education.
They still refuse to send their children to government-run “Western schools”, a problem compounded by the ruling elite which does not see education as a priority.
Against this background, the charismatic Muslim cleric, Mohammed Yusuf, formed Boko Haram in Maiduguri in 2002. He set up a religious complex, which included a mosque and an Islamic school.
Many poor Muslim families from across Nigeria, as well as neighbouring countries, enrolled their children at the school.
But Boko Haram was not only interested in education. Its political goal was to create an Islamic state, and the school became a recruiting ground for jihadis.
Boko Haram’s trademark was originally the use of gunmen on motorbikes, killing police, politicians and anyone who criticises it, including clerics from other Muslim traditions and Christian preachers. The group has also staged more audacious attacks in northern and central Nigeria, including bombing churches, bus ranks, bars, military barracks and even the police and UN headquarters in the capital, Abuja.
The deployment of troops has driven many of them out of Maiduguri, their main urban base and they have now retreated to the vast Sambisa forest, along the border with Cameroon.
From there, the group’s fighters have launched mass attacks on villages and towns in Nigeria, looting, killing and burning properties.
And it has switched tactics, often holding on to territory rather than retreating after an attack.
At the same time, Boko Haram has continued with its urban bombing campaign, and has also carried out cross-border raids into Cameroon.
In August 2014, Mr Shekau declared a caliphate in areas under Boko Haram’s control – and praised Iraqi national Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-declared caliph (ruler) of Muslims worldwide.
20 January
Boko Haram, ISIS and al-Qaeda: how the jihadists compare
(CBC) Boko Haram, the vicious jihadist group carrying out attacks in northern Nigeria and neighbouring countries, hasn’t received the media and diplomatic attention that al-Qaeda and ISIS get.
But terrorism experts are now seeing growing similarities between Boko Haram and ISIS, which operates in Iraq and Syria.
While the world news media was focusing on the Charlie Hebdo and related killings in Paris, Boko Haram was apparently carrying out even bloodier attacks in northeastern Nigeria.

Paris Attack Underscores a Deeper Malaise | Stratfor
Wednesday’s deadly attack against a French satirical publication has the potential to upset relations between European states and their Muslim citizenries. The strategic intent behind such attacks is precisely to sow this kind of crisis, as well as to influence French policy and recruit more jihadists. Even though Islamist extremism is, at its core, an intra-Muslim conflict, such incidents will draw in non-Muslims, exacerbating matters.
Whether or not these attacks are the handiwork of self-motivated grassroots jihadists and cells or of individuals tied to international jihadist entities, such incidents aggravate tense relations between the Western and Muslim worlds. This is all the more significant in Europe, where states are experiencing the rise of right-wing nationalism and Muslim communities have long experienced disaffection. The jihadist objective is to get the states to crack down harder on Muslim communities in order to further their narrative that the West is waging war on Islam and Muslims. 8 January 2015

14 January
Al Qaeda claims French attack, derides Paris rally
(Reuters) – Al Qaeda in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attack on French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, saying it was ordered by the Islamist militant group’s leadership for insulting the Prophet Mohammad, according to a video posted on YouTube. This was the first time that a group officially claimed responsibility for the attack, led by two brothers who had visited the poor Arabian peninsula country in 2011.
10 January
Charlie Hebdo attack: Hayat Boumeddiene hunted by French police
Common law wife of supermarket attacker remains at large and is believed to be armed
Boumeddiene has never been convicted of a crime, officials said, but judicial records obtained by The Associated Press say she was very close to Islamic radicals known to French internal security services, and once posed for a photo in her Islamic veil and holding a crossbow.
Heroic Muslim man saved Jewish hostages during Paris siege by hiding them in freezer
Lassana Bathily, originally from Mali in west Africa, is said to have shepherded terrified customers to safety in a chiller as the Islamist gunman took hold of the Hyper Cacher supermarket in Porte de Vincennes, Paris, yesterday.
Paris Jihadis Were ‘All Molotov Cocktails’
(Daily Beast) All three of the shooters—the Kouachis and Coulibaly—were well known to French police. How did they slip under the radar? That the attacks this week were al Qaeda inspired seems beyond question. But how long were the brothers plotting? Or were they part of a sleeper cell? Did Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula activate them as a way of showing up its rival for the mantle of terrorist leadership, the so-called Islamic State? With the suspects dead, it will be hard, if not impossible, to answer such questions.
9 January
Meantime, virtually ignored by most of the press:
Boko Haram may have just killed 2,000 people: ‘Killing went on and on and on’
(WaPost) For months, fear of Boko Haram has gripped Nigeria’s northeast. The goals of the Islamic militant group, which captured international attention through a relentless campaign of brutality, have long been about killing. But last summer, something changed. Its aspirations became as much about territory as terrorism. It no longer wants to just cripple a government. It wants to become one.
In August, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau announced the establishment of his “Islamic Caliphate,” quickly taking over every corner of Borno State in northeast Nigeria. But one town called Baga, populated by thousands of Nigerians along the western shores of Lake Chad, held out. Anchored by a multinational military base manned by troops from Niger to Chad, it was the last place in Borno under the national government’s control. Over the weekend, that changed.
8 January
The BBC gives excellent, measured updates on the Charlie Hebdo story, as does Reuters
7 January
Crowds Across France Hold Up Pens In Moving Demonstrations For Free Speech (PHOTOS)
Charlie Hebdo Austrlian cartoonCartoonist Draws Powerful Tribute To Slain Charlie Hebdo Staff
(HuffPost) Australian cartoonist David Pope of the Canberra Times, tweeted this moving drawing in the hours after the attack — proving once again that an image can be worth a thousand words.
World’s cartoonists respond to the attack on ‘Charlie Hebdo’
The outpouring in reaction to the killing of 12 in an attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris — known for its cartoons that took on politicians and religious figures, including the Prophet Mohammad — was spontaneous and pointed
The Editor of Charlie Hebdo Was on an al-Qaida Magazine Hit List
(Slate) It’s still early going, but the sophistication of Wednesday’s attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is, as the New York Times reports, leading experts to suspect the involvement of al-Qaida or one of its affiliates. According to one eyewitness, one of the gunmen yelled, “Tell the media that this is al-Qaida in Yemen” as he was fleeing.
Charlie Hebdo: Gun attack on French magazine kills 12
(BBC) Gunmen have shot dead 12 people at the Paris office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in an apparent militant Islamist attack.
Four of the magazine’s well-known cartoonists, including its editor, were among those killed, as well as two police officers.
A major police operation is under way to find three gunmen who fled by car.
President Francois Hollande said there was no doubt it had been a terrorist attack “of exceptional barbarity”.
It is believed to be the deadliest attack in France since 1961, when right-wingers who wanted to keep Algeria French bombed a train, killing 28 people.


A somewhat biased view, perhaps, but none the less horrific.
Musa al-Gharbi: There are groups more depraved than ISIL
Does the West care about ISIL’s specific crimes or is it mostly outraged that Muslims are committing them?
(Al Jazeera) Not only are there other organised groups whose depravity and threat to the United States far surpasses that of ISIL, they fail to engender the same kind of collective indignation and hysteria. This raises the question: Are Americans primarily concerned with ISIL’s specific atrocities or with the fact that it is Muslims who are committing these crimes?
For example, even as US media establishments and policymakers radically inflate the threat posed by ISIL to the Middle East and United States, most Americans appear to be unaware of the institutional magnitude of Mexican drug cartels, let alone the scale of their atrocities or the threat they pose to the US.
Those who dare to call for reforms often end up dead. In September, with the apparent assistance of local police, cartels kidnapped and massacred 43 students at a teaching college near the Mexican town of Iguala in response to student protests. A search in the area for the students has uncovered a number of mass graves containing dozens of mutilated bodies burned almost beyond recognition, but none of the remains have been confirmed to be of the students.
While the Islamic militants have killed a handful of journalists, the cartels murdered as many as 57 since 2006 for reporting on cartel crimes; much of Mexico’s media has been effectively silenced by intimidation or bribes. These censorship activities extend beyond professional media, with narcos tracking down and murdering ordinary citizens who criticise them on the Internet, leaving their naked and disemboweled corpses hanging in public venues. Yet intellectuals such as Sam Harris appear to be more outraged when Muslims protest or issue threats in response to blasphemous or anti-Muslim hate speech than when cartels murder dozens of journalists and systematically co-opt the media of an entire country.
Similarly, Westerners across various political spectrums were outraged when ISIL seized 1,500 Yezidi women, committing sexual violence against the captives and using them as slaves. Here again, the cartels’ capture and trafficking of women dwarfs that of ISIL. Additionally, narcos systematically use rape as a weapon of war and hold tens of thousands of Mexican citizens as slaves for their various enterprises.

17 December
As the Year Ends, Where Are Nigeria’s Kidnapped Girls?
(The New Yorker) As the year draws to a close, one thing has become clear: the girls are not coming back, at least not as a group. Every now and then, a girl might find an opportunity to run away, but Boko Haram has been kidnapping girls and young women for a long time; we know from those who have escaped (sometimes pregnant or with a small child) that they are often handed off to militants as sex slaves or forced to perform tasks for the terrorist group. A mass rescue is no longer a real possibility; it probably never was. It is reasonable to wonder why the Nigerian government and military, despite help from the United States and the added motivation of an upcoming election to determine if the country’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, should get another term, have failed so miserably at retrieving the girls and protecting its own people. This fall, Boko Haram has been on a murderous tear, occupying much of northeastern Nigeria in its quest for a modern-day caliphate. In November alone, almost eight hundred people were killed in close to thirty attacks. The Nigerian military says that it has pushed Boko Haram out of some of its strongholds, but the terrorists still control at least a dozen towns.
16 December
Taliban attack on Pakistan school leaves 141 dead
City of Peshawar has been the target of frequent militant attacks
(AP via CBC) seven attackers, all wearing explosives vests, all died in the assault. It was not immediately clear if the militants were all killed by the soldiers or whether they blew themselves up, he said. Bajwa described an assault that seemed designed purely to terrorize the children rather than take anyone hostage to further the militant group’s aims.
9 December
CIA Interrogation ReportFive revelations about the CIA’s interrogation techniques
(NYT News Service) The Senate committee report spends little time condemning torture on moral or legal grounds. Instead, it addresses mainly a practical question: Did torture accomplish anything of value? Looking at case after case, the report answers with an unqualified no. In fact, it says, “CIA officers regularly called into question whether the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques were effective, assessing that the use of the techniques failed to elicit detainee co-operation or produce accurate intelligence.”
CIA tortured, misled, report says, drawing calls for action
(Reuters) – The CIA misled the White House and public about its torture of detainees after the Sept. 11 attacks and acted more brutally and pervasively than it acknowledged, a U.S. Senate report said on Tuesday, drawing calls to prosecute American officials.
The Senate Intelligence Committee’s five-year review of 6.3 million pages of CIA documents concluded that the intelligence agency failed to disrupt a single plot despite torturing al Qaeda and other captives in secret facilities worldwide between 2002 and 2006, when George W. Bush was president.
The CIA interrogation program was devised by two agency contractors to squeeze information from suspects after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The interrogations took place in countries that included Afghanistan, Poland and Romania.
(BBC) Report on CIA details ‘brutal’ post-9/11 interrogations
7 December
Thirteen killed in failed U.S. hostage rescue bid in Yemen
(Reuters) – U.S. special forces raided the village of Dafaar in Shabwa province, a militant stronghold in southern Yemen, shortly after midnight on Saturday, killing several members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
American journalist Luke Somers, 33, and South African teacher Pierre Korkie, 56, were shot and killed by their captors during the raid intended to free them, U.S. officials said.
AQAP, formed in 2006 by the merger of the Yemeni and Saudi branches of the network, has for years been seen by Washington as one of the movement’s most dangerous branches. …
No ransom was paid for Korkie as his kidnappers eventually relented on an earlier demand for $3 million, Gift of the Givers, the relief group that had tried to secure his release, said. The group had expected Korkie to be freed on Sunday.
The hostage rescue dilemma — Sometimes it’s less risky to act than not to.
Rescue missions are risky, both for the hostages and for the operators who carry them out. Lives are at stake, and it’s never an easy choice to give the “green light”. But given the circumstances, particularly when dealing with terrorist organisations, leaders can’t always sit back and wait to see what happens. Sometimes, it’s less risky to act than not to. And in the case of a hostage rescue operation, I’d place my life in the hands of men dedicated to the task before taking my chances with the likes of a terrorist in the hope that maybe they’ll let me go.
(Al Jazeera)Saturday’s failed hostage rescue mission in Yemen was indeed tragic. While the official details as to exactly what happened have not yet been released, it appears Luke Somers, an American journalist, and Pierre Korkie, a South African teacher, were killed by their captors during a night-time rescue attempt carried out by US Navy SEALs.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) had been holding Somers and Korkie captive for over a year. It was the second such attempt to rescue Somers in two weeks. On November 25, a SEALs team hit what they thought was the compound holding Somers, who, as it turns out, had been moved from there just hours before.
In Saturday’s operation, the SEALs knew Somers’ exact location. To maintain stealth, they landed by V-22 Osprey several kilometres away, and then made the trek overland to the compound where Somers and Korkie were being held captive. But something went terribly wrong in the final approach.
7 November
Terrorism in Canada:
David (Jones) Time to pull our heads out of the sand and attack the terrorist threats
David (Kilgour) Improving national security should not come at the cost of of our civil rights
1 November
Boko Haram: Kidnapped Girls Have Been Married Off, Truce Never Happened
(Reuters) – A man claiming to be Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said more than 200 girls kidnapped by the group six months ago had been “married off” to its fighters, contradicting Nigerian government claims they would soon be freed.
Nigeria’s military says it killed Shekau a year ago, and authorities said in September that they had also killed an imposter posting as him in videos. In the latest recording it is hard to see the man’s face as he his filmed from a distance.
The man in the video also denied there was a ceasefire, and denounced Ahmadu, who says he represents Boko Haram in Chad.
The five-year-old campaign for an Islamic state by Boko Haram, which has killed thousands and whose name means “Western education is sinful,” has become by far the biggest menace to the security of Africa’s biggest economy and top oil producer.
Its fighters have attacked targets almost every day for weeks and last week seized control of Mubi, the home town of Nigeria’s defense chief Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh. It was Badeh who announced the ceasefire.
Nigeria : Boko Haram dément tout accord sur un cessez-le-feu et affirme détenir un otage allemand enlevé en juillet
25 October
When troubled young men turn to terror, is it ideology or pathology?
There is a long history of mentally disturbed people – notably those with conditions such as schizophrenia – seeking out narratives to give shape and meaning to the dark impulses that pollute their minds. They occasionally invent such narratives themselves, but are more likely to reach out for a pre-existing one. A century ago it was anarchism that attracted disturbed, violent people; then ultra-nationalism; then Marxism; then right-wing anti-government notions; then Islamism – and today we’re just as likely to see any of these manifesting themselves.
On one level, the ideologies and movements are to blame: They really exist, and need to be countered. Those who act upon them are either criminals, enemies or madmen, depending how they’re viewed.
17 October
Nigeria and Boko Haram ‘agree ceasefire and girls’ release’
“If it turns out to be true, this will be one of the biggest breakthroughs in Nigeria for decades… but many Nigerians are sceptical”, says the BBC’s Will Ross
Some question whether the announcement was in any way timed to coincide with the imminent announcement that President Goodluck Jonathan is going to run for re-election.
The military has in the past released statements about the conflict in north-east Nigeria that have turned out to be completely at odds with the situation on the ground.
18 September
Ancient way of killing now serves as propaganda tool for Islamic State
17 June
US seizes Benghazi raid ‘ringleader’ Ahmed Abu Khattala
(BBC) The suspected ringleader of the September 2012 raid on a US diplomatic post in the Libyan city of Benghazi, which left four Americans dead, has been captured, the Pentagon says.
Ahmed Abu Khattala was taken into custody in a secret US military raid in Libya on 15 June.
3 June
Suicide bomber killed in Iraq part of wider jihadi base in Calgary
Salman Ashrafi, killed in 2013 suicide attack, lived in same building as 4 other extremist fighter
(CBC) Homegrown extremism abroad has a new face, and CBC News has learned it belongs to yet another Calgary man, a development that points to the West as a hotbed for exporting jihadis.
His name is Salman Ashrafi, and when the Al-Qaeda splinter group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) released images of him last month following a double suicide bombing in Iraq in November that killed 46 people, he was celebrated in a martryrdom notice.
… [Syed Soharwardy, the prominent Calgary imam.] … “It is impossible for me to think the intelligence people do not know who is radicalizing Muslim youth. It is going on undercover; it is going on openly sometimes,” … “What is the Canadian government doing? Nothing.” … he has told police and university administrators, warning them about lecturers who might be preying on vulnerable young minds and that he believes he knows which organizations may be radicalizing young men. So far, he said, there has been no response.d.
27 May
U.S. Training Elite Antiterror Troops in Four African Nations
(NYT) United States Special Operations troops are forming elite counterterrorism units in four countries in North and West Africa that American officials say are pivotal in the widening war against Al Qaeda’s affiliates and associates on the continent, even as they acknowledge the difficulties of working with weak allies.
The secretive program, financed in part with millions of dollars in classified Pentagon spending and carried out by trainers, including members of the Army’s Green Berets and Delta Force, was begun last year to instruct and equip hundreds of handpicked commandos in Libya, Niger, Mauritania and Mali.
In a cautionary note about operating in that part of Africa, troubled by a chronic shortage of resources and weak regional partners, the effort in Mali has yet to get off the ground as a new civilian government recovers from a military coup last year. In Libya, the most ambitious initial training ended ignominiously last August after a group of armed militia fighters overpowered a small Libyan guard force at a training base outside Tripoli and stole hundreds of American-supplied automatic weapons, night-vision goggles, vehicles and other equipment.
Nigeria’s Military Knows Location Of Girls Kidnapped By Boko Haram: Defense Official
(AP) — Nigeria’s military has located nearly 300 school girls abducted by Islamic extremists but fears using force to try to free them could get them killed, the country’s chief of defense said Monday.
… a human rights activist close to negotiators said a deal to swap the girls for detained Boko Haram members was agreed last week and then scuttled at the last minute by President Goodluck Jonathan.
… Jonathan’s reluctance to accept offered help for weeks is seen as unwillingness to have outsiders looking in on what is considered a very corrupt force.
Soldiers have told The Associated Press that they are not properly paid, are dumped in dangerous bush with no supplies and that the Boko Haram extremists holding the girls are better equipped than they are.
Some soldiers have said officers enriching themselves off the defense budget have no interest in halting the five-year-old uprising that has killed thousands.
17 May
African countries declare war on Boko Haram
West African leaders vow to tighten borders, share intelligence and strengthen cooperation against armed group.
(Al Jazeera) Countries neighbouring Nigeria are ready to wage war against the Nigeria-based, al-Qaeda-linked group, Boko Haram, Chad’s president says.
Idriss Deby made the statement after a summit in Paris on Saturday that also included Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and representatives from West African countries Cameroon, Benin, Niger plus the United States, the European Union, Britain and France.
14 May
The army seems incapable – or incompetent – so good for the villagers!
Nigerian village vigilantes ‘repel Boko Haram attack’
(BBC) Residents of three villages in northern Nigeria have repelled an attack by suspected Boko Haram Islamist fighters, an eyewitness has told the BBC.
About 200 of the militants were killed during the fighting in the Kala-Balge district of Borno state, he said.
The witness said the residents had formed a vigilante group.
Video emerges of girls kidnapped by Boko Haram
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan will attend the African security summit on Saturday in Paris, which is being organized by French President Francois Hollande. Separately, a video has been released in which Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau says he’ll release schoolgirls his group kidnapped after Nigeria frees all militants it has in custody. The Associated Press (5/12), BBC (5/12), Leadership Nigeria (5/12)

Who are Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists?
Nigeria’s militant Islamist group Boko Haram – which has caused havoc in Africa’s most populous country through a wave of bombings, assassinations and now abductions – is fighting to overthrow the government and create an Islamic state.
Its followers are said to be influenced by the Koranic phrase which says: “Anyone who is not governed by what Allah has revealed is among the transgressors”.
Boko Haram promotes a version of Islam which makes it “haram”, or forbidden, for Muslims to take part in any political or social activity associated with Western society.
This includes voting in elections, wearing shirts and trousers or receiving a secular education.
Boko Haram regards the Nigerian state as being run by non-believers, even when the country had a Muslim president.

1 April
Saudi Arabia declares all atheists are terrorists in new law to crack down on political dissidents
Atheists, peaceful protesters and those who go to fight abroad have all been brought under the auspices of new “anti-terror” laws


12 October
terrorism-globe-word-cloudFrance remands ‘top al-Qaeda man’ Naamen Meziche
A Frenchman believed to have had links to a German al-Qaeda cell behind the 11 September attacks on the US has been remanded in custody in Paris
Pakistan Taliban commander ‘seized in US operation’
He was reportedly returning from talks over a mooted prisoner-swap deal, and the capture is said to have angered Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
26 September
Nigeria attack: Students shot dead as they slept
(BBC) Suspected Islamist gunmen have attacked a college in north-eastern Nigeria, killing up to 50 students.
The students were shot dead as they slept in their dormitory at the College of Agriculture in Yobe state.
North-eastern Nigeria is under a state of emergency amid an Islamist insurgency by the Boko Haram group. [Boko Haram regards schools as a symbol of Western culture. The group’s name translates as “Western education is forbidden”.]
Jian Ghomeshi: The Kenya mall attack brings home the deeper meaning of globalisation
Nairobi’s horror has transfixed us. But maybe it can break our inhumane habit of distancing ourselves from trouble ‘over there’
(CBC via The Guardian) It’s an attack that has been difficult to look away from, and it has dominated news coverage of the past few days. Over that time, it must be said, terrorist activity in other parts of the world has also claimed many lives. There was a bombing on Sunday at an Anglican Church in Peshawar, Pakistan, that killed 85 people. And a rash of attacks at funerals in Iraq, killing dozens in a country where more than 5,000 people have died this year in similar acts of violence.
These events are an all-too-common occurrence in many places. And that is not to mention natural disasters, like the devastating earthquake that hit Pakistan Tuesday, killing at least 300 people, with the death toll rising. But the mall siege in Nairobi in particular captured our collective attention. Did you notice that?
Is it because we recognize the target – a shopping mall – as a place we, too, have gone with friends and family, and tried on clothes, and eaten fast food? A kind of “western” environment, and as much a symbol of freedom as the football stadium, or the office building? Maybe. (26 September)
Critical opinion of Islam ignores the fundamental truths
On Terrorists, Canada and Montreal– Beryl Wajsman (selection of clips)
How Terrorist Groups End
How do terrorist groups end? The evidence since 1968 indicates that terrorist groups rarely cease to exist as a result of winning or losing a military campaign. Rather, most groups end because of operations carried out by local police or intelligence agencies or because they join the political process. This suggests that the United States should pursue a counter-terrorism strategy against al Qa’ida that emphasizes policing and intelligence gathering rather than a “war on terrorism” approach that relies heavily on military force.
Age of Terror Q&A ; The Changing Faces of Terrorism ; UN Global anti-terrorism strategy; Al Qaeda; U.S. Arms Feed Yemen’s Gun Culture
A Dagger to the CIAa devastating view of the causes of the December 30 suicide bombing of the CIA base in Khost.
C-MUSIC to Protect Israeli Airlines from Missile Attacks (watch video)
C-MUSIC is designed to protect large jet aircraft against man-portable heat-seeking surface-to-air missiles known as MANPADS. Based on MUSIC systems currently in use on helicopters and medium turbo prop fixed wing aircraft, C-MUSIC’s fiber-laser directed IR countermeasure (DIRCM) technology creates a laser beam that is directed towards the tracked missile, effectively defeating the incoming threat. Modified specifically for the stringent demands of commercial aviation, C-MUSIC can be tailored to jet aircraft of all sizes and its fully automatic operation has no impact the flight crew workload. An airline can prepare all its aircraft to carry the system and rotate C-MUSIC through specific aircraft according to relevant threat assessment. (June 2011)


25 September
Was the White Widow in Westgate mall? The evidence is scant
(The Independent) As official accounts unravel, it’s best to exercise caution on this sensational link
24 September
Al-Shabaab will emerge stronger after Nairobi mall attack, warns analyst
Islamists want to provoke Kenyan security forces in order to win Somalis’ support in city, suggests counter-insurgency adviser
(The Guardian) Al-Shabaab’s message is that it is “down but not out”, it is “losing territory but not people”, said David Kilcullen, a former adviser to David Petraeus, then US commander in Iraq, and of Nato forces in Afghanistan.
He suggested that al-Shabaab wanted to provoke over-reaction by the Kenyan security forces and thereby gain more support, especially in Eastleigh, the eastern district of Nairobi where most of the 250,000 Somalis in the Kenyan capital live. Many in that area are already being radicalised, analysts say.
Kenya shopping mall attack: Who are al-Shabaab, the multinational force of terror at the heart of the Nairobi shopping centre massacre?
International jihad emerges from terrorist ‘spectacular’ with which al-Shabaab sought to demonstrate that it was not confined to Somalia
(The Independent) As the Kenyan government declared that its forces were close to achieving success after three days of carnage which has left 62 dead and more than 100 injured, a lethal and grim threat was emerging from the fires of the Westland shopping complex – that of international jihad.
See also Somalia’s al-Shabaab militant group: 7 things to know — Al-Qaeda-affiliated group claims responsibility for attack on shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya
22 September
What The Deadly Attack On A Kenya Mall Was Really About
This is ultimately a Somali problem, and requires a Somali solution that is swift and unequivocal. If that happens, the terrible attack of September 21 will go down as the day Shabaab dug its own grave.
By Ken Menkhaus, professor at Davidson College and a fellow at the Enough Project.
(Think Progress) The bloody Shabaab attack on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall on September 21 was an act of desperation by a jihadi group beset by internal power struggles and plummeting support. It is intended to provoke a violent backlash against ethnic Somalis by the Kenyan government and Kenyan citizens. Angry and frustrated Kenyans must resist the urge to play into Shabaab’s hands.
12 September
Ally of world’s most wanted woman the White Widow is shot dead in Somalia raid: Briton killed by rival Islamic militants
British bomb-maker Habib Ghani was ambushed in a raid by a rival group
– He had been on the run with 7/7 bomber’s wife, Samantha Lewthwaite
– al-Shabab gunmen lay in wait posing as camel herders outside village
– The group had been hunting rival members following a split
19 August
European Jihadists: The Continuation of a Historical Trend European Jihadists: The Continuation of a Historical Trend
(Stratfor) The threat of experienced militants returning to Europe from combat in North Africa and the Middle East is fueling debate about immigration and integration in Europe and strengthening xenophobic and nationalist sentiments. It is not a new phenomenon for Europeans to travel abroad to fight. Reports have circulated for months about the growing number of foreigners fighting alongside Islamists in places such as Libya and Syria. Most recently, Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported Aug. 5 that leaks by unspecified European intelligence services warned that terrorist organizations in Syria could be preparing international attacks, particularly in Europe.
As new intelligence emerges — whether the threats are legitimate or not — European authorities will intensify counterterrorism efforts and immigration controls in an effort to thwart possible attacks. But given the large and growing Muslim population in Europe and the ease of travel throughout the Continent, preventing all attacks will not be easy.
15 August
Deadly blast near Hezbollah complex in Beirut
At least 20 people killed in southern suburbs of Lebanese capital, near complex used by Shia movement.
An unknown Syrian Sunni group called Aisha Umm-al Mouemeneen claimed responsibility for the bombing.
7 August
Without wishing in any way to demean the importance of this story, there is more than the kernel of a wickedly funny routine by Nichols & May or Lily Tomlin in the idea of setting up a conference call for the 20 operatives. Query: would they have to enter all the numbers from right to left?
Exclusive: Al Qaeda Conference Call Intercepted by U.S. Officials Sparked Alerts
(The Daily Beast) It wasn’t just any terrorist message that triggered U.S. terror alerts and embassy closures—but a conference call of more than 20 far-flung al Qaeda operatives, Eli Lake and Josh Rogin report.
Yemeni Government Claims To Have Foiled Terror Plot
(RTT) A day after Americans in Yemen were warned to leave the country due to a possible terrorist threat, Yemen’s government said Wednesday it has foiled an al Qaeda plot to attack two key southern ports as well as oil and gas facilities.
6 August
Yemen on ‘high alert’ over warning of imminent al-Qaida attack
US and British diplomatic personnel evacuated from Sana’a as Washington warns of ‘specific and immediate threat’
(The Guardian) Dozens of al-Qaida operatives are said to have streamed into Sana’a in the last few days, apparently to take part in a terrorist attack, the BBC said. The Yemeni claim could not be confirmed but it appeared consistent with US statements.
“Sana’a has been literally inundated with armed personnel and armoured vehicles to ensure that the military maintains a tight grip over all state and foreign interests,” the Yemen Post reported.
28 May
Al-Qaeda rips into prima donna terrorist for failing to deliver
(AP via Globe & Mail) After years of trying to discipline him, the leaders of al-Qaeda’s North African branch sent one final letter to their most difficult employee. In page after scathing page, they described how he didn’t answer his phone when they called, failed to turn in his expense reports, ignored meetings and refused time and again to carry out orders. …
The al-Qaeda letter, found by The Associated Press inside a building formerly occupied by their fighters in Mali, is an intimate window into the ascent of an extremely ambitious terrorist leader, who split off from regional command because he wanted to be directly in touch with al-Qaeda central. It’s a glimpse into both the inner workings of a highly structured terrorist organization that requires its commanders to file monthly expense reports, and the internal dissent that led to his rise. And it foreshadows a terrorism landscape where charismatic jihadists can carry out attacks directly in al-Qaeda’s name, regardless of whether they are under its command.
26 May
IoS exclusive: MI5 ‘tried to recruit’ Woolwich attack suspect Michael Adebolajo
(The Independent) Terror suspect was among group arrested in Kenya en route to Somalia two years ago. Family say torture there ‘pushed him over the edge’
Evidence emerged last night that one of the suspects involved in the killing of the British soldier Lee Rigby was well known to anti-terror police and the security services for at least three years before the brutal Woolwich attack.
12 May
Carlos the Jackal appeals against life term in France
(BBC) Self-styled revolutionary “Carlos the Jackal” has returned to court in Paris to appeal against his life sentence for deadly attacks in France in the 1980s.
The Venezuelan, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, has always denied playing any role in the bomb attacks that killed 11 people.
Maureen Dowd: Obama’s Benghazi Decisions ‘Unworthy of Greatest Power on Earth’
(Newsmax) The Obama administration’s decisions during and after the deadly terror attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi last Sept. 11 were “unworthy of the greatest power on earth,” writes New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, in a scathing Sunday column.
“In this hottest of hot spots, the State Department’s minimum security requirements were not met, requests for more security were rejected, and contingency plans were not drawn up, despite the portentous date of 9/11 and cascading warnings from the C.I.A.,” Dowd writes. “Hillary Clinton and Ambassador Chris Stevens (who was killed in the attack) were rushing to make the flimsy Benghazi post permanent as a sign of good faith with Libyans, even as it sat ringed by enemies.”
5 May
Benghazi Whistleblower: I Reported Attack Was Terrorism ‘From the Get-go’
(Newsmax) The second-ranking U.S. official in Libya during last year’s deadly attack on the mission in Benghazi immediately considered it a terrorist attack rather than a spontaneous event, according to a transcript of his interview with congressional investigators.  … “I never reported a demonstration, I reported an attack on the consulate.”
26 April
Pierre Poilievre: ‘The Root Cause Of Terrorism Is Terrorists’
(HuffPost) Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre has apparently taken the memo from his boss not to “commit sociology” or think too hard about what causes terrorism.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressed the foiled terror plot to attack a Via Rail train and the connected arrests of Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jaser.
Harper said he wouldn’t want to convey any view to the Canadian public other than “utter condemnation” of violence.
“This is not a time to commit sociology, if I can use an expression,” Harper said.
CBC host Evan Solomon asked Poilievre to elaborate on Harper’s position and seemed taken aback by Poilievre’s jibe.
20 April
Boston Bombing Suspects: Grassroots Militants from Chechnya | Stratfor
The identities of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing — Chechen brothers Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26 — appear tentatively to confirm several of Stratfor’s suspicions. From this profile, the simple nature of the attack, their efforts to rob a convenience store and their lack of an escape plan, we can at least say at this point in time that they were what we refer to as grassroots militants. Despite being amateurs, such militants clearly still pose a significant threat.
18 April
Keep Calm and Shut the Bleep Up
Dear Americans, stop patting yourselves on the back for ‘not letting the terrorists win.’
At Foreign Policy, we get all the scoops, so I’ll let you in on some secret inside information. It’s hot stuff — the kind of information CNN and Fox don’t want you to have. Here it is:
Someone planted two homemade bombs near the Boston Marathon’s finish line. Three people are dead, and many more are injured, some gravely. The police and the FBI are working hard to figure out who did it, but they don’t know for sure yet.
And there you have it. That’s all I know, that’s all the media know, that’s all the “security experts” on TV know, and that’s all anyone knows, unless they happen to be among a small number of senior law enforcement officials, or unless they happen to be the bomber(s).
Rescue workers remove a woman injured in an explosion in Boston, near Monday15 April

3 killed, more than 140 hurt by bombs at Marathon

(Boston Globe) Two bomb blasts, 12 seconds apart, rocked the finish line of the 117th running of the Boston Marathon Monday, killing at least three people, including an 8-year-old Dorchester boy, wounding more than 140, and leaving the sidewalks of Boylston Street covered in blood.
Medical professionals on hand to care for blisters and sore knees in Copley Square suddenly found themselves treating life-threatening lacerations and lost limbs, as a high holiday in Boston, Patriots Day, turned into an epic tragedy. Emergency workers rushed to the scene, despite the very real possibility of more blasts.
The explosions blew out windows, sent plumes of smoke into the sky, and left victims piled on each other in a scene far more reminiscent of a battlefield than a celebrated day in Boston’s Back Bay. The blasts occurred at 2:50 p.m., several hours after the elite runners had finished the race.
22 January
Covering the ‘war on terror’: In conversation with Robert Fisk
(rabble.ca) Fisk’s beat, when it comes down to it, is the collateral damage of what he calls “the unnecessary” war on terror, waged in Washington, Ottawa, London, Paris, Moscow, etc.
Mali, Fisk notes, is the latest manifestation of how a toxic brew of lingering internal ethnic and regional disputes and lucrative mining and oil resources in a developing country can get conflated by powerful elites in the west to fit a simple narrative of virtuous versus evil narrative– the later being a small group of maniacal Islamists. “We have this solution in the west that if we identify the bad guys, the good guys are going to win.”
The problem happens when our supposed allies turn nasty and are just as capable of performing awful acts, the journalist points out, be it the ethnic cleansing by the French assisted local army in Mali or the no negotiations with hostage takers approach, the Algerian army displayed in the massacre at the Amenas gas plant. “In the fighting against terror, everybody gets killed,” says Fisk.
“It is all Hollywood,” says the British born journalist, speaking of the war on terror story that gets “reinforced” night after night in the daily news and major broadcast outlets and in the end, he notes, justified disastrous military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan — where countless lives have been lost.

One Comment on "Terrorism 2013-15"

  1. Diana Thebaud Nicholson April 17, 2013 at 10:06 am ·

    A wonderful example of Boston’s indomitable spirit, published in the NYT.
    To the Editor:
    I heard about the bombings on the radio while driving home from an appointment in Newton, Mass. My heart goes out to those directly hurt and their families.
    This is clearly a terrorist act. Whether it was performed by any currently known organizations that sponsor terrorism is something we’ll possibly find out as data are teased out from the bomb sites. Finding out will take skill, effort, time and patience, and we dare not forget the last two in our thirst for quick and easy vengeance.
    One thing is for sure: Boston will pick up and keep going. It’s survived multiple battles in wartime, fires, floods (including a molasses flood, you don’t get those just anywhere), you name it. This is tragic, and frustrating, and painful, but it will not stop Boston from being Boston. It’ll still be tough to park on the street, we’ll still have top-flight museums and sports teams coexisting peacefully, and we’ll still have some of the best ice cream in the world.
    Whoever did this should be found and tried in civilian criminal courts, and may justice prevail. And may God have mercy on them, because I’m not feeling particularly merciful toward anybody who can deliberately do something so cruel.
    Medford, Mass., April 16, 2013

Comments are now closed for this article.