The Frightening Rise of Lone-Wolf Terrorism
August 06, 2011
Is the end near for terrorism as we know it? According to a much-discussed Washington Post article that ran on July 26, U.S. counterterrorism officials believe that, after the death of Osama bin Laden and in the face of sustained drone attacks, Al Qaeda’s core leadership in Pakistan is on the “brink of collapse.” However, counterterrorism officials stressed in the article that the threat from “aggressive” affiliates is not diminishing—nor is the threat from “radicalized individuals,” also known as lone wolves.
Debating Obama's Ransom
August 01, 2011
My evaluation of the debt ceiling deal is decidedly mixed, and many liberals are deeply unhappy. Dave Weigel wittily captures the spirit in his liberal denunciation mad lib: I am [outraged/fed up/fixin’ to vomit] at the news of this [sellout/betrayal/Chekovian drama of political adultery]. While I have yet to see all the details of this plan, it may be the worst piece of legislation since [the Kansas/Nebraska compromise/the Enabling Act/the one that renamed a rest stop in New Jersey after Howard Stern].
Last week’s heart-breaking massacre of teenagers and others in Norway makes it dismayingly clear that the religious warfare at the heart of Al Qaeda’s crusade against the West and its supporters has now found its mirror-image not in the random act of a deranged lunatic, but in a meticulously planned execution of the anti-Islamic ideology that has been spreading like a poison throughout European political culture for at least a decade.
The Norway Attacks: Who is Abu Suleiman Al Nasser?
July 22, 2011
Speculation abounds as to who conducted today’s attacks in Oslo and for what reasons. For now, we don’t know who is responsible. Recent news has focused on the Nordic identity of the gunman in custody, suggesting that the incident was an example of domestic extremism.* At the same time, an organization called Ansar Al Jihad Al Alami, or The Helpers of the Global Jihad, has also taken responsibility for the attack.
Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda's P.R. Woes
June 27, 2011
Among the more lighthearted bits of news to emerge from the killing of Osama bin Laden was the revelation that the terrorist leader considered changing Al Qaeda’s name in order to improve its “brand.” In an odd amalgamation of religious fanaticism and modern corporate p.r. tactics, bin Laden was apparently displeased at the dropping of the religious part of his group’s full name (Al Qaeda Al Jihad, or “The Base of Holy War”) when “Al Qaeda” was adopted as shorthand. In response, he wanted to come up with a new name to emphasize the organization’s religious nature.
"The Departed," Whitey Bulger, and America's Most Wanted
June 23, 2011
There was more good news about the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list today: Just seven weeks after being able to mark "DECEASED" over Osama bin Laden's photo, the bureau can now mark "CAPTURED" over the picture of James "Whitey" Bulger, the South Boston mob boss wanted for 19 murders, not to mention racketeering, narcotics distribution, and extortion.
On a recent episode of “Khari Baat” (“Straight Talk”), a popular Pakistani talk show, journalist Hassan Nisar bluntly captured the mood of his nation: “No normal Pakistani in his right mind would stay in this country for an extra 24 hours if given the option to emigrate.” His view echoed the findings of a poll by Gallup Pakistan released in April, which showed that 27 percent of all Pakistanis want to leave their country and settle abroad.
How Much Trouble Does Obama Face In 2012?
June 16, 2011
Here's Jay Cost's latest Weekly Standard column about why Republicans are winning: The president can visit as many green companies as he likes. His team can put out as many strategy videos as it likes. It can organize its ground game in Virginia all day and all night. None of this is going to change the fundamentals of this upcoming election, which are: 1. The economy is substantially weaker for Obama than for other previous presidents who won reelection. 2. The deficit is now substantially higher than before. 3. His major domestic reform--Obamacare--is substantially more unpopular. 4.
Bushism And The GOP Today
June 14, 2011
Ryan Lizza notes that last night's Republican debate reflected, in large part, the triumph of a faction of right-wing dissidents from the Bush administration: On nearly every major issue, Bush haunted the stage. A hallmark of Bush’s post-September 11th leadership was a public-relations offensive to show the world that America did not discriminate against Muslims. Just six days after the terrorist attacks, Bush visited the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C., on Massachusetts Avenue, and talked about interfaith coöperation.
Egypt’s Copts: Will the Region’s Largest Non-Muslim Religious Community Simply Disappear?
June 10, 2011
In July 2008, Bishop Thomas, the Coptic Orthodox Bishop of El-Qussia Diocese in Upper Egypt, delivered a talk in Washington about the cultural history of his co-religionists, entitled “The Experience of the Middle East’s Largest Christian Community during a Time of Rising Islamization.” His lecture ignited an immediate explosion within Egypt’s government-controlled media and mosques.