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Bin Laden: Now with Sith tattoos and face-melting action!

Washington Post: CIA hatched plan to make demon toy to counter Osama bin Laden's influence
posted by prize bull octorok on Jun 23, 2014 - 40 comments

AUMF

60 Words And A War Without End: The Untold Story Of The Most Dangerous Sentence In U.S. History. "Written in the frenzied, emotional days after 9/11, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force was intended to give President Bush the ability to retaliate against whoever orchestrated the attacks. But more than 12 years later, this sentence remains the primary legal justification for nearly every covert operation around the world. Here’s how it came to be, and what it’s since come to mean." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jan 17, 2014 - 23 comments

Could Unlimited Phone Surveillance Have Prevented 9/11?

The FBI could have stopped 9/11. There was no need for a metadata-collection program. What was needed was cooperation with other federal agencies.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jan 12, 2014 - 57 comments

The Strange Case Of Vahid Brown

Is Vahid Brown An Agent Of The State, Or Are Portland Anarchists On A Witch Hunt? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Nov 12, 2013 - 64 comments

FYI, We Just Won a War in the Philippines

Did you know the U.S. was at war in the Philippines? An excerpt from David Axe's new book. Previously.
posted by destrius on Jul 1, 2013 - 15 comments

"Who handled this important abduction poorly?"

"Idiosyncratic Terrorist Breaks Out on His Own in Sahara Bloodbath" International terrorist Moktar Belmoktar, responded the way talented employees with bruised egos have in corporations the world over: He quit and formed his own competing group. And within months, he carried out two lethal operations that killed 101 people in all: one of the largest hostage-takings in history at a BP-operated gas plant in Algeria in January, and simultaneous bombings at a military base and a French uranium mine in Niger just last week.
posted by artof.mulata on May 28, 2013 - 37 comments

Crossing the "Red Line"?

Syria Options Go From Bad To Worse
As reports have surfaced of possible use of sarin gas in the Syrian civil war, calls by long-time proponents of U.S. intervention on behalf of the anti-Assad rebels have grown to a fever pitch. These same voices, both at home and abroad, have evoked the administration’s previously stated “red line” on use of chemical weapons. But even assuming that reports of WMD usage in Syria turn out to be true, the Obama Administration’s position may be far more nuanced than previously thought.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on May 2, 2013 - 289 comments

tl;dr: Plant some trees

How do you avoid a drone attack? 22 practical tips from al-Qaeda (via AP). [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on Feb 22, 2013 - 61 comments

The Shooter

The Shooter. It begins, "The man who shot and killed Osama bin Laden sat in a wicker chair in my backyard, wondering how he was going to feed his wife and kids or pay for their medical care."
posted by chunking express on Feb 11, 2013 - 211 comments

“Once it’s your pop stand, you look at things a little differently”

The NYT reports on how a Secret 'Kill List' tests Obama's principles and will [more inside]
posted by lalochezia on May 29, 2012 - 189 comments

Sexy Tanja

Remember all that porn found on Osama bin Laden's computer? It may not be all porn.
posted by vidur on Apr 30, 2012 - 71 comments

"From the ground, drones are terrifying weapons that can be heard circling overhead for hours at a time."

"What's that buzzing sound?" Foreign Policy's third annual War Issue focuses on what it calls "Barack Obama's Secret Wars," including My Drone War, in which a Pakistani journalist for Newsday and the NYT describes what drone warfare looks and sounds like from the ground; The Obama Doctrine, which argues drone warfare is a failing strategy in both Yemen and Pakistan; The Evolution of Drone Warfare: A Photo History, 1917-2010, and more. The package also includes two takes on cyberwar - Cyberwar is still more hype than hazard and Cyberwar Is Already Upon Us - along with a lot of interesting links.
posted by mediareport on Feb 29, 2012 - 99 comments

Bollywood's Soft Power

What might help defeat Muslim extremists in Pakistan for good? Bollywood!
posted by reenum on Feb 2, 2012 - 11 comments

Bright Light, Big Scoop

AP reporters Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo tracked down a former CIA secret prison in the basement of a a Romanian government building on a busy street in residential Bucharest. The black site, code named Bright Light, was used as a makeshift prison for the CIA's most valuable detainees from 2003-2006, including Khalid Sheik Mohammad, the mastermind of 9-11, Abu Faraj al-Libi, who unwilling provided information that would later identify Osama bin Laden's trusted courier and led to the discovery of bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, as well as other senior al-Qaida operatives. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on Dec 8, 2011 - 55 comments

Something Tells Me To Stop With the Al-Qaeda. I Ignore It

Frank Miller is a giant among comic book creators. He gave us The Dark Knight Returns, which rewrote the book on Batman and comics in general. He also gave us seminal versions of Daredevil, Batman, and Wolverine. His Sin City and 300 books are a triumph of design, if not subtlety. Lately, though, he's taken a different path. He recently released Holy Terror, which in 2005 was to have featured Batman, but now features a renamed stand-in fighting Al-Qaeda. It has been nearly universally panned as a piece of ugly, anti-Muslim propaganda. Last week, Miller blasted the "Occupy" movement on his blog, describing the participants as, "louts, thieves, and rapists," who, "can do nothing but harm America" and pointing to the looming threat of Al-Qaeda.
posted by Legomancer on Nov 14, 2011 - 227 comments

Anwar al-Awlaki killed in Yemen

Yemeni and US government sources confirm US-born Al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki was killed today al-Awlaki was widely credited with inspiring the shootings at Ft. Hood and the attempted Christmas bombing of an airliner approaching Detroit. [more inside]
posted by BobbyVan on Sep 30, 2011 - 512 comments

Al Qaeda to Iran: Stop Spreading Conspiracy Theories about 9/11

The latest issue of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's Inspire magazine is finally here, with a special edition for the 10th anniversary of 9/11. This issue has gotten some traction in the media for its feature story, "Iran and the Conspiracy Theories" You can view excerpts at Public Intelligence, download the entire magazine as a PDF, or simply read the Iran article after the jump. Please note that this magazine contains images of 9/11 and other conflicts that may be triggers for some people. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on Sep 28, 2011 - 49 comments

Double-entry bookkeeping: Now used by Al Qaeda

"... Al Qaeda was forcing local affiliates (or at least its Iraqi one) to sustain themselves financially. If local groups must make their own money, governments and counterterror operatives can use Al Qaeda’s need to raise money - often using illicit means and pressure against local citizens - against the organization. That kind of counterterrorism would look less like war, and more like careful police work against what amounts to a criminal syndicate or mafia." [Inside Al Qaeda’s hard drives]
posted by vidur on Jul 17, 2011 - 47 comments

Leon Panetta believes the war on Al-Qaeda can be won.

Leon Panetta says U.S. is "within reach" of defeating Al Qaeda. (Video, AP)
posted by 4ster on Jul 10, 2011 - 93 comments

IRA Vs Al Qaeda

Gary Brecher (the "War Nerd") examines the track records of the IRA vs. Al Qaeda "It’s hard for an American to get your head around any of this, but the point, and it’s very 'counter-intuitive' as they say, is that Al Qaeda did everything wrong, spending all their assets and going for maximum kill, and the IRA, the poster-boy for long, slow, crock-pot guerrilla warfare, did it exactly right." (via) [more inside]
posted by jenkinsEar on Jul 7, 2011 - 62 comments

Bin Laden

President Obama to make important announcement regarding Osama Bin Laden imminently
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on May 1, 2011 - 4504 comments

Pakistan's Secret Dirty Little War

Pakistan's Secret Dirty Little War
posted by lalochezia on Mar 29, 2011 - 34 comments

Yasir Qadhi, American Muslims, and Jihad

“I want to be very frank here,” Qadhi said, his voice tight with exasperation. “Do you really, really think that blowing up a plane is Islamic? I mean, ask yourself this.” The New York Times' Andrea Elliott explores the fine line between Salafiya and contemporary American values. Multimedia slideshow. [auto-playing video] Qadhi, previously.
posted by reductiondesign on Mar 17, 2011 - 44 comments

Empire! An Al Jazeera Series

The show Empire on Al Jazeera collects experts on various subjects and holds a roundtable discussion. This week was Obama 2.0, on the President's first two years, with focus on foreign policy. Guests this week are Ralph Nader, Roger Hodge, Stefan Halper, and As'ad Abu Khalil. Earlier weeks include: [more inside]
posted by Glibpaxman on Feb 6, 2011 - 20 comments

Officials Worry About Some Latino Converts To Islam

"Latino converts to radical Islam have been connected to terrorism cases in this country with increasing frequency — and officials are trying to understand why."
posted by reenum on Dec 11, 2010 - 29 comments

What Terrifies the Terrorists?

Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda are apparently very concerned about climate change.
posted by clarknova on Oct 1, 2010 - 40 comments

An open letter to Osama bin Laden

This is an open letter written by Noman Benotman, a former commander in the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and a former associate of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. In al Qaeda strategy meetings in Kandahar in 2000, Benotman warned the al-Qaeda leadership of ‘total failure' to realise their aims and called on bin Laden and al-Zawahiri to abandon violence. Soon after the 9/11 attacks, he distanced himself from al-Qaeda and later resigned from his own jihadist organisation. He has more recently been instrumental in negotiations with Libya's government to free former LIFG leaders, and in persuading these leaders to formally renounce terrorism. He also recently joined the London-based Quilliam Foundation as a Senior Analyst.
posted by bardophile on Sep 13, 2010 - 22 comments

The Desert War in Yemen

Is Yemen the New Afghanistan? Al Qaeda may have found the perfect combination of tribal hospitality, chaos and military opportunity. [Photo slideshow.]
posted by lullaby on Jul 12, 2010 - 36 comments

'Some of these guys are just perverts.'

'They blow each other up by mistake. They bungle even simple schemes. They get intimate with cows and donkeys. Our terrorist enemies trade on the perception that they’re well trained and religiously devout, but in fact, many are fools and perverts who are far less organized and sophisticated than we imagine. Can being more realistic about who our foes actually are help us stop the truly dangerous ones?' The Case for Calling Them Nitwits.
posted by shakespeherian on Jun 24, 2010 - 108 comments

Teaching Our Soldiers to Die Instead of Kill?

During WWII Allied soldiers were taught how to smash jawbones while gouging eyes, crush windpipes and snap necks, and generally apply deadly force to the weakest, most vulnerable parts of the human anatomy in order to kill or disable the enemy quickly and efficiently. Current American military unarmed combat is heavily influenced by the popularity of mixed martial-arts and puts great emphasis on grappling with/controlling the enemy. Not a single neck-snapping technique is taught. Some current members of the military think that this is teaching our soldiers to die rather than kill the enemy, and that it would be better if our soldiers were taught to straight up kill the enemy rather than try to wrestle him to the ground while wearing 70+ pounds of gear. [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on May 10, 2010 - 121 comments

nation building

One Night in Afghanistan
THE PRESIDENT: at a time when too many American institutions have let us down, when too many institutions have put short-term gain in front of a commitment to duty and a commitment to what's right... all of you want to build -- and that is something essential about America. [Al Qaeda and the violent extremists have] got no respect for human life. You see dignity in every human being. That's part of what we value as Americans. They want to drive races and regions and religions apart. You want to bring people together and see the world move forward together. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 4, 2010 - 36 comments

The Intelligence Factory

A journalist tries to track down the truth about a recent terror detainee.
posted by smoke on Dec 13, 2009 - 18 comments

You See, In Order to Save the Village America, We Have to ...

Michael Scheuer, the former chief of the CIA's "bin Laden Station", and the initially anonymous author of Imperial Hubris, pulls an O'Reilly on yesterday's Glenn Beck broadcast:
"The only chance we have as a country have right now is for Osama bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States [...] only Osama can execute an attack which will force Americans to demand that their government protect them [...] with as much violence as necessary."
[more inside]
posted by WCityMike on Jul 1, 2009 - 96 comments

Osama bin Elvis

What is the logical consequence of noting the fact that the terrorist groups that make a difference on planet Earth—such as Hamas and Hezbollah, the PLO, Colombia's FARC—are extensions of, respectively, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and Venezuela? It is the negation of the U.S. government's favorite axiom. It means that when George W. Bush spoke, and when Barack Obama speaks, of America being "at war" against "extremism" or "extremists" they are either being stupid or acting stupid to avoid dealing with the nasty fact that many governments wage indirect warfare.
International relations professor Angelo M. Codevilla argues that Osama bin Laden is not quite influential, not quite relevant, and probably dead. (multipage version)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Mar 27, 2009 - 33 comments

Why hasn't America been attacked since 9/11?

Why No More 9/11s? An interactive inquiry about why America hasn't been attacked again.
posted by homunculus on Mar 5, 2009 - 60 comments

Pakistan's Jihadi Problem Worsens

Pakistan in Peril. "The relative calm in Iraq in recent months, combined with the drama of the US elections, has managed to distract attention from the catastrophe that is rapidly overwhelming Western interests in the part of the world that always should have been the focus of America's response to September 11: the al-Qaeda and Taliban heartlands on either side of the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jan 21, 2009 - 30 comments

britishbattles.com

The sections of britishbattles.com about The First Afghan War have apparently been quoted verbatim in Al-Qaeda propaganda. Site author, amateur historian John Mackenzie, told the press "It's exactly appropriate to use the account of the first Afghan war to point out the pointlessness of the current operations and the dangers that they run of a similar disaster," [more inside]
posted by nthdegx on Jan 1, 2009 - 17 comments

Cyberbattles in the shadows

Hacking Al-Qaeda's websites: Hacker wars are the latest front in the fight against Al Qaeda. CNN says here that AQ may be unable to post propaganda videos as a result. But who is attacking? As far back as 2002, people speculated that Western intelligence agencies had compromised them, and a pornographer claimed he did. More recently, there are Shiite vs. Sunni battles, as when Ayatollah Sistani's website was cracked. In 2004, Zarqawi's site was breached.
posted by msalt on Oct 23, 2008 - 11 comments

Querying the noosphere

According to a recent international survey, there remains no global consensus regarding who was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. "On average, 46 percent of those surveyed said al Qaeda was responsible, 15 percent said the U.S. government, 7 percent said Israel and 7 percent said some other perpetrator... The U.S. government was to blame, according to 23 percent of Germans and 15 percent of Italians." The poll was collected by World Public Opinion, a neat website filled with various polls about interesting topics.
posted by Baby_Balrog on Sep 11, 2008 - 131 comments

Talibanistan

Right at the Edge. "The Taliban and Al Qaeda have established a haven in Pakistan’s tribal areas along the Afghan border. This is where the war on terror wil be fought – and possibly lost."
posted by homunculus on Sep 5, 2008 - 62 comments

The Strange Case of Aafia Siddiqui

For the last five years, the whereabouts and sudden disappearance in 2003 of former MIT graduate, Pakistani national, and alleged terrorist Aafia Siddiqui (wiki) have remained mysterious. Accused by the U.S. of terrorist ties, earlier today she appeared (having been recently wounded) in a NY courtroom to face trial for attempted murder of American officers and FBI agents while being held in Afghanistan. But the facts behind the case are conflicted. For years she was rumored to have been held in the U.S. prison at Bagram base in Afghanistan. In Pakistan, her disappearance has proved to be a lightning-rod on the issue of the hundreds of others who have been rounded up as terrorist suspects--only to disappear without any trace, let alone any due process or criminal trial. A preliminary hearing for Siddiqui is set for Aug. 19.
posted by ornate insect on Aug 6, 2008 - 25 comments

Ron Suskind Says White House Forged Iraq-Al Qaeda Letter

In his new book, 'The Way of the World' "Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind claims that, after the Iraq war began, the White House ordered the CIA to forge a back-dated, handwritten letter from the head of Iraqi intelligence to Saddam Hussein, in an attempt to tie Hussein to the 9/11 attacks."* Suskind writes: "'It said that 9/11 ringleader Mohammad Atta had actually trained for his mission in Iraq' and that Iraq bought yellowcake uranium from Niger with the help of al Qaeda. Suskind also claims that the Bush administration had information from a top Iraqi intelligence official "that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – intelligence they received in plenty of time to stop an invasion." After the fake letter was released in late 2003, press outlets reported it as evidence of a Saddam/al Qaeda link. "Now, if this is true, that blows the lid off al Qaeda—Saddam," said Bill O’Reilly at the time. [more inside]
posted by ericb on Aug 5, 2008 - 127 comments

Pakistan’s Phantom Border

Pakistan’s Phantom Border. "Pakistan is often called the most dangerous country on earth. Increasingly, its people would agree. Despite nearly $6 billion in U.S. military aid for the border region since 9/11, the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and homegrown terrorist groups have eroded the border with Afghanistan, inflicting a steady toll of suicide bombings. Going where few Westerners dare—from Taliban strongholds to undercover-police headquarters—the author sees what’s tearing the country apart."
posted by homunculus on Jun 22, 2008 - 24 comments

The Rebellion Within

The Rebellion Within: An Al Qaeda mastermind questions terrorism.
posted by homunculus on May 27, 2008 - 55 comments

The Jihad Will Be Televised

NewsFilter: Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID - Conn.) strikes a decisive blow against another Islamic terror front group: YouTube.
posted by digaman on May 19, 2008 - 96 comments

Bin Laden Determined To Strike In U.S. Part 2

"The United States Lacks a Comprehensive Plan to Destroy the Terrorist Threat and Close the Safe Haven in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas" (PDF). A recent GAO report claims that the Bush administration has failed to prevent Al Qaeda's reemergence in Pakistan, and that we're basically right back where we started in 2001.
posted by homunculus on Apr 30, 2008 - 38 comments

Is this what was supposed to happen before the Sept. 21st put options ran out?

On Wednesday Sept. 5th, German police stopped a major terrorist attack. The planned bomb consisted of 730 kilogramms of hydrogen peroxide to be mixed with other chemicals. The explosive power would have been equivalent to 550 kilogramms of TNT. The IHT reports the possible targets were the Ramstein US Air Force Air Base and Frankfurt International Airport. The suspects had been under observation for 10 months, the chemicals had been clandestinely rendered harmless by German authorities. What caused the final arrest? Two things: 1) they had just recieved a call from north Pakistan urgently ordering them to follow through within 14 days. 2) a local village policeman blew the surveillance cover by literally telling them at a routine road stop that they were on a watch-list. German intelligence immediately knew the policeman had blown their cover. How? They had bugged the car [Spiegel, rough translation]. [more inside]
posted by umop-apisdn on Sep 8, 2007 - 45 comments

bin Laden transcript

Transcript of the most recent Osama bin Laden tape. [pdf] [more inside]
posted by ND¢ on Sep 7, 2007 - 175 comments

The Base

"Al Qaeda" A lecture by Lawrence wright, author of The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. An interesting look at the "root causes" of terrorism
posted by delmoi on Aug 17, 2007 - 17 comments

Slavery in Burma

From Hunter to Hunted "In his quest to free slaves around the world, Aaron Cohen thought he’d seen it all. Then he went to Myanmar."
posted by homunculus on Jul 1, 2007 - 25 comments

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