For 100 years, Buddhists and Muslims lived side by side in southern Thailand. In 2004, a small fraction of the Muslims started killing the Buddhists indiscriminately. This conflict is now the most violent in Asia
, with murders of Thai civilians, including children, monks, and Muslims who refuse to cooperate, occurring on a daily basis. [more inside]
posted by shii
on Jul 27, 2011 -
The Bomb That Didn't Go Off. Since September 11, 2001, we have finely honed our fear of the other. But the truth is, the overwhelming majority of our terrorism has always been homegrown. And it is times like these — times of anger and disaffection — when we turn on ourselves, and kill. [more inside]
posted by WalterMitty
on Jul 24, 2011 -
Why Development Aid won't solve Radicalism
"The data revealed four findings
that undermine common wisdom about support for militancy in Pakistan...Overall, the findings suggest that arguments tying support for militancy to individuals’ socioeconomic status -- and the policy recommendations that often flow from this assumption -- require substantial revision."
posted by stroke_count
on Jul 20, 2011 -
"... 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 -
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 -
"After Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden, the White House released a photo of President Barack Obama and his Cabinet inside the Situation Room, watching the daring raid unfold. Hidden from view, standing just outside the frame of that now-famous photograph was a career CIA analyst
" - The man who hunted Osama bin Laden
posted by vidur
on Jul 5, 2011 -
"Davis didn’t have time to ponder their motives. The intersection of Jail and Ferozepur roads was packed with cars, bicycles, rickshaws, and pedestrians; the motorcycle pulled around his car and stopped just ahead of it. Shamshad, on the back of the bike, turned. He raised his pistol. He cocked it.
" [Black Ops and Blood Money
posted by vidur
on Jun 15, 2011 -
It might be instructive to ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush's compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic (after proper burial rites, of course). Uncontroversially, he is not a “suspect” but the “decider” who gave the orders to invade Iraq -- that is, to commit the “supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole” (quoting the Nuremberg Tribunal) for which Nazi criminals were hanged: in Iraq, the hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees, destruction of much of the country and the national heritage, and the murderous sectarian conflict that has now spread to the rest of the region. Equally uncontroversially, these crimes vastly exceed anything attributed to bin Laden.
There is Much More to Say
by Noam Chomsky.
posted by klue
on May 24, 2011 -
Kill Osama First-Person Shooter
programmers at Kuma Games
have been working long hours to crank out this timely, yet controversial game. "The virtual bin Laden, created over a rush of all-nighters by a team of game developers who specialize in turning current world events and military battles into playable video games, had somehow disappeared from the faithful recreation of his Pakistan compound." But the Kansas City Star asks, is this "cathartic, educational or just ghoulish
posted by shawnwasson
on May 10, 2011 -
Current TV previously & previously
, the media company founded by Al Gore after the 2000 election, has picked up the kinds of in depth long form journalism being rapidly dropped by major networks, but has been tantalizingly unavailable for those without cable; until now. They have been putting their Vanguard episodes up on their website and on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Apr 30, 2011 -
My Student, the 'Terrorist' If this were a movie, the story might end with a triumphal courtroom scene, or an intrepid Washington Post reporter breaking the story. It might have a sentimental ending, with a conservative Muslim family and community locking arms with Christians and Jews and atheists and turning the country back to its commitment to civil rights. The government, shamed, would reform its practices.
But this is not a movie, and inhumane treatment is well protected in post-9/11 America. [more inside]
posted by bardophile
on Apr 7, 2011 -
The Cultural Cognition Project at Yale
looks at the cause of polarizing debates such as: global warming, gun ownership, school shootings, terrorism, nanotechnology, public health, nuclear power, foreign wars and just about every heated thread in Internet history. In short, the polarizing issue is "risk"- the perception of risk, and the proposed solutions to risk. It turns out people see risk in polarizing ways according to where they stand on a scale of cultural beliefs. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach
on Mar 26, 2011 -
Scott Atran, has appeared previously
on Metafilter. He released a book a few months ago called, Talking to the Enemy: Faith, Brotherhood, and the (Un)Making of Terrorists. Atran has spent many years studying terrorists, particularly suicide bombers. His research disputes the assertion that terrorists are primarily driven by religious belief, but instead youth culture and group dynamics. [more inside]
posted by KaizenSoze
on Mar 23, 2011 -
He is one of a handful of U.S. and European scientists searching for universal patterns
hidden in human conflicts — patterns
that might one day allow them to predict long-term threats. Rather than study historical grievances, violent ideologies and social networks the way most counterterrorism researchers do, Aaron Clauset
and his colleagues disregard the unique traits of terrorist groups and focus entirely on outcomes — the violence they commit.
Call it the physics of terrorism
posted by chavenet
on Dec 14, 2010 -
Back in May this year, British Twitter user Paul Chambers
was found guilty
of sending a 'menacing electronic communication'.
The communication in question? A Twitter update written when stuck at an airport, saying the following: "Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!!" [more inside]
posted by Catseye
on Nov 12, 2010 -
In Gitmo Opinion, Two Versions of Reality.
"When Judge Henry Kennedy Jr. ordered the release of a Guantánamo Bay detainee last spring, the case appeared to be a routine setback for an Obama administration that has lost a string of such cases. But there turns out to be nothing ordinary about the habeas case
brought by Uthman Abdul Rahim Mohammed Uthman, a Yemeni held without charges for nearly eight years. Uthman, accused by two U.S. administrations of being an al-Qaida fighter and bodyguard for Osama bin Laden, is among 48 detainees the Obama administration has deemed too dangerous to release but 'not feasible for prosecution.' A day after his March 16 order was filed on the court's electronic docket, Kennedy's opinion vanished
. Weeks later, a new ruling appeared in its place. While it reached the same conclusion, eight pages of material had been removed
, including key passages in which Kennedy dismantled the government's case against Uthman."
posted by homunculus
on Oct 13, 2010 -
A mechanic noticed a strange device under the hood of a customer's car and offered to remove it for him. The customer, an Egyptian-American student named Yasir Afifi, shows his roommate, who posts pictures of it on Reddit to find out what the heck it is. Turns out it's an FBI GPS tracking device
, and the agency turned up quickly demanding he give it back. The ACLU is reportedly getting involved. [more inside]
posted by richyoung
on Oct 8, 2010 -
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 -
"Is this thought experiment monstrous?
Would it be monstrous to refer to the 40,000-plus domestic highway deaths we accept each year because the mobility and autonomy of the car are evidently worth that high price?" In 2007 David Foster Wallace invited readers to a series of thought experiments in a short piece. [more inside]
posted by fantodstic
on Sep 12, 2010 -