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But they hadn't destroyed it.

On Tuesday, a group of Islamic militants that were thrown out of al-Qaeda for being too violent took over Iraq's second largest city. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (abbreviated as ISIS) kicked the Iraqi Army out of Mosul, a wealthy city in northwestern Iraq. Today, ISIS secured another northern city, Tikrit. It currently controls an area "the size of Belgium," according to Jason Lyall, a Yale University political scientist who studies insurgencies. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Jun 11, 2014 - 215 comments

"They asked us who we were, and we told them we were civilians from Kijran district."

A Tragedy of Errors. On Feb. 21, 2010, a convoy of vehicles carrying civilians headed down a mountain in central Afghanistan and American eyes in the sky were watching. "The Americans were using some of the most sophisticated tools in the history of war, technological marvels of surveillance and intelligence gathering that allowed them to see into once-inaccessible corners of the battlefield. But the high-tech wizardry would fail in its most elemental purpose: to tell the difference between friend and foe." FOIA-obtained transcripts of US cockpit and radio conversations and an interactive feature provide a more in-depth understanding of what happened.
posted by zarq on Apr 10, 2011 - 59 comments

Cake book, fake book or sexy warrior pages?

This is the magazine that shut down 70,000 blogs... Back in July we discussed the feds shutting off 70,000+ blogs for links to Al-Qaeda... The link? A magazine for the would-be Al-Qaedian, INSPIRE. It's a pdf, but it is a sexy pdf. [more inside]
posted by artof.mulata on Oct 12, 2010 - 28 comments

Tora Bora: America's First Major Battle Of The Twenty-First Century

That afternoon, American signals operators picked up bin Laden speaking to his followers. Fury kept a careful log of these communications in his notebook, which he would type up at the end of every day and pass up his chain of command. “The time is now,” bin Laden said. “Arm your women and children against the infidel!” Following several hours of high-intensity bombing, the Al Qaeda leader spoke again. Fury paraphrases: “Our prayers have not been answered. Times are dire. We didn’t receive support from the apostate nations who call themselves our Muslim brothers.” Bin Laden apologized to his men for having involved them in the fight and gave them permission to surrender.
posted by jason's_planet on Jan 29, 2010 - 26 comments

The Chain of Command in Coercive Interrogations

“You could almost see their dicks getting hard as they got new ideas." A Vanity Fair reporter investigates the chain of command that tossed out the Geneva Conventions and instituted coercive interrogation techniques -- some might call them torture or even war crimes -- in Bush's Global War on Terror. UC Berkeley law professor John Yoo's now-obsolete 81-page memo to the Pentagon in 2003 [available as PDFs here and here] was crucial, offering a broad range of legal justifications and deniability for disregarding international law in the name of "self-defense." Others say that Yoo was just making "a clear point about the limits of Congress to intrude on the executive branch in its exercise of duties as Commander in Chief." [previously here and here.]
posted by digaman on Apr 3, 2008 - 76 comments

Al Qaeda speaks

al Qaeda's "Legitimate Demands". Azzam al Amreki (aka Adam Gadahn) appears in a newly released al Qaeda video to recite his group's demands and promise more bombings and destruction if we don't comply. (previously)
posted by scalefree on May 30, 2007 - 104 comments

"We cannot let this man out on the street..."

The greatest enigma of the US "war on terror": He was an intelligence officer of the Egyptian army, a CIA agent, a drill seargent and instructor at Fort Bragg, an FBI informant, and Al Qaeda's number one man inside the US. He was directly or indirectly involved in the assassination of Anwar Sadat, the 1993 WTC bombing, the bombing of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and 9/11. He trained al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan and Sudan and wrote manuals on intelligence, terrorism and asymmetric warfare while living in Silicon Valley with his American wife. He plea bargained, never went to trial, and may be free or in witness protection today. Incidentally, he is barely mentioned in the 9/11 Commission report. Is there some sort of conspiracy or are officials simply afraid of having their gross negligence exposed?
posted by inoculatedcities on Mar 5, 2007 - 26 comments

Cheney clarifies Iraq, Afghanistan on Meet the Press

Cheney Clarifies Iraq, Afghanistan on Meet the Press. For the first time in three years, Cheney appears on Meet the Press. Transcript here. "We’ve never been able to confirm any connection between Iraq and 9/11[,]" but Iraq "...was a state sponsor of terror" and "while they found no stockpiles...[the Duelfer report claimed that] Saddam did in fact have the capability and that as soon as the sanctions were ended—and they were badly eroded—he would be back in business again." "[T]his was the place where, probably, there was a greater prospect of a connection between terrorists on the one hand and a terrorist-sponsoring state and weapons of mass destruction than any place else." "...if we had to do it again, we would do exactly the same thing..."
posted by shivohum on Sep 10, 2006 - 71 comments

From the OC to al Qaeda.

From the OC to al Qaeda. Meet Adam Gadahn, former Southern California metal-head with a messy bedroom, current al Qaeda propaganda chief. Once a Santa Ana rocker from a prominent Jewish family, "Azzam the American" appeared yesterday in a video linking the terror group to the London bombings.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese on Jul 8, 2006 - 24 comments

Al-Qaeda chief breaks out of jail

Newsfilter: Al-Qaeda chief breaks out of jail. Al-Qaeda's former South-East Asian chief has escaped from a US military prison in Afghanistan. The escape of Omar al-Faruq, with three other alleged terrorists, from the Bagram Air Base in July was suppressed, emerging only after he failed to testify at a US military tribunal on Tuesday.
posted by soiled cowboy on Nov 3, 2005 - 39 comments

Gulags, American-Style

The administration's latest innovation in its effort to export democracy: Soviet-style gulags, a network of secret C.I.A. prisons known as "black sites." [From the Washington Post]. Meanwhile, SecDef Rumsfeld says no thanks to the idea of U.N. inspectors talking to detainees in Guantanamo Bay.
posted by digaman on Nov 2, 2005 - 369 comments

Point. Click. Jihad...

e-Qaeda: A special report on how jihadists use the internet and technology to spread their message. (requires flash)
posted by Dreamghost on Aug 10, 2005 - 13 comments

Inside Al Qaeda’s Hard Drive

A peek at Al Qaeda pre 9/11. Reports surfaced in early 2002 about al Qaeda computers purchased by a journalist from the Wall Street Journal. In this article details from one of these computers come to light - complaints about their new home in Afghanistan after being expelled from Sudan, rocky relationships with the Taliban and a difficult merger with Islamic Jihad. "Perhaps one of the most important insights to emerge from the computer is that 9/11 sprang not so much from al-Qaeda's strengths as from its weaknesses. The computer did not reveal any links to Iraq or any other deep-pocketed government; amid the group's penury the members fell to bitter infighting. The blow against the United States was meant to put an end to the internal rivalries, which are manifest in vitriolic memos between Kabul and cells abroad." via The Agonist
posted by caddis on Aug 11, 2004 - 9 comments

Sayyid Qutb

The New York Times Magazine (yes, I know the link disappears in a week or two, sorry) published a fascinating article about , "The Philosopher of Islamic Terror." An Egyptian born in 1906, he veered toward radical Islamic fundamentalism by the 1950's, but had much company in Egypt in this endeavor. He joined the Muslim Brotherhood, a precursor to Al Qaeda, and became the editor of their journal. Nasser imprisoned him and eventually executed him. In prison he wrote powerful works which described in his view a diversion in society between human nature and human reason, with human reason having so overwhelmed human nature as to lead to mankind's potential downfall. The answer was a return to human nature through a ritualistic adherence to the teachings of God, as described by Muhammad. Rather than separate science and reason from religion, he sought to combine them as taught in the Koran, thus providing real freedom for mankind. For a liberal Episcopalian (me) these are difficult ideas, but they are nevertheless compelling not only to the poor and uneducated Muslims but more importantly to the intelligentsia. They explain the pain of modern existence, especially to those raised on the Koran. The author describes Qutb as the Islamist's Marx. Scary - religion and philosophy carry much greater power than Marx's mere economics and philosophy. Western media portray Islam as mostly a fringe group drawing power from economic poverty and the power imbalance between the West and most Muslim countries. This article shows that, at least at its heart, the movement draws upon a powerful philosophy which for many answers their agony of modern existence, regardless of their economic status.
posted by caddis on Mar 23, 2003 - 10 comments

"Don't Question Whether [They] Deserved Them or Not."

"Don't Question Whether [They] Deserved Them or Not." Not only was no one held accountable for the visas unlawfully issued to the 9/11 terrorists, but now the State Department has rewarded officials responsible for the lax visa policies — that paved the way for the deaths of 3,000 innocent Americans — with large cash bonuses. [More Inside]
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood on Oct 23, 2002 - 56 comments

All Qaeda's Fantasy Ideology

All Qaeda's Fantasy Ideology Why did Bin Laden's homies do what they did on September 11? Why did Lindh (as per the Steve Earle thread below) do what he did? Here is a cogent answer.
posted by kozad on Aug 21, 2002 - 19 comments

"Terrorists plan July 4th attack in US" - claim

"Terrorists plan July 4th attack in US" - claim
There are claims that terrorists linked to the al-Qaeda network are planning an attack on a US nuclear power plant to coincide with Independence Day celebrations.
posted by tomcosgrave on May 13, 2002 - 25 comments

Satan Doesn't Wear Sweaty Socks.

Satan Doesn't Wear Sweaty Socks. Matthew Parris of The Times weighs in on the War on Terrorism, painting the U.S. as the 900-lb. gorilla of world affairs and offering the observation that maybe Al-Qaeda isn't as scary as the Bush and Blair administrations say it is.
posted by mr_crash_davis on Jan 18, 2002 - 26 comments

Am I a Terrorist or a Member of Al-Qaeda or a Taliban Fighter or Not?

Am I a Terrorist or a Member of Al-Qaeda or a Taliban Fighter or Not? If you became a Dack fan through his writings about the web like 'Flash is Evil' and 'The Web Economy Bullshit Generator' then maybe you will appreciate his take on the Current SituationTM.
Warning: This link may contain graphic images of humans hurt by the US bombings in Afghanistan.
posted by jasonshellen on Nov 4, 2001 - 34 comments

After al-Qaeda?

After al-Qaeda? Since the "battle against terrorism will be fought worldwide", is it going to target, among others, the groups in Northern Ireland, ETA, Kach and Kahane Chai(!)? Also, it's notable there has been no mention of the long history of financing and arms for the IRA and such that emanates from the US.
posted by mmarcos on Sep 29, 2001 - 10 comments

Al Qaida Message Board

Al Qaida Message Board - Yahoo/Geocities pulled down the page hosted on their site, but Google has it cached. Among the still-working links are this message board on Boardhost, which includes such discussion topics as "How do you determine when muslim can use violance[sic] against innocent people".

A curious note, there have been no posts on the board (save for one grammatically-challenged American) since September 9th.
posted by tpoh.org on Sep 16, 2001 - 12 comments


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