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Terrorism: Myths and Reality

Terrorism in the Middle East from North Africa to Pakistan: Who are the terrorists? What do their organizations aim for? What are the myths of terrorism? Is the West responding to the terrorist threat or to the West's perceptions of a "Clash of Civilizations"? What are the limits of terrorism in the age of 9/11?
  1. Documents (4)

Al Qaeda Organization After Osama bin Laden
Al Qaeda’s core leadership is relying increasingly on its affiliates in Afghanistan, the Middle East and the Horn of Africa, to carry on the fight.

Guide To Al Qaeda in the Middle East
An overview of Al Qaeda's main branches in the Middle East, their leaders, organization, and recent activities.

Al Qaeda in Yemen: Profile
Al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula fights to overthrow Yemeni and Saudi governments, and expell Western presence from the Arabian peninsula. It is one of the most aggressive Al Qaeda's branches in the Middle East.

Al Qaeda in Iraq: Profile
The worst days of violence in Iraq may be over, but Al Qaeda in Iraq remains a major destabilizing factor for the wider region. Read about its organization, goals and strategy.

Reasons for French Intervention in Mali
Why did France feel it was necessary to intervene in the conflict in Mali? How dangerous is the presence of Al Qaeda in the divided country?

Al Qaeda in North Africa: Profile
Al Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb is one of the wealthiest Al Qaeda branches, active in North Africa and the vast desert regions of Sahara. Read about its leadership, organization and recent activities.

Timeline: Events Surrounding Lebanon's Rafik Hariri's Assassination
A timeline of events in Lebanon immediately before and after the Rafik Hariri Assassination (2004-2005)

The Anti-Sharia Law Movement in the United States
Sharia Law, David Yerushalmi and who's behind the Anti-Sharia law movement in the United States.

What Is the Haqqani Network in Pakistan and Afghanistan?
The Haqqani Network: Sirajuddin Haqqani,Mawlawi Jalaluddin Haqqani and the al-Qaeda-Haqqani Network in Pakistan and Afghanistan: a challenge to American efforts.

Is Sharia Law a Threat to the United States and the West?
A movement to "ban" Sharial law is sweeping the United States. Hysteria? Stereotype? Justifiable prevention? You decide.

After bin Laden: Al-Qaeda's Relevance Post Osama
Osama bin Laden's death is only the latest confirmation of al-Qaeda's weakened relevance, and of terrorism's

What Was Operation El Dorado Canyon, the US Attack on Libya in 1986?
Operation El Dorado Canyon, the 1986 U.S. Attack on Libya in retaliation for the terrorist bombing at a Berlin discotheque.

Peter King's Islamophobia
Peter King's islamophobia, couched as a hearing on "Muslim radicalization" in the United States, should not command the respect implied by a U.S. congressional committee hearing.

Should NATO Intervene Militarily Against Qaddafi?
Libya's Muammar el Qaddafi is reclaiming western Libya from rebels in the Libyan uprising. Should Obama lead a NATO military intervention against Qaddafi?

From Muammar el Qaddafi to Osama bin Laden
From Muammar el-Qaddafi to Osama bin Laden, the language and purpose of terrorism has changed little. Its success has been just as scant.

Peshawar, Pakistan
Definition and brief history of Peshawar, Pakistani capital of Northwest Frontier Province.

Ahmed Rashid's "Taliban"
A review of Ahmed Rashid's "Taliban" (2000), still the best book on the origins, history and ideology of the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Allahu Akbar - Are the Terms Allahu Akbar Fighting Words?
Are the Terms Allahu Akbar Fighting Words? Isn't it offensive to equate the words, as some do, with terrorism and jihadism?

Michael Waltzer on Terrorism
Is it terrorism when soldiers are the victims? Michael Waltzer says mostly no.

Was the Fort Hood Massacre Terrorism? - Nidal Malik Hasan Fort Hood a…
Your turn to answer the question: Was the Fort Hood Massacre an act of terrorism? If convicted of the charges against him, would suspect Nidal Malik Hasanbe a terrorist?

What is Terrorism?
Toward a clear-eyed definition of terrorism--without prejudice.

Manhattan in the Days After 9/11
A 9/11 photo gallery of Manhattan in the days immediately following the attacks of September 11, 2001

Black September
A definition and explanation of Black September -- the September 1970 Jordanian crackdown on the PLO and the movement of the same name that the civil war spawned.

The 1970 Palestinian Hijackings of Three Jets to Jordan
The story of the 1970 hijackings of three jets to Jordan's Dawson Field by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Operation Cast Lead
Brief definition and history of Operation cast Lead, Israel's assault on Gaza (Dec. 27, 2008-Jan. 18, 2009)

When and Why did Bin Laden Declare War on the United States in 1996?
Explanation and context of Osama bin laden's 1996 jihad declaration of war against the United States.

Text of Bin laden's 1996 Declaration of Jihad Against the Uni…
osama bin laden declaration of war 1996 fatwa mullah omar land of the two mosques jihad declaration

Osama bin Laden in the United States
In 1978, Osama bin Laden, a young newlywed, visited the United States with his wife. They stayed in Indiana. He went to Los Angeles.

Is Hezbollah Still a Terrorist Organization?
It has an unquestionably terrorist past, but is Lebanon's Hezbollah still a terrorist organization? The answer isn't as simple, or stereotypical, as the United States makes it out to be.

What If Iran Had Nuclear Weapons?
Do the West or Israel have any standing to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons? Is a nuclear Iran more dangerous than a pre-emptive war on Iran?

Should Iran Have a Nuclear Bomb? - Ahmadinejad's Iran and nuc…
Who, if anyone but Iran, has the right to decide whether Iran should have nuclear weapons?

Review: "The Dark Side," by Jane Mayer
How the torture memos came to be: a book review of Jane Mayer's "The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals."

Mossad's Tunis Assassination of the PLO's "Abu Jihad"
Background, details and consequences of the Mossad's assassination of the PLO's Abu Jihad, or Khalil al-Wazir, in Tunis on April 16, 1988

Obama's Afghanistan-Pakistan Strategy
Analysis: Barack Obama's Afghanistan-Pakistan Strategy is a scaled-down, more narrowly focused version of the Bush version.

Full Text of Obama's Speech on New Strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan
The full text of Obama's March 27, 2009 speech on his new strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Learning to Live With Radical Islam
Newsweek's Fareed Zakaria argues that learning to live with radical Islam is the only way to neutralize its deadlier mutant, bin Ladenism and terrorism. Is Zakaria right?

Why Is Pakistan Barack Obama's Biggest Challenge in the Middle East?
Pakistan--not Palestine-Israel, not Iran, not Iraq--is Barack Obama's biggest Middle East (and foreign policy) challenge. Here is why, and how Obama could go about addressing it.

Profile: Ayman al Zawahiri
Ayman al Zawahiri's evolution from the comforts of middle class life in Cairo to the crags of Afghanistan and Pakistan as Osama bin Laden's and Al Qaeda's ideological compass: A profile of Ayman al Zawahiri

Terry Anderson Remembers His Ordeal as a Hostage in Lebanon
Terry Anderson, held hostage almost seven years by Islamist militants in Lebanon, remembers his ordeal without vengeance.

When Terry Anderson Was Taken Hostage in Beirut, March 16, 1985
An account of the day Terry Anderson was taken hostage by Shiite militants in Beirut, Lebanon, in his words and those of an Associated Press colleague. Anderson would become the longest-held American hostage in the Middle East in history.

1979 Take-Over of the Grand Mosque in Mecca
The 1979 take-over of the Grand Mosque in Mecca by some 500 fundamentalist militants had nothing to do with al-Qaeda--and everything to do with what al-Qaeda became a decade and a half later.

Terrorist Organizations: Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), or "Islamic ...
Profile of Jemaah Islamiyah, a Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (by the US State Department).

Eyewitness to the 1983 Marines Bombing in Beirut
The White House asked Rabbi Arnold E. Resnicoff to write of his experience during the rescue effort following the bombing of the US Marines barracks in Beirut in 1983, when 241 Marines were killed. The text of Rabbi Resnicoff's recollections.

The Shame of Guantanamo
The concentration camp on Guantanamo Bay, an illegal shame, should be an indictment of national drift from constitutional principles and international law.

U.S.-NATO Air Raids and Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan: The Facts
Contrary to John McCain's and Sarah Palin's claims, there's no question that American and NATO forces are air-raiding civilians and causing heavy civilian casualties in Afghanistan.

Ronald Reagan on the Assassination of Egypt's Anwar Sadat
President Ronald Reagan addressed the United States on radio and television briefly on Oct. 6, 1981, following the assassination of Egypt's Anwar Sadat. Here is what he said.

What Are Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province and Tribal Areas
Understanding why Pakistan is such a fertile ground for the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

Black September and the Murder of 11 Israelis at the 1972 Munich Olympics
At 4:30 a.m. local time on Sept. 6, 1972, in Munich, Germany, Palestinian commandos armed with automatic rifles broke into the quarters of the Israeli team at the Olympic Village, killed two members of the team and took nine others hostage. Twenty-three hours later, the nine hostages had also been murdered. So was a German policeman. So were five of the Palestinian terrorists.

Review: "The Second Plane: September 11: Terror and Boredom," by Martin Amis
Amis has been accused of being an Islamophobe. His critics are wrong. He’s not against Islam. He’s against Islamism, a distinction he elucidates throughout the book: “Naturally we respect Muhammad. But we do not respect Muhammad Atta.”

Hezbollah and the 1983 Bombing of the U.S. Marines Barracks in Beirut
Hebollah was an obscure organization in 1983. Its bombings of the US Marines barracks and the US Embassin Beirut in 1983 made Hezbollah the world's premier terrorist organization.

Imad Mugniyah: Profile of a Hezbollah Terrorist
Imad Mugniyah, the Lebanese Shiite, Hezbollah terrorist assassinated in a car bomb attack in Damascus on Feb. 13, has a long, grim history of violence with one thing in common: visceral hatred for the West, whose nationals were Mugniyah’s principal targets.

Bin Laden, Family Man?
Osama bin Laden had four wives and 19 children. Their story presents an oddly contrasting tale of tolerance and magnanimity by the world's premier terrorist.

Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda
The life and aims of the world's most wanted terrorist.

Osama: Dead or Alive?
Speculation has been rife since 2005 or so about the health of Osama bin Laden and the leadership of al-Qaeda. Not that his replacement by Ayman al-Zawhiri would be an improvement.

Al-Qaeda: Statements and Evolving Ideology
A 2007 report documenting al-Qaeda's various "mission statements" and declarations going back to 1994, with analyses of al-Qaeda's ideology and intended audience.

False Fears and Shameless Pandering in Opposition to Ground Z…
Opposition to the mosque at ground zero in New York is grounded in false fears and shameless chauvinism by the likes of Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin.

Hezbollah, Lebanon and the Hariri Tribunal
How and why Lebanon's fate hangs on Hezbollah's reaction to the Hariri Tribunal, which may implicate Hezbollah in the assassination of Rafik Hariri in 2005.

Saudi Arabia and the Financing iof Terrorism and Sunni Extremism Worldwide
Text of a secret cable on Saudi Arabia's financing of terrorist organizations and Sunni extremism worldwide. The cable was part of the Wikileaks document dump.

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