The Terror Journal

A Journal on Terrorism and Genocide

Yemen’s three terror fronts

YemenAl Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula took credit in an internet statement Friday for a pair of suicide attacks that targeted South Koreans in Yemen.

A teen-aged suicide bomber killed four South Korean tourists in Shibam, Hadramout on March 15. A second terror attack three days later in Sana’a targeted a convoy of family members and South Korean investigators. The motorcade had left a military camp and was traveling along a highway when a suicide bomber detonated his device between two of the cars. There were no injuries to the passengers.

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Holding the line on Hamas

Palestinian Hamas MilitantsOnce it is sworn into office, Israel’s new government will immediately have to go on a diplomatic offensive.

This month, under Egyptian sponsorship, Hamas and Fatah began negotiating the formation of a Palestinian unity government that, if agreed upon, will run the affairs of the Palestinian Authority. From what can be gleaned from media accounts of the proceedings, it is clear Hamas will control the government and Fatah will operate as a junior partner responsible for keeping up international monetary support for the PA. Hamas will not recognize Israel. And Fatah and Hamas militias will be unified in some manner and end all cooperation and coordination with Israel.

In short, if formed, the new Palestinian government will be nothing more than a Hamas-Fatah terror consortium committed to waging continuous war against Israel.

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Deeper Islamic radicalism among muslim youths

NEWSIn yet another fissure within radical Islamist networks, one of the world’s most influential jihadi theologians is coming under fire from some former followers for allegedly moderating his views – a claim he denies.

The attacks on Jordanian cleric Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, who was spiritual adviser for the late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, are significant because of Mr. Maqdisi’s longtime stature as a revered spiritual mentor who legitimizes violence with his religious interpretations of Islamic sacred texts.

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US needs new Pakistan strategy

USA flagUS strategy in Pakistan and Afghanistan in recent years has not worked, Pakistan’s foreign minister has said.

But Shah Mehmood Qureshi told the BBC he was optimistic about US President Barack Obama’s “different” approach, which is to be unveiled in coming days.

He said Mr Obama understood the global impact of success or failure in the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taleban.

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Hamas’s free lunch

Israel palestineToday Hamas stands on the cusp of international acceptance. It may take a week or a month or a year, but today Hamas stands where Fatah and the PLO stood in the late 1980s. The genocidal jihadist terror group is but a step away from an invitation to the Oval Office. Two events in the past week show this to be the case.

First, last Saturday, The Boston Globe reported that Paul Volcker, who serves as President Barack Obama’s economic recovery adviser, and several former senior US officials have written a letter to Obama calling for the US to recognize Hamas. As one of the signatories, Brent Scowcroft, who was national security adviser under president George H.W. Bush, explained, “I see no reason not to talk to Hamas.”

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Northern Ireland still clings on to peace

UK flagAttacks on British soldiers and a Northern Irish policeman over the past two weeks by dissident republican groups are testing the strength of the Northern Irish peace process and are bringing dark memories into sharp focus for many Roman Catholics and Protestants.

“These attacks have served to remind us all of what we don’t want to go back to,” said David Power, as he stood on the sidewalk watching the parade pass, a small Irish flag hanging limply from his hand. “It shows us all how fragile the peace here really is, something I think we were beginning to take for granted.”

Mr. Power is a Catholic from Londonderry, a city hit hard by violence during the three decades of violence. The recent killings, he said, “took me back to when I was growing up.”

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Somalia’s message of insurgency

SomaliaThe name of Somalia’s Islamist insurgent group al-Shabab – it means “The Lads” – may conjure images of a lovable band of rogues.

But the radical militia is a fiercely secretive and ruthless organisation with alleged links to al-Qaeda.

The leaders of the group – which has taken over swathes of central and southern Somalia – are unknown to their subordinates.

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Hopes fade in Philippine south

PhilippinesIn mid-2008, it looked as if there was at last – after decades of fighting – a chance for Mindanao to find lasting peace.

Eight years of negotiations between the Philippine government and the separatist group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, or MILF, had resulted in a framework agreement.

In early August, representatives from both sides gathered in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, to sign the landmark deal. But the signing never took place.

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U.S. too politically correct to face Somali-American Jihadists

SomaliaSince 1991, Somalia has been an ungoverned, lawless state. In recent weeks, things have gotten worse as the al-Qaeda-allied group al-Shabaab (”The Youth”) tightens its grip on the country. Earlier this week the cabinet of “president” Sheikh Sherif Ahmed endorsed a plan to institute Sharia law in areas it controls. In a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Michael Maples testified that analysts expect that al-Shabaab will officially merge with al-Qaeda in the very near future.

Events in Somalia are not so distant. Since this past summer, as many as 40 Somali-American men have left the U.S. to join up with al-Shabaab and train in their terrorist camps in Somalia. And one of those men, Shirwa Ahmed, a graduate of the University of Minnesota, launched a suicide attack in northern Somalia on October 28 that killed at least 30 civilians — the first recorded case of an American suicide bomber.

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Pakistan’s Fragile Foundations

PakistanPakistan’s struggles to suppress rising militant violence have prompted a number of experts to call for the government–with help from international partners–to address the country’s long-standing structural flaws. Among the main recommendations: greater political rights for provinces; socioeconomic equality for various ethnic groups; and a diminution of the military’s dominant role. While most experts say there is no fear of a breakup of the country, the government’s ability to rule is increasingly being questioned. Pointing to the country’s deteriorating law-and-order situation, CFR Senior Fellow Daniel Markey warns of a “gradual decay” of the state’s capacity to govern.

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