A few words of concern --- with a request for knowledge and understanding, rather than caricature and polemic --- to British Prime Minister David Cameron about his declaration of "generational struggle" against "terrorists", "jihadists", Al Qa'eda, and anyone else with a "poisonous ideology":
Entries in Al Qa'eda (96)
It is likely that Pakistan and the US have finally reached some kind of resolution on how to deal with the complex relations between Afghan Taliban, the TTP, and Al Qa'eda on the one hand and between Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the US on the other. For Islamabad, this may have involved agreement on joint operations and continued intelligence sharing vis-s-vis Al Qa'eda and TTP operatives. That has brought US economic and security assistance with the release of $600 million from the Coalition Support Fund and another $200 million for the Bhasha Dam.
See also US War on Terror Feature: Preparing for Military Operations in Africa br>
Syria Live Coverage: "A Political Process to End the Crisis is Still Possible" br>
Sunday's Egypt, Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Morsi Gives Back His Expanded Powers
2047 GMT: Libya. The trial of Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi, the last Prime Minister in the Qaddafi regime, opened today, with charges including "abusing public funds" and "committing acts aiming to unjustly kill people".
Al-Mahmoudi sat in a caged section of the courtroom and spoke only once during the one-hour hearing, saying "yes" when asked to confirm his presence.
The next hearing was set for 14 January.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presses Algeria to join intervention in Mali, 29 October 2012
Military counterterrorism officials are seeking more capability to pursue extremist groups in Africa and elsewhere that they believe threaten the U.S., and the Obama administration is considering asking Congress to approve expanded authority to do it.
The move, according to administration and congressional officials, would be aimed at allowing U.S. military operations in Mali, Nigeria, Libya and possibly other countries where militants have loose or nonexistent ties to al Qaeda's Pakistan headquarters. Depending on the request, congressional authorization could cover the use of armed drones and special operations teams across a region larger than Iraq and Afghanistan combined, the officials said.
RT: There are many people who were convinced a year ago that you would not make it this far. Here again you are sitting in a newly renovated presidential palace and recording this interview. Who exactly is your enemy at this point?
BA: My enemy is terrorism and instability in Syria. This is our enemy in Syria. It is not about the people, it is not about persons. The whole issue is not about me staying or leaving. It is about the country being safe or not. So, this is the enemy we have been fighting as Syria.
At a protest in Aden, a young man holds the flag of the Southern Movement and the former People's Democratic Republic of Yemen
In the space of 30 years, Aden has been a British colony, the capital of a Soviet-backed independent republic, part of a new united Yemen, and the headquarters of a shortlived breakaway state, before being over-run and looted by the unity government’s forces. Residents say the wildly volatile state of limbo they have been in for the past year and a half is more alarming than anything they’ve experienced before.
“The government is not strong, but the people are not liberated,” said Mohamed Ali Ahmed, who recently returned after nearly three decades away and is a veteran of the south’s breakaway war. “It’s a kind of chaos --- no one is controlling anything.”
Protest in Pakistan earlier this month against US drone strikes
The CIA is urging the White House to approve a significant expansion of the agency’s fleet of armed drones, a move that would extend the spy service’s decade-long transformation into a paramilitary force, U.S. officials said.
The proposal by CIA Director David H. Petraeus would bolster the agency’s ability to sustain its campaigns of lethal strikes in Pakistan and Yemen and enable it, if directed, to shift aircraft to emerging al-Qaeda threats in North Africa or other trouble spots, officials said.
If approved, the CIA could add as many as 10 drones, the officials said, to an inventory that has ranged between 30 and 35 over the past few years.
Using Mitt Romney's speech last week at Virginia Military Institute on US foreign and military policy, we explain how you too can become Commander-in-Chief of the United States of America (one hint --- say "Al Qa'eda" a lot):
Insurgents at a funeral in Aleppo Province with Islamic flag, 16 September 2012 (Photo: Zain Karam/Reuters)
The regime’s insistence that jihadist radicals and terrorists instigated and perpetuated the Syrian conflict is indefensible. The Syrian uprising began as a popular resistance against autocracy. Yet as the conflict drags on, a radical Islamist dynamic has emerged within the opposition, and it warrants further scrutiny. The vast majority of syrians opposing the regime are local revolutionaries who espouse varying degrees of personal religious fervor. However, there is a small but growing Salafi-jihadist presence inside Syria. The Syrian Salafi-jihadists have been aided by foreign fighters, some with significant capabilities and connections to al-Qaeda and other international jihadist networks. Their presence among the opposition galvanizes Assad’s support base and complicates U.S. involvement in the conflict.
Most importantly, we do not know --- but I fear --- what comes next. In his White House statement on Wednesday, President Obama was careful to point to the majority of Libyans --- Libyans who had fought alongside the besieged Americans, Libyans who had rescued Stevens and took him to hospital, Libyans who tried to save his life --- as people who had overthrown a dictatoral regime and were trying to build their country.
But this, as well as the emphasis of Obama and Clinton on respect for all religions --- religions tarnished and undermined in the name of religion by extremists and schemers in the US and in Libya --- appears to have been put on the margins this morning. Instead, the headline is "Obama Vows Justice for Libya Killers".
That way, a year after Libyans gathered to celebrate the fall of Muammar Qaddafi and to hope for a country beyond violence and the authoritarian, does not lead to reconciliation and progress. That way leads to force to meet force, to death to counter death. That way does not lead to security but to insecurity.