Eight years after the spectacular attacks of September 11, widespread skepticism continues to exit regarding the official version put out by the US government. And this is not confined to Muslims alone who never bought into the US allegation that Muslim hijackers, working for Osama bin Laden had carried out these attack. Western academics in the US, Canada and Europe, many of them leading scientists have expressed grave doubts about what the US has claimed about the perpetrators...
The adage ‘no news is good news’ is not always true for Muslims in southern Thailand. Reports from the south seldom make it to the mainstream news agenda, conveying the impression that the conflict is dying down. Yet in less than four years about 3,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed, and tens of thousands wounded.
Until the US started recruiting Sunni tribal forces to use against resistance forces in Iraq last year, it was widely thought that Sunni opinion in Iraq was firmly against the occupation and in support of the resistance. In fact the situation is far more complex. KHALIL FADL reports.
The Algerian people are not unaccustomed to violence. Their brave struggle for independence from 1954 to 1962 cost many lives – a price considered worth paying to end 132 years of French rule. But the civil conflict that erupted in Algeria in 1992 after the regime cancelled elections (in December 1991) that FIS (an Islamic group) was about to win proved more destructive and lasted longer. Moreover, the lull in violence evaporated last year, when suicide bombers struck several times, culminating in the twin explosions on December 11 in Algiers that cost dozens of lives.
Things are not going well for US president George Bush, not only because he is now seen as a lame-duck president or that bad news continues to pour out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Even the phony war on terror is not yielding results as it did immediately after 911, when frequent “orange alert” warnings kept people frightened enough to agree to whatever the government was demanding, including curtailment of civil liberties. People seen to have seem through these tricks of the government, which is widely distrusted by most Americans today.
The roadside bomb last month that killed the leader of the Anbar Salvation Council (ASC), Shaykh Abd al-Sattar Abu Risha, near his home just outside Ramadi, the capital of the Iraqi province of Anbar, was more than a mere decapitation of an Iraqi leader who had turned against al-Qa’ida in Mesopotamia. It highlighted the widening chasm between the salafist insurgent group, whose fortunes have for months been staggered by the US troop build-up, and some of its former allies among the Sunni Arab tribes, and dealt a setback to one of the few success stories in the Iraqi counter-insurgency efforts.
One of the things we try to do in this column is to confront false impressions head-on. This month, we address the myth that America is trying to “spread democracy” in the Islamic East, although the use of this argument has been declining in almost perfect proportion to the increasing military failures of the armies of the US and its allies – particularly zionist Israel – wherever they have tried to pursue their interests through war. Listen to the speeches of the highest officials of imperialism in America, and the change of tone is inescapable.
One little-noticed story in the international media last month was the reported arrest and interrogation of 40 men in Egypt, allegedly for having links with al-Qa’ida. According to reports first carried in Al-Masry al-Yom, an independent Egyptian daily newspaper, the men were actually arrested in April but news of the arrests was deliberately not released. Subsequent media investigations have unearthed further details, many of them inconsistent.
An uneasy calm settled over Nahr al-Bared camp when Lebanese defence minister Elias al-Murr declared on June 22 that government troops had captured all the positions of the Islamic militants holed up on the outskirts of this refugee-camp outside the Lebanese city of Tripoli. The announcement marked the end of a fierce battle in which the thud of bombing and the clatter of machine-gun fire echoed almost continuously around Nahr al-Bared while most of its 40,000 residents sought refuge mainly in the nearby Beddawi refugee camp.
Some three months after US and Iraqi forces launched their much-trumpeted security plan, code-named “Operation Imposing Law” (Fardh al-Qanun), designed primarily to secure the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, and the restive al-Anbar province, the Iraqi insurgency has shown no significant sign of waning.
The Maghreb countries in North Africa are rich in oil and gas resources, and have substantial tourist potential. However, bureaucracy and corruption – familiar ills in every public and business sector – have blocked economic development. Consequently poverty is endemic; educational and employment opportunities are few in a region most of whose people are young and eager to learn and work. Add to this the fact that political (especially Islamic) opposition is severely suppressed and thereby driven underground, and it becomes obvious why the region has long been subject to violence, and has recently suffered suicide bombings for the first time.
The timing could hardly have been better: within days of Tony Blair’s confirming that Britain’s general elections will be held on May 5, an illegal immigrant from Algeria was convicted at the high court of what government officials, police and the media described as an international conspiracy, planned by al-Qai’da, to manufacture ricin poison and use it for a mass terrorist attack in London.
Not since 1932, when the oil-rich kingdom was founded, has the House of Saud been faced with such serious prospects of demolition or division as it is today...
It was supposed to be a mopping-up operation, with a number of al-Qa’ida and Taliban suspects being arrested and presented as trophies to Colin Powell, the visiting US secretary of state...
As this issue of Crescent International goes to press, general Pervez Musharraf remains president of Pakistan, despite two attempts on his life within a few days...
I have followed Crescent since I was a child and have even had the occasion to meet and talk with Zafar Bangash a couple of times. Today the Islamic Movement is facing its worse crisis in over a generation. Yet I am very disappointed with the way Crescent has dealt with 2 issues: the Taliban and al-Qa`idah. The lack of ideological and Islamic clarity on these two threatens to seriously devalue Crescent in future.
A Palestinian citizen from Ghazzah revealed on December 9 that Mossad, the Israeli Intelligence Service, had attempted to enlist him to establish a terrorist cell in Palestine under the name of al-Qa’ida
When six Yemenis travelling in their car 175 km east of Sana, the capital, were blown up by remote control on November 3, US officials were quick to claim the credit. They said that the CIA carried out the targeted assassination...
Events in Afghanistan are not going according to America’s script, despite tall claims of having routed the Taliban and al-Qa’ida. It is not just attacks on American and other so-called coalition forces, which are now becoming more frequent, but also the continuing factional fighting, especially between forces loyal to defence minister Mohammed Fahim and forces loyal to president Hamid Karzai...
A month after 54 Afghani civilians were killed when American planes bombed a wedding party, the Times (London)newspaper published details of a report written by UN officials who visited the village two days after the bombing.