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Terrorism - Counterinsurgency

United States: Send Detainees Home to Yemen (Video)

[Logo of Human Rights Watch. Image from]

[The following video was released by Human Rights Watch on 7 April 2014]

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The Terrorism Law in Bahrain: A Tool to Silence Dissidents

[Logo of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. Image from]

[The following report was published by the Bahrain Center for Human Rights 13 March 2014] The Terrorism Law in Bahrain: A Tool to Silence Dissidents Introduction In 2011, the grassroots movement that started in Bahrain demanding democracy, rights and freedoms was met with large scale brute violence by the government. Extreme measures were taken against pro-democracy protesters, and thousands were arrested, systematically tortured and given lengthy prison sentences. The government of Bahrain began to more liberally apply its vaguely defined terrorism law to go after its citizens. Hundreds of individuals, including opposition figures, human rights defenders, peaceful ...

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A Cycle of Insecurity in Egypt's North Sinai

[Sheikh Aref Musallem Abu ‘Akr of the ‘Akoura family at his home in Sheikh Zuweid, North Sinai.]

Photos and text by Rob Stothard. Interviews by Rob Stothard and Max Strasser. Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, sandwiched between two old foes, is a territory of vital importance. Bordered by the Suez Canal to the west and Israel and the Gaza Strip to the east, North Sinai is home to a thriving smuggling trade and several notoriously rebellious Bedouin tribes. Since the popular uprising of January 2011 that ousted President Hosni Mubarak, the security situation in North Sinai has deteriorated. A controversial gas pipeline from Egypt to Israel and Jordan has been attacked dozens of times since then, and police and military checkpoints have been regularly assaulted. In August ...

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Jihadism and Contraband on Tunisia's Borders

[Logo of International Crisis Group. Image from]

 [The following briefing was published by the International Crisis Group on 28 November 2013] Jihadism and Contraband on Tunisia's Borders Executive Summary and Recommendations Tunisia is embroiled in recurrent political crises whose origins in security concerns are ever more evident. While still of low-intensity, jihadi attacks are increasing at an alarming rate, fuelling the rumour mill, weakening the state and further polarising the political scene. The government coalition, dominated by the Islamist An-Nahda, and the secular opposition trade accusations, politicising questions of national security rather than addressing them. Meanwhile, the gap widens between ...

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My Dahiyeh: Notes on the Dehumanization of A Beirut Neighborhood

[Left to right: Ali Khadra andMalak Zahwi. Image composite via Individual images via Facebook]

I grew up in the neighborhood of Bir al-‘Abed. As pictures emerged of Malak Zahwi and Ali Khadra (two of the now five people killed when a car bomb went off in the neighborhood on Thursday 2 January 2014), I noticed how some people appeared amazed to see these "civilians" dead in Dahiyeh.
 It made me realize that my Dahiyeh might not resemble the Dahiyeh many Lebanese have never even visited, but have certainly conceived in their imagination. It is something they ignored, they judged, and (some) even hated. Your Dahiyeh is a Hizballah security zone. My Dahiyeh is where I enjoyed endless chocolate and vanilla ice cream cones from Hassoun's shop for five hundred ...

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صباح الانفجار

[من آثار انفجار بيروت في 27 كانون الأول 2013]

حبيبي، كنا سنقتل في انفجار اليوم في بيروت لو رضيت أن تستيقظ باكراً وتتنزه معي في وسط المدينة إذ نتوجه نحو مقهى جديد اكتشفته مؤخراً في شرق المدينة وانتظرت بفارغ الصبر أن أريك إياه. حبيبي، لو متنا سوية لكانوا اعتبرونا شهداء الحب. أو ربما لن يعرف أحد الحقيقة، وهي أني جررتك من نومك الى الموت. لن يعرفوا حتى أسماءنا، كما لم يعرفوا اسم الجندي اللبناني الذي قتل الأسبوع الفائت جندياً محتلاً.هو لم يصبح بطلاً فنحن لا نعرف عنه سوى أنه من عكار. ليس هنالك أبطال في عكار.  لو متنا حبيبي لكانوا عرضوا أشلاءنا على التلفاز ولقالت المذيعة بصوت يرتجف "نعتذر عن هذه المشاهد القاسية والقوية." ولكانت دمعت عينا امرأة حساسة تشاهد التلفاز وهي تضم مسند أريكتها وتقول: "يا ...

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Drug Trafficking in Northwest Africa: The Moroccan Gateway

[Madrid regional government delagate Cristina Cifuentes, right and the chief of Spain's national police force, Ignacio Cosido second right, look at part of a haul of hashish and marijuana in Madrid, Wednesday, 26 December 2012. Spanish police have seized eleven metric tons of hashish smuggled from Morocco on trucks with tanks rigged to hide the drugs. Thirty five people were arrested in what was described as the breakup of a major smuggling ring that fed the European market. Authorities said in a statement Wednesday that the hashish was sent to a Madrid suburb for distribution to countries including Belgium, Britain, France and Holland. Image from Paul White/AP Photo.]

Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, West Africa has become a pivotal platform and crossroads for terrorism, drug and human trafficking, crime and insurgency. However, in analyzing drug trafficking in the Sahel, it is paramount to also look at the role and geographical location of Morocco, where Moroccan drug barons are increasingly linked to their African and Latin American counterparts. Indeed, the Moroccan kingdom plays an important role between the African continent and Europe. The country occupies a key geostrategic location and is a gateway between the Mediterranean region and the rest of Africa. Morocco also provides a passage to mainland Europe from ...

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Protectors of the 'Failed State': 'Captain Phillips' and the Intrigue of Somali Pirates

[Still image from

Captain Phillips. Directed by Paul Greenglass. USA, 2013. Appearing in US theaters in mid-October, Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks and directed by Paul Greenglass, has been a smash at box offices, grossing nearly one hundred million dollars in its first several weeks. Greengrass’ cinematic style is perhaps best known from his direction of The Bourne Trilogy, as well as United 93, a film depicting the airline that crashed in Stoneycreek Township, Pennsylvania on 9/11. Tackling the subject of Somali pirates, Captain Phillips is supremely ambitious in treading into the murky depths of the West’s long-strained relations with Somalia. It conjures a slew of images ...

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Sere giran—Turkiye Cumhuriyeti cezaevlerinde bir Kurt tutsak olmak

[Hasan Kaçar. Image via]

Şerê giran*—Türkiye Cumhuriyeti cezaevlerinde bir Kürt tutsak olmak 22 Ekim 2013 Saat 12.30: KCK Yürütme Konseyi Eşbaşkanı Cemil Bayık, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti ile Kürt siyasal hareketi arasında 10 aydır yürütülmekte olan müzakere sürecinin sonuna gelindiğini açıkladı. Saat 12.48: PKK lideri Abdullah Öcalan ile görüşen kardeşi Mehmet Öcalan, Abdullah Öcalan’ın “Eğer devlet heyeti gelmez ise, zannederim onlar açısından süreç bitmiştir ve dolayısı ile bizim açımızdan da biter" dediğini belirtti. (ANF) 30 Eylül 2013 Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Başbakanı Recep Tayyip Erdoğan demokratikleşme paketini açıkladı. Paket ‘Türkiye’deki Kürt Sorunu’na dair düzenlemeler de içeriyordu. ...

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On the Margins Roundup (October)

[Image of tugboats in Somalia's Mogadishu harbor. Image from Expert Infantry/Flickr.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Mali, South Sudan, Somalia, Mauritania, Djibouti, and Comoros Islands and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the On the Margins Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each month's roundup to]  Somalia Lumumba's Assassination Should Be a Lesson for All of Us "The winners happen to have won thanks to our losing. The history of Africa's underdevelopment is an integral part of the history of world capitalism's development." Fighting terrorists Mission failure In the first major response to the ...

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From Reagan to Obama: Secrecy and Covert Operations in the Fight against “Terrorism”


Ronald Reagan was the first American president to put “terrorism” at the heart of his foreign policy discourse. During his first term, Reagan did so mostly in reference to conflicts in Central America. In El Salvador, his administration presented US military aid as necessary to help the Salvadoran armed forces fight the “terrorist threat” posed by the FMLN (Frente Farabundo Marti para la Liberacion Nacional, an umbrella group of leftist guerilla organizations). In neighboring Nicaragua, Reagan repeatedly accused the Sandinistas of supporting the “terrorist” FMLN and belonging to a Moscow-led “international terrorist network” bent on exporting “subversion” and “terrorism” ...

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Bu Ulvi Mucadelemizde: Misir'dan sonra, Turkiye ve Teror uzerine

[Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Images via Wikimedia Commons.]

Bu Ulvi Mücadelemizde: Mısır'dan sonra, Türkiye ve Terör üzerine  Başbakan Erdoğan’ın Türkiye’deki hükümeti ile Mısır’daki General Sisi hükümetinin arasındaki ortak nokta ne? Cevap “hiçbir şey” olamaz—en azından, on yıllık uzun görev süresi boyunca Erdoğan iktidarının yasal, liberal ve ölümcül gücüne karşı durma cesareti gösterenler için. Işte bu yüzden Erdoğan 17 Ağustos 2013’te Mısır'da gördüklerini “Bir Mısırlı tankın karşısına çıkıyor, elinde molotof yok, silah yok, taş yok ama kendisine ateş ediliyor ve şehit ediliyor” şeklinde tasvir ettiğinde halkın alay konusu olabildi. Başbakan'a bundan sadece haftalar önce Türk polisinin öldürdüğü protestocular, polisin ...

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Teaching Arabic in the US after 9/11

On 9 May 2013 I was stabbed in front of the US Embassy in Cairo. My attacker was a young college-educated Egyptian man who had come from his village that day to kill an American in “revenge over U.S. policies in the Middle East.” At the time, I was living in Egypt and conducting research as part of my sabbatical from Hunter College of the City University of New York where I teach Arabic. The day I was stabbed, I had come to the Embassy looking to have a translation of my marriage certificate ...

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Lebanese Lawyers and the State: Dispute, Collusion, Cooperation?

Institut français du Proche-Orient المعهد الفرنسي للشرق الأدنى Department of Contemporary Studies Conference Series: "Lebanon, what State for what Citizenship(s)?" “Lebanese Lawyers and the State: Dispute, Collusion, Cooperation?”  Thursday, April 3, 2014, 6 – 8 pm  Institut Francais du Proche-Orient (Ifpo) – Conference Room - (Building G), Damascus Road, Beirut With the participation of:  Melhem Khalaf, lawyer, member of the UN Committee on the Elimination ...

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A Wedding That Became a Funeral: US Drone Attack on Marriage Procession in Yemen

[The following report was published by Human Rights Watch on 20 February 2014] A Wedding That Became a Funeral: US Drone Attack on Marriage Procession in Yemen Summary On December 12, 2013, a United States aerial drone launched four Hellfire missiles on a convoy of 11 cars and pickup trucks during a counterterrorism operation in rural Yemen.  The strike killed at least 12 men and wounded at least 15 others, 6 of them seriously. Yemen authorities initially described all those killed in the attack ...

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موت صاخب في عاصمة مجنونة

  بعد خمسةٍ أيام من كل أسبوع، أقضيها مضطراً خارج المنزل، يتفاقم فيها خوف من قتل على الهويّة، أو موت بسيارة مفخخة، أو حفلة اطلاقات نارية هوجاء، أرجع إلى أُمي التي تستقبلني وكأني عائد للتو من جبهات القتال. تشم ملابسي بحثاً عن رائحة البارود، وتتفقد ملامحي لتطمأن على أن سحنتي لم يطلها جنون العاصمة الذي ينشر الرعب في الشوارع. منذ أشهر، بلغتُ 26 عاماً من عمري الموزع بين بغداد ودمشق. العاصمتان الموزع دمهما بين قبائل الفضائيات والصحف ومراكز الدراسات. ومنذ عامين وأنا في بغداد. هنا، أدفن وجهي في صدر أمي ...

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Press Release: AlKarama Foundation Response to US Department of Treasury Decision to Qualify Abd al-Rahman Omair Alnaimi as a 'Specially Designated Global Terrorist'

[The following press release was issued by the Council of the Alkarama Foundation on 24 December 2014.] The Council of the Alkarama Foundation met yesterday following the announcement by the US Department of Treasury of its decision to qualify Dr Abd al-Rahman Omair Alnaimi, president of the Council as a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist". The Council takes note of this announcement and explores all ways and means to deal with this situation. The Alkarama Foundation will continue to ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (December 17)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations Oman: No Gulf-wide union for us Dahlia Kholaif writes on the fate of the Saudi proposal of a union including the six ...

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Classified Memories: Trying To Try Terror Suspects Who Were Tortured by the CIA

Two high-profile cases being prosecuted in the military commissions at Guatanamo raise exceptionally challenging problems for the US government as well as the civilian and military lawyers defending the suspects. One case involves five people, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who are accused of responsibility for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The second case is against Abdul Rahim al-Nashiri, who is accused of participating in the bombing of the USS Cole off the coast of Yemen in 2000. All six men were ...

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O.I.L. Monthly Edition (October 2013)

[This is a monthly archive of pieces written by Jadaliyya contributors and editors on the Occupations, Interventions,and Law (O.I.L.) Page. It also includes material published on other platforms that editors deemed pertinent to post as they provide diverse depictions of O.I.L.-related topics. The pieces reflect the level of critical analysis and diversity that Jadaliyya strives for, but the views are solely the ones of their authors. If you are interested in contributing to Jadaliyya, send us your post ...

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License to Kill: Why the American Drone War on Yemen Violates International Law

[The following report was issued by Alkarama. It is based on field investigations carried out by Alkarama representative in Sanaa throughout 2012 and 2013, which were aimed at gathering witness accounts and victim testimonies about US drone strikes in Yemen. Interviews were also held with government officials and members of the civil society. The report was released prior to the presentation of UN expert Ben Emmerson's report   on targeted killings before UN General Assembly in New York on 25 ...

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Snatch and Render from Libya

In 2004, the British government brokered the transfer of militants of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) from their “undisclosed locations” in the War on Terror to the Qaddafi regime. “This was the least we could do for you and for Libya to demonstrate the remarkable relationship we have built over the years,” wrote Sir Mark Allen, head of Britain’s MI6 to Qaddafi’s aide Moussa Koussa on 18 March 2004. The specific matter here was the “safe arrival of Abu Abdallah Sadiq,” the nom de plume of Abdul ...

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Oil Nationaliazation and the 1953 Coup in Iran: A Conversation with Ervand Abrahamian

In August 1953, the U.S. and British governments overthrew the popular government of prime minister Mohammad Mossadegh and paved the way for the autocratic rule of Mohamad Reza Shah Pahlavi. In his latest book, The Coup: 1953, the CIA, and the Roots of Modern U.S.-Iranian Relations, Distinguished Professor of Iranian and Middle Eastern history and politics at City University of New York Ervand Abrahamian reveals how the United States reaped a substantial share of Iran’s oil wealth and became a dominant ...

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In This Sublime Struggle of Ours: After Egypt, on Turkey and Terror

What does Prime Minister Erdoğan’s government in Turkey have in common with General Sisi’s in Egypt? “Nothing” cannot be the answer—at least not for those who have dared to confront the legal, liberal, and lethal force of Erdoğan’s rule during a long decade of tenure. This is why on 17 August 2013, when he described what he saw in Egypt as “an Egyptian standing in front of a tank with no molotov, no weapon, and no stone but who is shot and martyred,” Erdoğan could become the target of public ridicule. ...

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