Friday, May 28, 2010

National Security Strategy Coy About Darfur Crisis

The conflict in Darfur was given short shrift in the Obama administration’s first National Security Strategy, with a single direct reference that lays no blame for the enduring crisis. Read

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Brennan Names Al-Qaeda and Affiliates as the Enemy, Silent on Hezbollah, Others

President Obama’s counter terrorism advisor framed America’s enemy Wednesday as “al-Qaeda and its terrorist affiliates,” but said nothing about anti-U.S. Islamists not affiliated to the network led by Osama bin Laden. Read

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Suspected Terror Mastermind Free to Rail Against India and ‘Blasphemy’

The Islamist leader whose release from house arrest was confirmed by Pakistan’s top court Tuesday remains one of the country’s most outspoken advocates of jihad against India despite Islamabad’s effort to act against his group in the aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack. Read

International Community Has ‘Responsibility and Duty to Respond’ to Ship Sinking by North Korea, Clinton Says

Arriving in South Korea after intensive talks in China on Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned what she called “an unacceptable provocation by North Korea” –- the sinking of a South Korean warship in March. Read

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Despite U.S. Prodding, China Merely Calls for Restraint on the Korean Peninsula

As South Korea and the United States turn up the pressure on North Korea over the sinking of a South Korean warship, Kim Jong-il’s closest ally looks unwilling to do or say anything about the incident beyond its customary calls for calm. Read

Monday, May 24, 2010

Awlaki Not Among FBI’s ‘Most Wanted’ Terrorists; No Reward Offered for His Capture

Anwar al-Awlaki, the U.S.-born Islamic cleric who in a new video clip urges Muslims to kill American civilians, does not appear on the FBI’s list of wanted terrorists and the government has yet to place a reward on his head. Read

Islamic Nations Praise Obama’s Outreach and U.S. Plans to Close ‘Islamophobia Prison’ at Guantanamo

President Obama’s Cairo speech to Muslims, his plan to shut down the detention center at Guantanamo Bay and the dropping of language deemed offensive to Muslims are among the positive developments highlighted in the Organization of the Islamic Conference’s new report on “Islamophobia.” Read

Friday, May 21, 2010

Will the Obama Administration Accept China-Pakistan Nuclear Collaboration?

Analysts in India and the U.S. are voicing concern that the Obama administration may tolerate a Chinese bid to build new nuclear power reactors in Pakistan, despite Islamabad’s poor non-proliferation record. Read

Facebook Accused of Hurting Muslims With ‘Anti-Islamic Sentiments’

The Facebook page at the center of angry protests in Pakistan because of depictions of Mohammed also has been blocked in Saudi Arabia, the latest development in a controversy first sparked almost five years ago by a Danish newspaper’s publication of cartoons satirizing Mohammed. Read

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ahead of White House Visit, Lebanese PM Meets With Syrian President, Seeks Talks with Hezbollah Leader

Preparing for his first official visit to Washington next week, Lebanon’s U.S.-backed Prime Minister Saad Hariri has held “coordination” talks with Syrian President Bashir Assad and reportedly plans to meet Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. Read

Accused of Sinking South Korean Ship, North Korea Threatens ‘All-Out War’

Tensions rose on the Korean peninsula Thursday after South Korea accused North Korea of torpedoing its warship in March, drawing a sharp response and threats of “all-out war” from Pyongyang. Read

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

At Previous Human Rights Session, U.S. Responded ‘Forthrightly’ to China’s Concerns About U.S. Practices

The Obama administration’s approach to human rights dialogue with China – “an open discussion where you not only raise the other guy’s problems, but you raise your own” – appears to contrast to that of its predecessor. Read

Congress Pushing for Unilateral Gasoline Sanctions Against Iran Despite Progress at U.N.

Key U.S. lawmakers said Tuesday that progress on new U.N. Security Council sanctions against Iran would not stop a congressional push for legislation that will impose unilateral U.S. sanctions against Tehran, most crucially targeting its gasoline imports. Read

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Turkey-Brazil-Iran Nuke Deal May Put More Pressure on Israel

Following his success in helping to broker a nuclear fuel swap agreement with Iran, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will likely add to the pressure currently facing Israel over its undeclared nuclear arsenal, according to a leading Turkish commentator. Read

Fuel Swap Deal Does Not Address Core Issues of Iranian Nuclear Dispute

The nuclear fuel swap agreement signed with fanfare in Tehran Monday provides insufficient reason for the U.N. Security Council to put sanctions talks on hold, but it is certain to make the effort even more of an uphill battle than it has been up until now. Read

Monday, May 17, 2010

Thailand on Edge After Rebel General Dies

Thailand’s turmoil looked set to deepen Monday after a renegade army general who sided with anti-government protestors died, four days after he was shot by an unidentified sniper. The incident sparked a new round of deadly violence in the once-stable Southeast Asian country, an important U.S. ally in the region. Read

Iran Agrees to Ship Its Nuclear Fuel to Turkey in Effort to Avoid U.N. Sanctions

As Brazil and Turkey engineered the latest in a series of international initiatives aimed at ending the Iranian nuclear standoff, some of the developing world’s most powerful nations were rallying around Tehran Monday, in a fresh challenge to the Obama administration’s claims to have achieved a unified international stance against Iran. Read

Friday, May 14, 2010

Many ‘Free’ Countries Voted for Libya to Join U.N. Human Rights Council

Despite appeals by numerous human rights advocacy groups for a clear rejection of Libya’s candidacy for the world body’s top human rights body, only 33 countries did so in a secret ballot election held on Thursday. Read

U.S. Joins U.N. Initiative Whose Stated Goal Is to Bridge Islam-West Divide

The U.S. has signed on to a U.N. project whose stated aim is to build bridges between Islam and the West, but critics worry it is linked to an agenda that restricts free expression, especially when it comes to media coverage viewed as critical towards Islam. Read

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lebanon, As U.N. Security Council President, Walks Tightrope Between West and Hezbollah

Lebanon’s presidency of the U.N. Security Council this month shines a spotlight on a government that is both backed by the U.S. and a partner of a terrorist organization that has killed hundreds of Americans and is stockpiling arms in violation of U.N. resolutions. Read

Palestinian Official Criticizes Israeli Prime Minister for Invoking Bible in Comments on Jerusalem

Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said Wednesday he found “distasteful” Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s invoking of the Bible to highlight the longstanding Jewish claim to Jerusalem. Read

Monday, May 10, 2010

Obama Administration Blames, and Warns, Pakistan Taliban Over Times Square Plot

The Obama administration has linked the Pakistan Taliban to the recent Times Square bomb plot, warning of “very severe consequences” if a future attack traced back to Pakistan succeeds. Read

OIC Fulfills Function of Caliphate, Embodies ‘Islamic Solidarity,’ Says OIC Chief

The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) provides for Muslims today the same religious solidarity and unity which those in the past found in the Islamic caliphate, according to the head of the Islamic body. Read

Friday, May 07, 2010

Pakistan’s Jihadists Form A Complex Web of Collaborating Groups

Pakistan-based terrorist organizations frequently cooperate with each other, and it should come as no surprise that the would-be Times Square bomber may have had dealings there with jihadists from various groups. Read

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Record Number of Islamic Nations, Fewer ‘Free’ Countries, Coming to U.N. Human Rights Council

Next week’s election for new members of the U.N. Human Rights Council is expected to result in a greater share of seats going to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) than ever before, while the number of countries deemed “free” falls to a new low. Read

Brits Go to the Polls Under an Electoral System Many Want Reformed

After 13 years of Labor Party rule and a hard-fought, month-long campaign, Britain’s voters are casting ballots Thursday with no clear picture of who will form their next government, amid doubts that any one party will be in a position to do so. Read

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Pakistan Taliban Wants to Be Seen As Part of Global Jihad

Whether its claim of responsibility for the foiled May 1 car bombing in Times Square turns out to be valid or not, the Pakistan Taliban’s threatening statements reveal its goal of wanting to be seen as part of a global jihad. Read

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

US Citizen From Pakistan in Custody Over Times Square Bomb Plot

The fast-moving investigation into Saturday’s attempted car bombing in Times Square netted its first suspect overnight Tuesday, when a Pakistani-born U.S. citizen was arrested at JFK airport as he tried to leave the country for the Middle East. Read

Kim Jong-il Visit to China Raises Hopes, Skepticism

A rare trip by Kim Jong-il beyond North Korea’s borders has stoked speculation in the region that Pyongyang’s remaining ally, China, will pressure him to return to multilateral nuclear talks, possibly in return for economic assistance. Read

Monday, May 03, 2010

Attack Highlights Unrelenting Plight of Iraq’s Christians

Iraq’s embattled Christian minority came under attack again on Sunday, when a double bombing near the northern city of Mosul targeted a convoy of buses carrying Christian students, injuring scores of them. Read

Authorities Cautious About Linking Terror Groups to Failed Times Square Car Bombing

( – As investigations continue into Saturday’s failed car bombing in Times Square, a claim of responsibility linking the incident to the recent killing of two terrorist leaders in Iraq is just one of a range of possible motives radicals could have for the high profile choice of target. Read