Why Algeria will not go Egypt's way, The Daily Star (Lebanon) [Opens in new tab]


With protests against Tunisian President Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali having succeeded and those against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak posing an existential threat to his government, there is a growing view that it is only a matter of time before the revolutionary spirit spreads throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

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Testimony regarding the release of the Lockerbie bomber, US Senate Foreign Relations Committee [Opens in new tab]


The Al-Megrahi Release: One Year Later.

Date: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 Time: 10:00 AM Location: 419 Dirksen Senate Office Building Presiding: Senator Menendez.

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Testimony, Senate Foreign Relations Committee [Opens in new tab]


The release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was an important foreign policy goal of the Libyan government and, as such, there is little doubt that this issue had a broader impact on the relationship between Libya and the United Kingdom.

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AQIM and the Growth of International Investment in North Africa, The CTC Sentinel [Opens in new tab]


One year ago, 10 gunmen from Lashkar-i-Tayyiba (LT) laid siege to multiple targets in India’s financial capital of Mumbai over the course of three days. The group’s target selection revealed a desire to strike not only at India, but also at Western interests in the country. While a strong anti-Western element has always been present in LT’s ideology, the strikes represented the latest evolution of a peripheral jihad against Western interests. This article first examines the nature of LT attacks against India, and then assesses the threat it poses to Western targets in India and abroad.

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The pending release of Abdelbasset el-Megrahi, CNBC [Opens in new tab]


UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown commented on the controversial move to release Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber, Tuesday. Geoff D. Porter from Eurasia Group considers the move.

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Why the Muslim World Can't Hear Obama?, The New York Times [Opens in new tab]


President Obama is clearly trying to reach out to the Muslim world. I watched his Inaugural Address on television, and was most struck by the line: “We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers.” He gave his first televised interview from the White House to Al Arabiya, an Arabic-language television channel.

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Guts and technology, The New York Times [Opens in new tab]


The Spanish authorities recently intercepted a canoe off the West African coast with 92 passengers. The canoe had set off from Senegal in early October, bound for the Canary Islands, more than 900 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. The boat's motor quit and as it drifted on the high seas for three weeks, 48 people died. The surviving passengers threw the bodies overboard.

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Splits Revealed Inside Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Jamestown Terrorism Monitor [Opens in new tab]


During an August 14 news conference organized by Algerian authorities for a select group of Algerian reporters, Benmessaoud Abdelkader, a former Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC) regional commander, confirmed that there was deep disagreement within the former GSPC over national commander Abdelmalek Droudkel's decisions first to merge with al-Qaeda in September 2006 and then later to rename the group the Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in January 2007 (Liberté, August 21).

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Islamist Terrorism and Energy Sector Security in Algeria, Jamestown Terrorism Monitor [Opens in new tab]


Despite the fact that its oil production is leveling off and serious questions surround projected increases in gas production, exogenous developments and domestic efforts are serving to make Algeria an increasingly important oil and gas supplier to European and U.S. markets. Simultaneously, the risks posed by Islamist terrorism seem to be escalating and reversing the diminishing trend that characterized the last four years. Nevertheless, since the beginning of the resurgence in terrorist activity during the last six months and the growing significance of the Algerian energy sector, there have only been three attacks on the energy sector itself—two on employees of foreign firms and one on a domestic gas pipeline. Considering the thousands of kilometers of pipelines and more than a dozen foreign oil and gas firms operating in the country, it is surprising that Islamist terrorists have not targeted Algeria's energy sector more aggressively.

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God Is in the Rules, The New York Times [Opens in new tab]


Fatwas, the legal opinions proclaimed by Islamic scholars, have proliferated in the Muslim world since the 1980's, driven by rising literacy rates and the Internet. The growth in fatwas - some of them contradictory - has led to a debate over who can legitimately issue them and has alarmed governments in the Middle East, since the decrees sometimes challenge state-sanctioned interpretations of Islam.

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