The Dark Side - IPSs Coverage of Terrorism

Skyping the Way to Victory, to Avoid Taliban

If you can’t beat them, at least innovate. That seems to be the lesson that Pakistan’s Awami National Party (ANP) has drawn from its predicament.

Bulgarian Revelations Explode Hezbollah Bombing “Hypothesis”

When European Union foreign ministers discuss a proposal to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation, Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov will present his government’s case for linking two suspects in the Jul. 18, 2012 bombing of an Israeli tourist bus to Hezbollah.

The Taliban denied responsibility for this 2011 attack in Pakistan. Credit: Ashfaq Yusufzai/IPS

OP-ED: Pakistani Taliban’s Indoctrinated Child Bombers*

In the late afternoon of Apr. 3, 2011, in the Pakistani city of Dera Ghazi Khan, an annual Sufi Muslim religious festival at the shrine of the 13th century saint Ahmed Sultan was hit by twin suicide bomb attacks which killed over 50 people and left more than 120 wounded.

Caught Between Islamists and the Military

Locals in the city of Maiduguri in the northeastern Nigerian state of Borno have intensified their calls for the military to withdraw from the town, the stronghold of the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, after claims that they are being maltreated and abused.

War Widows Turn to Sex Work in Sri Lanka

On May 18, some 800 women in Sri Lanka’s northern region will hold Hindu religious ceremonies for the welfare of thier husbands who disappeared or surrendered to the military as it moved in to mop up nearly three decades of armed Tamil separatism.

U.S. Treasury Claim of Iran-Al-Qaeda “Secret Deal” Is Discredited

The U.S. Treasury Department's claim of a "secret deal" between Iran and Al-Qaeda, which had become a key argument by right-wing activists who support war against Iran, has been discredited by former intelligence officials in the wake of publication of documents from Osama bin Laden's files revealing a high level of antagonism between Al-Qaeda and Iran.

President Barack Obama addresses the press from Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, May 1, 2012.  Credit: White House photo by Pete Souza

U.S.-Afghan Pact Won’t End War – Or SOF Night Raids

The optics surrounding the Barack Obama administration's "Enduring Strategic Partnership" agreement with Afghanistan and the Memorandums of Understanding accompanying it emphasise transition to Afghan responsibility and an end to U.S. war.

U.S Government Admits to Drone Attacks

In a major address here Monday, John Brennan, the U.S. official in charge of counterterrorism, formally admitted that the United States engages in attacks using armed unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly referred to as "drones".

U.S. Escalating Drone War in Yemen

Even as President Barack Obama touts his progress in extracting the U.S. from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, his administration appears to be deepening its covert and military involvement in strife-torn Yemen.

Union leaders now in jail. Credit:  Irfan Ahmed/IPS.

‘Anti-Terror’ Laws Haunt Pakistan’s Unionists

As International Labour Day approaches, rights groups in Pakistan are redoubling their efforts to win freedom for six incarcerated union leaders in Faisalabad, the country’s textile hub, who are currently serving a combined jail term of 590 years for supposedly violating the country’s ‘anti-terror’ laws.

Ken Menkhaus, political science professor at Davidson College in North Carolina, blames the USA Patriot Act for blocking aid to Somali famine victims Credit:  Linus Atarah/IPS

U.S. Patriot Act Kept Somalia Starving

When war-torn Somalia was also ravaged by a drought-induced famine last year, which killed tens of thousands and displaced over a million people, international media was quick to blame the Islamist Al-Shabaab for blocking humanitarian assistance from reaching its zone of control in southern Somalia.

Taliban Attacks Weaken U.S., NATO Position

Sunday's well-orchestrated - if unsuccessful - attacks by Taliban forces on Kabul and three provincial capitals in eastern Afghanistan could further shake ebbing public confidence in the U.S. and its allies that their strategy for securing Afghanistan is working.

U.S. Withdrawal a Blessing and a Curse for Afghans

Though the United States’ announcement to pull its troops from Afghanistan by 2014 was celebrated by most Afghans as the imminent end of a protracted and controversial foreign occupation, there are lingering questions about the outcome of such a withdrawal.

New Leaders in Yemen, Same Old System

A new report released by Human Rights Watch (HRW) Friday contends that the dearth of meaningful reform in the protection of human rights and the rule of law in Yemen threatens political stability as the fledgling transitional government copes with a deteriorating economy and continued violence.

Mourners attend the funeral procession of a suicide bomber in Pakistan. But such killers are denied last rites. Credit: Ashfaq Yusufzai/IPS.

To Hell With Suicide Bombers, Not Heaven

Suicide bombers act in the name of Islam – but clerics deny them even last rites over such killing of others and themselves that they see as un-Islamic.

Turkey’s Ex-Army Chief on Trial for Coup Plot

Ilker Basbug, Turkey's former army chief, has gone on trial on charges of leading a terrorist group accused of plotting to overthrow the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Marine Le Pen. Credit:  A. D. McKenzie

French Muslims Fear Stigmatisation After Killings

"The murderer is gone, and now it’s us who will have to live with the consequences." That’s how a Muslim shopkeeper summed up for IPS the death and legacy of the man suspected of murdering seven people in three separate attacks in France.

Karzai’s Team Clashes over Relations With U.S.

The increasing influence of a conservative circle within President Hamid Karzai's palace has impeded progress in signing a crucial strategic agreement with the U.S. to chart the relationship beyond 2014, officials and analysts have said.

Fans defy the Taliban to attend a music concert at Nishtar Hall in Peshawar. Credit: Ashfaq Yusufzai/IPS.

Taliban Face the Music in Pakistan

Not so long ago, Gul Pana’s pursuit of a career as a professional singer in Khyber Pakthunkhwa (KP) province would have invited certain death at the hands of the Taliban.

U.S.: More Bad News on the Afghan Front

While U.S. officials insisted their counterinsurgency strategy is still working, Sunday's pre-dawn massacre by a U.S. staff sergeant of 16 people, including nine children, in their homes in Kandahar province has dealt yet another body blow to Washington's hopes to sustain a significant military presence in Afghanistan after 2014.

The use of drones for targeted assassinations in Yemen and elsewhere has created a storm of controversy in the United States and beyond. Credit: Northrop Grumman/CC by 2.0

Groups Reject Holder’s Defence of Targeted Assassination

Two days after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder outlined the statutory justifications for "targeted killings", civil liberties groups here continue to question the legality of the Obama administration's policy, particularly as it applies to the rights and very lives of both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals.

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