Is the Ansar al-Shariah Crackdown a True About Face?

by Nathaniel Greenberg The Libyan consulate bombing has drifted into the twilight world of murder mystery and conspiracy theory, a talking point for American political pundits, and major source of frustration for leaders in the region. In Cairo a militant from Libya suspected of having participated in the Consulate attack was killed when Egyptian authorities raided his hideout in Nasser City earlier this week. But it is doubtful that this action represents a true change […] Read more »

The Extremist-Narco Nexus Unexplored

by Nathaniel Greenberg Counterterrorism officials indicated this week that JSOC, in coordination with the CIA and the Pentagon, had begun to narrow its search for the culprits behind the attack on the American Consulate in Libya. From their investigations, articulated by The New York Times, the group Ansar al-Sharia has emerged as the primary suspect. The New York Times characterizes this group as an aspirant, if not affiliate branch of Al-Qaeda, or rather, Al-Qaeda in […] Read more »

Islamists Exploit Burmese Rohingya Conflict

by Chris Lundry Another case of Muslim minority persecution, this time in Burma, has gotten attention in the last several weeks. Islamist extremists are using the incident to incite jihad, stoke religious violence, and criticize the Indonesian government. For the past several weeks, the Muslim minority Rohingya of Burma (Myanmar) has been in the news over reports of renewed oppression and in the context of a reforming Burma. The Rohingya story is long and complex, […] Read more »

Noordin Top: Martyr or Murderer?

by Chris Lundry Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist Noordin M. Top, who was responsible for multiple bombings in Indonesia and who is thought to have played a role in the 2002 Bali Bombings, is back in the news. He was killed almost three years ago in Central Java by Densus 88, the Indonesian anti-terrorism police force. He had risen to the top of Jemaah Islamiyah, and had announced the formation of a new branch, Tandzim al Qo’idah […] Read more »

Taliban Casualty Inflation Getting Comical

by Chris Lundry In a blog post last month, I noted how the Taliban have been inflating their counts of American casualties to a ridiculous degree. This month it approaches comedy. As reported by Indonesian extremist site ar Rahmah, in the period May 24 to June 23, the Taliban killed 1384 “Crusader” troops and wounded 662. As reported by icasualties, there were 45 and 39 coalition deaths in the months of May and June. If […] Read more »

A Different Take on the ICG Indonesia Report

by Mark Woodward This ICG report recently reviewed by Chris Lundry is another example of that organization doing what it does best, providing detailed information about the activities of extremist groups linked to Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) in some way. But in my view the degree to which JI poses a threat to Indonesia has always been overestimated and there are more important developments in the country related to extremism and terrorism. The Indonesian security forces […] Read more »

ICG Report on Regrouping of Indonesian Extremists

by Chris Lundry The International Crisis Group has released another outstanding report on Indonesian extremism (available here) that reflects their in-depth approach, extensive connections, and long reaching background into the topic. This report focuses on extremist strategies for regrouping in the context of Indonesian law enforcement successes at breaking up cells and killing or arresting members. The successes are balanced, however, by the extremists’ ability to shift tactics and recruit new members. The report also […] Read more »

Mali Extremists Blunder, But Who Can Capitalize?

By Bennett Furlow and Jeffry Halverson Over the past week a militant Islamist group operating in Mali called Ansar Dine has destroyed a number of Sufi mausoleums and the legendary gate of a 600-year-old mosque in the fabled city of Timbuktu. Many news reports have compared these tragic events in Mali to the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan by the Taliban in 2001. There is a key difference though that could lead to dramatically […] Read more »

Taliban Threatens to End Polio Vaccinations in Pakistan

By Chris Lundry According to a CNN report Monday, the Taliban in Pakistan released a statement threatening to cut off all polio vaccinations for children in the North Waziristan region if the US continues drone strikes there. From the Taliban statement: Almost every resident of North Waziristan has become a mental patient because of the drone strikes, which are worse than polio… On one hand, the U.S. spends millions of dollars to eliminate polio, while […] Read more »

Extremists Rebrand the Conflict in Afghanistan

by Chris Lundry Indonesian extremist site Prisoner of Joy recently posted the announcement by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan that operations against the United States and its allies will now be named Al Farooq Operations. From the post: The invaders should be made aware that the names of these operations are not merely accidental rather they have a special meaning and interpretation. This new name, however, may carry broader connotations of conflict within the Muslim […] Read more »