Double Standards: Buddhists, Muslims and Murder

Particularly poignant in regard to the Muslim-bashing in Myanmar has been the restraint and remoteness of Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s virtual saint who is reputed to have meditated regularly while under house arrest. During those long years as a political prisoner she was globally admired as a martyr of conscience, and she received the Nobel Peace Prize for her non-violent resistance to military rule. Since she’s been free to speak out, however, she seems to have lost her tongue. She certainly hasn’t been campaigning very vigorously to protect the lives and human rights of Myanmar’s Muslims. The Lady is a politician, it seems, not a Buddhist saint. Why is the world giving her such an easy pass? Read more »

Boston Bombings: Rumor, Conspiracy, Denial

By Chris Lundry It has been over a week since the grisly bombing at the Boston Marathon, and with one perpetrator killed and another captured, analysts are now searching for the “why” and “how” answers. How did a seemingly well-adjusted young man fall under the influence of his brother and deign to commit such an act? Are others involved? Are there ties to a larger group in the US or abroad? Although some of these […] Read more »

Indonesia’s President, Commander of the Crusaders!

By Chris Lundry Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) has been branded a commander of the crusaders following the announcement that Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain will be awarding him the Honorary Knight of the Grand Cross of the Order of Bath. The award has angered extremist Islamist groups, some of whom are still simmering over the recent arrest of 11 people suspected of terrorism throughout Java and the uncovering of plots to bomb […] 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 »

The Latest Grossly Exaggerated Taliban Casualty Figures

By Chris Lundry Once again, the Taliban has released comically inflated casualty reports from the conflict in Afghanistan. The latest post (which I accessed through Indonesian extremist site ar Rahmah) claims that 1114 ISAF “crusaders” were killed and 584 wounded in the period June 23 – July 21. The report also claims that 2970 Afghan “puppet” soldiers were killed and 1546 wounded, 915 military vehicles were destroyed, 4 helicopters downed, 2 drones downed, and one […] 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 »

How Islamist Extremists Quote the Qur’an

Islamist extremists make heavy use of the Qur’an (Islam’s most sacred text) in their strategic communication. This study analyzed the most frequently cited or quoted verses in the Center for Strategic Communication’s database of over 2,000 extremist texts.  The texts date from the years 1998 to 2011, and originate primarily from the Middle East and North Africa. Taking this data as a starting point, we provide a qualitative analysis of the historical contexts and core […] 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 »

Review: “De-Legitimizing al-Qaeda”

by Jeffry R. Halverson The Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) has released a short monograph, De-Legitimizing al-Qaeda: A Jihad-Realist Approach, by sociologist Paul Kamolnick, a professor at Eastern Tennessee State University. Kamolnick criticizes current US efforts to counter al-Qaeda’s messaging and recruitment strategies as ineffective, and proposes an alternative two-fold solution to marginalize and defeat al-Qaeda. However, Kamolnick’s proposed strategy is problematic for several reasons. In the first component of his proposed strategy, Kamolnick suggests that […] Read more »

Cooking the Books

by Steven R. Corman The CSC has an article in the current issue of Studies in Conflict and Terrorism on casualty inflation by the Taliban in the Afghanistan conflict.  The abstract follows, and the full text is available here (subscription). Cooking the Books: Strategic Inflation of Casualty Reports by Extremists in the Afghanistan Conflict Chris Lundry, Steven R. Corman, R. Bennett Furlow, & Kirk W. Errickson Islamist extremists in Afghanistan and elsewhere are exaggerating their […] Read more »