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Showing posts from April 17, 2013

Islamic State Declared in Syria

by Matthew Barber
Al-Qaida and Jabhat al-Nusra have each declared an Islamic State in Syria, in their own way.
And by the way, Jabhat al-Nusra is al-Qaida. The head of al-Nusra, Abu Muhammad al-Julani, finally confirmed the obvious through an official declaration of allegiance.

An Islamic State in Syria? For Real? Al-Qaida in Iraq already styles itself as the “Islamic State in Iraq” (ISI). The difference between it and Jabhat al-Nusra is that the latter actually controls territory, making the declaration of a state cause for a moment of disconcerted reflection: If Jabhabt al-Nusra currently administers various villages and cities (such as Raqqa) through a manifestation of Islamist governance embodied in shari’a councils, and if Jabhat al-Nusra is al-Qaida, then it’s not absurd to say that something resembling a rough patchwork of quasi city-states has been established by al-Qaida in Syria. This is a strange station that no one expected to arrive at when the Syrian uprising began.
Whether o…

A grim hunt for answers in wake of Marathon attack

Bomb pieces, circuit board found; FBI requests tips


Investigators combing through the grim aftermath of the deadly Boston Marathon terrorist attack have found evidence that timing devices were used Monday to detonate the bombs that ripped through race spectators on Boylston Street, said an official briefed on the investigation.

Working with fragments painstakingly gathered at what is considered the city’s largest-ever crime scene, they also ­determined that the two bombs were probably fashioned from 6-liter pressure cookers, filled with nails and small ball bearings, like buckshot, to increase the carnage, and then hidden in black nylon bags or backpacks and left on the ground. FBI bomb experts at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., will try to rebuild the devices from fragments that include a circuit board that indicated the bombs were detonated on a timer, rather than remote control.

The bombs, which detonated 12 seconds apart just after 2:50 p.m. Monday near the finish line of the worl…

North Korea: China blames U.S. for escalating tensions

CHINA'S defence ministry made a thinly veiled attack on the United States today for increasing tensions in the Asia-Pacific by ramping up its military presence and alliances in the region.


Days after the top U.S. diplomat visited Beijing over tensions on the Korean peninsula, China has revealed it is uneasy with what the US has called the "rebalancing" of forces as Washington winds down the war in Afghanistan and renews its attention in the Asia-Pacific.

China says the policy has emboldened Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam in longstanding territorial disputes.

China faces "multiple and complicated security threats" despite its growing influence, the Ministry of Defence said in its annual white paper, adding that the U.S. strategy meant "profound changes" for the region.

"There are some countries which are strengthening their Asia Pacific military alliances, expanding their military presence in the region and frequently make the situation there te…