Sections

Services

Information

US United States

Al Qaeda

Analysis and Comment (20)

US President Barack Obama announces the start of a campaign of allied airstrikes against Islamic State forces in Syria. US President Barack Obama announces the start of a campaign of allied airstrikes against Islamic State forces in Syria. EPA/Win McNamee

Air power won’t finish off Islamic State, so what comes next?

Having secured some sort of tacit agreement with Damascus, the coalition bombing campaign inside Syria proper has begun in earnest. The US, France and an ambiguous array of allies is unleashing the bleeding…
The term ‘medieval’ is being used by politicians to denote others who do not observe modern ‘civilised’ rules and to whom these rules also do not apply. The term ‘medieval’ is being used by politicians to denote others who do not observe modern ‘civilised’ rules and to whom these rules also do not apply. Flickr/Nuno Martins

‘Medieval’ makes a comeback in modern politics. What’s going on?

According to Hansard, in the parliament of John Howard’s first term of government the adjective “medieval” was used eight times. In the following term, however, it cropped up 46 times. What happened? Why…
Hoping for a comeback: al-Zawahiri. Hoping for a comeback: al-Zawahiri. EPA/SITE

Al-Zawahiri hopes an Indian franchise will revive al-Qaeda

With Islamic State’s advance in Iraq and Syria gripping the world’s attention, al-Qaeda has been left on the sidelines. That all changed on September 4, as al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri released a 55-minute…
Tony Blair says Egypt was ‘rescued’ from extremism by military intervention. Tony Blair says Egypt was ‘rescued’ from extremism by military intervention. EPA/Khaled Elfiqi

Blair’s anti-Islamist crusade could play into al-Qaeda’s hands

In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the strongest external support for a forceful response from the United States came from Tony Blair, the man who now again describes the struggle against…
After destroying towns and cities, Syria’s civil war is spilling into Lebanon. After destroying towns and cities, Syria’s civil war is spilling into Lebanon. Christiaan Triebert

No end in sight as Syria misery spreads across region

The second round of the Geneva II talks on Syria have ended with no agreement and without even a decision on the date of a further meeting. The highly experienced UN mediator, Lakhdar Brahimi, was clearly…
The war at home: Anti-Assad protestors in London. The war at home: Anti-Assad protestors in London. Lewis Whyld/PA

How Syrian conflict is putting British terrorism law to the test

The arrests of people travelling to or returning from the Syrian conflict have been widely reported over recent weeks in the British media. Sir Peter Fahy, chief constable of Greater Manchester Police…
Iraq now faces an assault on its sovereign integrity from Islamic extremists that is testing the organs of the state. Iraq now faces an assault on its sovereign integrity from Islamic extremists that is testing the organs of the state. EPA/Mohammed Jalil

Iraq and its extremist problem: what now for the troubled state?

The number of deaths in Iraq from attacks by extremist groups operating under the banner of Islam has been growing steadily since the withdrawal of American troops in 2011. In 2013, nearly 8900 people…
Protesters take a break during demonstrations in Yemen. Protesters take a break during demonstrations in Yemen. Al-Jazeera English

Arabian Al-Qaeda struggles for influence in Yemen

The deadly attacks on Yemen’s defence ministry that killed 52 people in early December have renewed speculation about the threat posed by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). AQAP, which has claimed…
Martin E Dempsey warns the fallout of the Arab Spring will take a long time to clear. Martin E Dempsey warns the fallout of the Arab Spring will take a long time to clear. Glenn Fawcett

Recovery from the Arab Spring will take a generation or more

At a meeting at the Wall Street Journal this week, Martin E Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, noted that the United States' ability to exercise influence in the Middle East had significantly…
The deadly attack on a Nairobi shopping mall demonstrates that a lack of security in Somalia has a direct impact on Kenya. The deadly attack on a Nairobi shopping mall demonstrates that a lack of security in Somalia has a direct impact on Kenya. EPA/Kabir Dhanji

Kenya mall attacks: Somalia’s anarchy spreads

The Somali-based Islamic militant group Al-Shabaab’s weekend attack on the upscale Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi - which has left at least 60 people dead - poses a significant security threat not just…
Devastating New Dawn raids in Fallujah, Iraq. Devastating New Dawn raids in Fallujah, Iraq. Wikimedia Commons

Air strikes could keep hope alive for Syria and Middle East

Stand by - on a screen near you - for the all-too familiar televisual firework display which means that the US and its allies are forging ahead with the threatened air strikes on Syria. As politicians…
Yemen has two insurgencies, an AQAP threat and infighting among the armed forces. Yemen has two insurgencies, an AQAP threat and infighting among the armed forces. Wikimedia

West has key role to play amid Yemen’s al-Qaeda resurgence

Yemen is once again at the centre of a major terrorist threat. The Yemeni government has announced the uncovering of a major Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) plot aimed at the country’s critical…
The emerging divisions between the various Syrian rebel groups is threatening to give the government forces the upper hand in the ongoing conflict. The emerging divisions between the various Syrian rebel groups is threatening to give the government forces the upper hand in the ongoing conflict. EPA/STR

Syrian opposition: a crumbling house of cards?

For Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, the recent murder of Free Syrian Army (FSA) commander Abu Basir by Islamist State of Iraq (ISI) militants must have felt like his birthday had come early. The assassination…
Ordinary rendition: Abu Qatada has been returned to Jordan to face trial. Ordinary rendition: Abu Qatada has been returned to Jordan to face trial. Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Qatada saga has eroded our commitment to human rights

Abu Qatada was deported to Jordan from the UK in the early hours of Sunday morning to face terrorism charges. For the British home secretary, Theresa May, it was a triumph in the face of a judiciary which…
French soldiers gather on the tarmac of the military airbase in Bamako, Mali. French soldiers gather on the tarmac of the military airbase in Bamako, Mali. EPA/Arnaud Roine/ECPAD

French intervention won’t fix the mess in Mali

The French government has announced it will triple its troop deployment to the conflict-plagued state of Mali. On Monday, France’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gerard Araud, explained that France…
Is possessing jihadi literature enough to be prosecuted on terrorism charges? Is possessing jihadi literature enough to be prosecuted on terrorism charges? Terrorism image from www.shutterstock.com

Inspire magazine: inciting terrorism in Australia?

Jihadist activity has been a primary source of concern for security agencies in the Western world for longer than a decade. When contrasted against other broadly comparable countries, the threat to Australia…
Suicide bomb attacks, such as this one in Afghanistan last week, continue to wrack the Middle East. Suicide bomb attacks, such as this one in Afghanistan last week, continue to wrack the Middle East. EPA/Abdul Mueed

Eleven years after 9/11, are we any safer?

The day will come when 11 September is just another date on the calendar. But that time is still some way off. Eleven years after the horrible spectacle of the World Trade Center towers being struck by…
An article in the New Statesman reports that Taliban have signalled their willingness to negotiate an end to the conflict in Afghanistan. An article in the New Statesman reports that Taliban have signalled their willingness to negotiate an end to the conflict in Afghanistan.

Is Afghanistan the unwinnable war? The Taliban seems to think so

The current situation in Afghanistan is a dramatic example of the old adage that all foreign policy is merely an extension of domestic politics. Last week, the British weekly, New Statesman, reported an…
The aftermath of a car bombing in Mogadishu in February, blamed on Al-Shabab. The aftermath of a car bombing in Mogadishu in February, blamed on Al-Shabab. EPA/Elyas Ahmed

What the al Shabab-al Qaeda merger means for Australia

Al Qaeda’s recent acquisition of the Somali militant group al Shabab as its newest franchise has been dismissed in some circles as a propaganda ploy, and a play for relevance by two groups on the decline…