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In Depth

Netanyahu’s Iran bomb claim contradicted by Mossad

Gulf between Israeli secret service and PM revealed in documents shared with the Guardian along with other secrets including CIA bids to contact Hamas By: Seumas Milne, Ewen MacAskill and Clayton Swisher || Source: The Guardian – Binyamin Netanyahu’s dramatic declaration to world leaders in 2012 that Iran was about a year …

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Arabs and Secularism

   The Levant Exclusive – By Salam al Rabadi*   National independences must remain divides geographically only, not civilization’s divides that contain basic differences. And if there are lessons can be learned from historical developments in terms of the problematic relationship between religion and the state, in the forefront of these …

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Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked The World

  THE LEVANT EXCLUSIVE – By Michael Springmann*   As a US diplomat, I was assigned to the CIA’s consulate general at Jeddah between 1987 and 1989. There, I was repeatedly ordered to issue visas to what turned out to be terrorists recruited for the war in Afghanistan against the Soviet …

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Yes, It Is Islamic Extremism—But Why?

By Graham E. Fuller – Source: grahamefuller.com – I applaud President Obama’s efforts to avoid provoking further Islamophobia in America. But I part company with him in his well-intentioned efforts to avoid using the term “Islamic extremism.” This is not about blame, it’s about analysis. In simplest terms, right now, …

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Interpreting Islam to Muslims

By Graham E. Fuller – Source: grahamefuller.com – Can’t we ever learn? Here goes the White House again, appointing a “new” task force designed to “blunt the ISIS message.” Washington seems to believe that a main source of ISIS success to date lies in American failure to get the right …

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What’s Next for ISIS?

By Dr. Maha Hosain Aziz for Huffigtonpost – Late last month, ISIS was driven out of the Syrian city of Kobani, thanks to over 100 days of US-led airstrikes and the actions of Kurdish fighters. This was a significant victory for the foreign coalition and for Syria. But this could …

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Al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia and Israel

By Robert Parry – Source: Consortium News – Here is the story of the clandestine alliance of two Pretending Allies of the United States: Israel and Saudi Arabia! The two “friends” of the US succeeded in shaping several Coups in Washington against the United States! Exclusive: Saudi Arabia is under a new cloud after …

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Does Iran really control Yemen?

By Shahir ShahidSaless for AL-MONITOR – On Jan. 22, the embattled Western- and Saudi-backed president of Yemen, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and his Cabinet resigned. Immediately afterward, the Houthi Shiite rebels, who have controlled the capital Sanaa since September and are officially organized under the banner of Ansarollah (God’s Partisans), …

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Population Decline and the Great Economic Reversal

Stratfor Geopolitical Weekly – By George Friedman In recent weeks, we have been focusing on Greece,Germany, Ukraine andRussia. All are still burning issues. But in every case, readers have called my attention to what they see as an underlying and even defining dimension of all these issues — if not right now, then …

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Saudi Arabia and Oman Have Different Experiences With Extremism

By Gary A. Grappo* – First published in Fair Observer- Saudi Arabia and Oman possess differing national identities, varied social and cultural roots, and divergent approaches to tolerance that may explain their different experiences with extremism. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Sultanate of Oman share significant characteristics: language; basic …

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The future of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Gulf

By Kristin Smith Diwan for THE WASHINGTON POST – A Muslim Brotherhood supporter in front of the United Arab Emirates Embassy in Cairo on Jan. 13, 2013, protesting the trial of 94 people in the UAE, including some Egyptian citizens, on charges of trying to overthrow the government. The banner …

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The Houthi “Ansarullah”.. The Zaidis Revival

By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem** After seizing power in the Yemeni capital Sanaa and the resign of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi last month, the Ansarullah group has dissolved parliament, and created a supreme security committee to run the state until the formation of a presidential council. Last week, the Houthi …

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The social strategy of ISIS

THE LEVANT EXCLUSIVE – By Ali Hashem – Aleppo, October 2013, more than 150 pro ISIS loyalists arrived in the region from Kazakhstan. Kazakh fighters with their women, children and some of their elderly, decided it’s time to immigrate to “Darul Islam” or the land of Islam, whereas any other …

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The Voice of Bahrain vs. The Voice of Arab Uprisings

By Jelisaveta Blagojevic* – Media platforms in Bahrain have come under increased pressure from the regime, after the eruption of the protest against it at the beginning of 2011. As the main international and Bahraini research organizations reported (Freedom House, Reporters without Borders, Human Rights Watch, the Bahrain Centre for …

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The Islamic World Versus ISIS

The Levant News – BY THOMAS STACKPOLE FOR FOREIGN POLICY – The war against the Islamic State, and the brand of extremist violence it exemplifies, won’t be won or lost on the battlefield. Defeating the group, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said Thursday, will instead …

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Trying my hand at a novel on the Middle East

By Graham E. Fuller  for http://grahamefuller.com/ –   I remember some 20 years ago, while writing a RAND study on Sudan, I spent a number of hours with the fascinating and distinguished former Foreign Minister of Sudan, Francis Deng. He is actually from southern Sudan, when it was still part of …

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Saudi Arabia: A Time for a Ruthless Reckoning

By: Fouad al-Ibrahim for Al-Akhbar English – The new king takes revenge from his predecessor. This, briefly, describes what secretly transpired in Saudi Arabia on January 24, signaling a resurgence of the Sudairi clan which is working to restore its power and liquidate the legacy of King Abdullah. The late …

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Muslims and Nationalism—a Different Model

by Graham E. Fuller – grahamefuller.com – In the last blog I talked about four key historical reasons for Muslim resistance to the West—apart from the well-known factors of imperialism, and regular western political and military intervention. http://grahamefuller.com/why-is-it-specifically-muslims-who-are-resisting-the-west/ There is at least one more important characteristic of the Muslim world, …

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Hezbollah answers Israeli attack

By Ali Hashem for Al-monitor – The situation in south Lebanon was calm, but with a touch of nervousness in the air the morning of Jan. 28, when six missiles broke the silence. Everyone had been waiting for this moment to arrive. Ten days of waiting had come to an …

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King Salman’s Shady History

President Obama wants to work with the leader of the House of Saud. But the new king of Saudi Arabia has troubling ties to radical Islamists. BY DAVID ANDREW WEINBERG for FOREIGN POLICY –  President Barack Obama arrived in Riyadh today to offer his condolences on the death of the beloved …

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Islam in Haiti

By Dr. Geoffrey Cook for The Muslim Observer – Haiti is a benighted country that your author knows well having made working journeys there, and serving on a Committee in my home State of California to support that nation in her struggles (the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere) for …

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The New Drivers of Europe’s Geopolitics

By George Friedman for STRATFOR –  For the past two weeks, I have focused on the growing fragmentation of Europe. Two weeks ago, the murders in Paris prompted me to write about the fault line between Europe and the Islamic world. Last week, I wrote about the nationalism that is rising in …

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How the Houthis Did It

Regional rivalries and a botched post-Arab Spring political transition paved the way from the Houthis’ north Yemen base to the doors of the presidential palace. BY LAURA KASINOF for FOREIGN POLICY – Nearly four years ago, during the height of Yemen’s Arab Spring protests, when then-President Ali Abdullah Saleh was …

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Rolling Back Reforms in Riyadh

Will King Salman maintain Abdullah’s legacy of progress toward a more open and inclusive society in Saudi Arabia? BY CARYLE MURPHY for FOREIGN POLICY – Rolling Back Reforms in Riyadh King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, whose death was announced in Riyadh early on Jan. 23, led Saudi Arabia through …

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Saudi Arabia Faces Challenges in the New Year

By Michael Nayebi-Oskoui for Stratfor – The Middle East is one of the most volatile regions in the world — it is no stranger to upheaval. The 2009 uprisings in Iran and the brinksmanship of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government were followed by the chaos of the Arab Spring, the spillover of …

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Saudi Arabia’s coming struggle

By David Ignatius for The Washington Post – Saudi watchers have been talking about the transition from King Abdullah for a decade, but now that it has arrived, it’s as mysterious as ever. The death of King Abdullah begins a period of generational change in the oil kingdom that may …

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Obama in the Middle East: All about ISIS and Iran

By Joyce Karam for Al Arabiya News – In his sixth and perhaps most eloquent State of the Union address to Congress, U.S. President Barack Obama left no doubt about his unwillingness to be drawn to wars and conflicts in the Middle East. Fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and …

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Why Is it Specifically Muslims Who are Resisting the West?

By Graham Fuller – Source: grahamefuller.com – Why Is it Specifically Muslims Who are Resisting the West? Many people ask why it appears to be specifically Muslims who are in confrontation with the West today, as compared to other ethnic groups who also bear historical grievances from treatment at the …

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Who Are the Houthis of Yemen?

Source: THE NEW YORK TIMES – The Houthis, an insurgent group based in northwestern Yemen, have been fighting the government intermittently since 2004, when the country was still led by President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a longtime autocrat and United States ally. While Yemen is mostly Sunni, the Houthis belong to …

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Golan attack ‘colossal failure’ for Hezbollah, analysts say

Source: Al Arabiya News – An Israeli helicopter attack killed five members of Hezbollah operating out of Syria over the weekend. Among the dead were senior Hezbollah figures and an Iranian general, raising tensions in Lebanon of a potential return to hostilities between the two neighboring countries. The attack – …

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How will Hezbollah respond to Israeli strike?

By Jean Aziz for Al-monitor – Translated by Pascale el-Khoury – Hezbollah announced the killing of six of its fighters in a raid Jan. 18 which it accused the Israeli air force of carrying out against a group of its members on Syrian territory. The incident has preoccupied the Lebanese …

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Graham Fuller’s Five Middle East Predictions for 2015

By Graham Fuller* – Source: grahamefuller.com – Only a fool offers longer term predictions about the Middle East. I offer the following longer terms predictions about the Middle East for 2015. 1- ISIS will decline in power and influence. I have stated earlier that I do not believe ISIS is …

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Why the War on Terror Isn’t Working?

By Ali Hashem for The Huffingtonpost – Why is the world still suffering from terrorism? There might be several answers, some that could be fitted in a book, or maybe books. Yet the reasons given are always the same, or to be specific, the answers aren’t convincing. No it’s not …

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