Egypt’s Never-Ending Revolution

Moises Saman for The New York Times

Protesters gather in Cairo on Jan. 25, 2012, marking the first anniversary of the 2011 revolution.

By STEVEN A. COOK    Published: February 10, 2012

Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

CAIRO is tense and polarized. Egypt’s military is groping for solutions to the many political and economic problems that have beset the country since the fall of the old government. Various political parties and groups are united in their opposition to military rule despite being divided among themselves. The Muslim Brotherhood, meanwhile, is trying to remain above the fray and out of the line of fire by making deals with the army. And despite the promise of parliamentary elections and the prospect of a new constitution, the situation remains highly unstable.

One could be forgiven for thinking this is a description of early 2012, but it is actually an account of early 1954, when Gamal Abdel Nasser and his military colleagues, known as the Free Officers, first consolidated their power in Egypt. Continue reading

Morocco – Polisario objects to EU-Morocco deal

Mohamed Sidati (R)

Tue Feb 7, 2012 3:44AM GMT
The Polisario Front rebels of Western Sahara have objected to the February 3 EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement by COREPER on the European Commission’s mandate to negotiate with Morocco on behalf of the European Union.

The Polisario Front has been working for Western Sahara’s independence from Morocco for decades.

COREPER, from French Comité des représentants permanents, is the Committee of Permanent Representatives in the European Union.

Mohamed Sidati, who is the Polisario Front’s minister and representative in Europe, said on Monday that “the text of the mandate does not even refer to the Western Sahara, which has been illegally occupied by Morocco since 1975.”

Sidati criticized the instructions given by EU governments to the EU Commission to leave it open for Europe to resume its stealing of Western Sahara’s resources.

Continue reading

Syria violence spreads to Aleppo as bomb blasts kill 28

English: President Bashar al-Assad, Aleppo, Ab...

Image via Wikipedia

Further 175 hurt in security compound blasts but opposition blames attacks on security forces aiming to disrupt protests

Julian Borger, diplomatic editor guardian.co.uk, Friday 10 February 2012 17.07 GMT Article history

One of two bomb blasts sites in Syria‘s northern city of Aleppo. Photograph: Sana/Reuters

Violence spread to Syria‘s largest city, Aleppo, on Friday with two blasts outside security compounds that left 28 people dead.

The explosions outside military intelligence and police compounds were blamed on terrorists by the state media. Some 175 people were injured, the worst day Aleppo has seen since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began last year. The northern city and economic hub has been largely quiet, but protests had been planned for Friday. Anti-Assad activists accused the regime of setting off the blasts to discredit the opposition and disrupt demonstrations.

In Homs, government forces continued their siege of rebel-held districts and other opposition areas, going house to house arresting people in the Insha’at district and keeping up an artillery and tank barrage on Baba Amr.

The intensified campaign began with the failure of the UN security council to agree on a common position last weekend, when Russia and China vetoed a resolution backing an Arab League peace plan and calling on Assad to step down. Moscow and Beijing stuck to their positions on Friday, dashing any residual hopes of a diplomatic breakthrough in the security council. Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergey Ryabkov, accused the west of arming the rebel Free Syrian Army. Continue reading

The 2012 Anonymous Primer – What Anonymous is and What Anonymous is not

Guest Post by Natter

anonymous_internet.jpg

This is not a time line, biography, or history lesson, nor is it in any way complete. There are numerous articles and opinion pieces of varying accuracy and bias available on the web that already attempt to do those things.

We’ll begin with what Anonymous is not.

Anonymous is not legion (digital bots don’t count), omnipotent, monolithic, or all that particularly skilled at what it does (there are some individuals who are very skilled in differing fields to be mentioned later in this primer). Anonymous is not anonymous, nobody ever is on the Internet. Anonymous does forget, they forgot all about attacking the Zeta’s drug gang very quickly. The Zeta’s do not expect them.

Anonymous is not just some pimple-faced kid sitting in his parents basement smoking weed, eating Cheetos, and gulping down energy drinks, (though that does pretty thoroughly account for the bulk of the Johnnie-Come-Lately teenage fanboy’s after the summers of 2009-2011). Anonymous is not just some fat comic book store employee on a trailer court Dell with a hard drive stuffed with furry tentacle sex Anime and kiddie porn, (though it does seem to have way more then the normal percentage of such individuals). Anonymous is not just the Ron Paul, Alex Jones, Troofer crowd, (though more then a few of those types do infest the lower ranks). Those individuals are the cannon fodder.

Anonymous is not what it was in 2008, although many of the most influential members and faction leaders remain.

Continue reading

Gulf of Aden Security Review – February 10, 2012

Yemen: Security official gunned down by suspected al Qaeda-linked militants in Lahij; thousands of Yemenis gather in Sana’a in support of the upcoming election; separatists storm an electoral office in Lahij governorate; Sunni tribes and the al Houthis agree on a ceasefire; Yemeni jihadist releases a message urging others to help Ansar al Sharia form an Islamic state in Yemen

Horn of Africa: Ayman al Zawahiri announces that al Shabaab has joined al Qaeda; pro-government militia captures two villages from al Shabaab

Yemen Security Brief

  • Suspected al Qaeda-linked militants shot and killed a security official in the outskirts of the city of Lahij on the evening of February 9. Head of the Criminal Investigations Department in Hawta Major al Qadr al Humaidi was gunned down while returning home from work. The militants were reportedly on motorcycles.[1]
  • Thousands of Yemenis gathered in Sana’a’s Tagheer (Change) Square in support of the upcoming election on February 21. The protesters shouted slogans like, “February 21 is the day on which Yemen will be reborn,” and “Hadi, take the key, the slaughterer’s rule has ended,” referring to the sole candidate running and current Vice President Abdul Rab Mansour al Hadi.[2]
  • Local sources reported that tens of separatists stormed the Supreme Committee for Elections’ office in Masameer district in Lahij governorate. Factions of the separatists voiced their strong opposition to the upcoming election and called for boycotts.[3]
  • A truce calling for a ceasefire between the al Houthis and Sunni tribesmen in Kashar district in Hajjah governorate has been reached on February 9. Local residents, however, reported that gunfire could still be heard. Spokesman for the Hujoor tribe Zaid ‘Arjaash stated that the truce serves to end clashes, remove armed elements from their bases, and exchange their dead.[4]
  • A Yemeni jihadist released a message on jihadist forums on February 6 seeking the establishment of an Islamic state in Yemen. He called on other forum members to unite and form a party in order to help Ansar al Sharia fight its opposition, which includes Iran, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the secessionists.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Ayman al Zawahiri, the leader of al Qaeda, announced that al Shabaab has formally joined his terrorist organization. Zawahiri said in a video released on February 9, “Today, I have glad tidings for the Muslim Ummah that will please the believers and disturb the disbelievers, which is the joining of the Shabaab al-Mujahideen Movement in Somalia to Qaedat al-Jihad, to support the jihadi unity against the Zio-Crusader campaign and their assistants amongst the treacherous agent rulers.” The leader of al Shabaab, Ahmed Abdi Godane, pledged allegiance to Zawahiri in the video. Al Shabaab previously pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden in 2009.[6]
  • On February 9, a pro-government militia captured two villages near Beledweyne, in Somalia’s Hiraan region, from al Shabaab. Its commander, Col. Issack Ali Abdulle, claimed that the group is now in control of Afar Irdod and Dirimadle.[7]


[1] “Security Official Killed in Yemen,” Xinhua, February 10, 2012. Available: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2012-02/10/content_14577466.htm

[2] “Thousands Gather in Yemen to Back Upcoming Vote,” AFP, February 10, 2012. Available: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h7QQca9F5l7jW7rTSXf1uc-TCHgA?docId=CNG.3beccc0278e2946a62f96f80f24b3b55.f1

[3] “Supports of the Southern Movement Storm the Election Committee Office in Lahij,” Al Masdar Online, February 10, 2012. Available: http://almasdaronline.com/index.php?page=news&article-section=1&news_id=28614

[4] “Truce between Tribes and the Al Houthis in Hajjah, and Gunfire Continues,” Al Masdar Online, February 9, 2012. Available: http://almasdaronline.com/index.php?page=news&article-section=1&news_id=28608

[5] “Yemeni Jihadist Urges Contributions to Islamic State Project in Yemen,” SITE Intelligence Group, February 9, 2012. Available at SITE.

[6]“Zawahiri Announces Joining of Shabaab to al-Qaeda,” SITE Intelligence Group, February 9, 2012. Available at SITE.
 “Somalia’s Militants Group al-Shabab joins al-Qaeda, Qaida Leader Says in Video,” AP, February 9, 2012. Available: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/somalias-militants-group-al-shabab-joins-al-qaida-qaida-leader-says-in-video/2012/02/09/gIQAEvGV1Q_story.html

[7] “Pro-Government Militia Claims Capturing New Areas in HIraan Region,” Radio Bar-Kulan, February 9, 2012. Available: http://somaliamediamonitoring.org/?p=1010