Growing evidence suggests that the influence of the Islamic State organization has reached the South Asian, Muslim-majority country of Bangladesh. The country has long been home to small, but significant, numbers of radicals from both local militant groups, such as the Jama’at ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), the country’s most significant local jihadist group, and those linked to transnational jihadist formations, such as al-Qaeda. However, the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate and the promise of it’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, to return to all Muslims their “dignity, might, rights and leadership” seem to have infused a renewed Islamist fervor within a section of Bangladeshi youths and among existing radical elements. 
Arrests Expose Militant Links
One of the clearest indications of this development came in late September 2014 when the government’s arrest of a British citizen of Bangladeshi origin, Samiun Rahman (a.k.a. Ibn Hamdan), who lived in the capital Dhaka’s Kamalapur area, unearthed an apparent Islamic State recruitment drive in the country (Daily Star [Dhaka], September 30, 2014). Read the rest of this entry »
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s alleged weapons of mass destruction never came up once at VP Cheney’s dinner. An invasion, the participants agreed, would be designed to trigger a democratic process in Iraq, thus completing a peaceful Arab circle around Israel. Read the rest of this entry »
Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 12 Issue: 4
February 21, 2014 02:19 PM By: Andrew McGregor
SUCCESSFUL OFFENSIVE ESTABLISHES HOUTHI SHIITE MOVEMENT AS A POLITICAL FORCE IN THE NEW YEMEN
Since last October, the Zaydi Shiite Houthis of northern Yemen’s Sa’ada governorate have been involved in simultaneous conflicts with the Zaydi Shiites of the Hamid Confederation of tribes in neighboring Amran governorate and Salafist Sunnis concentrated in the town of Dammaj in Sa’ada governorate. Propelled by an apparently new armory of heavy weapons, the Houthists began to push south into neighboring Amran governorate in early January, eventually defeating the powerful al-Ahmar clan, leaders of the Hashid Arab confederation. By the time a ceasefire could be arranged in early February, Houthist forces were in the Arhab region, only 40 kilometers from the Yemeni capital of Sana’a (AFP, January 30).
The Zaydi, also known as “Fiver Shi’a,” constitute over 40 percent of Yemen’s population, though only a portion of this total are Houthis. They have traditionally had few major doctrinal differences with Yemen’s Sunni Shafi’i majority, but have run into conflict with the growing numbers of anti-Shiite Salafists in Sa’ada governorate. In the two years since the uprising that deposed Yemen’s old regime, the Houthis have made a dramatic transition from a Sa’ada-based rebel movement to an important and recognized political player in Yemen. Read the rest of this entry »
Thursday, January 30, 2014, 00:01 by
Paul Micallef Grimaud and Philip Mifsud
Traditionally businesses treat physical assets as their most valuable. Intangible assets are, however, increasingly relevant. This is particularly true of intellectual property. The new challenge for businesses is keeping the ingredients that define their product or service secret.
The European Commission’s Proposal for a Directive on the Protection of Trade Secrets published in November 2013 will likely be well received by European commercial players across the spectrum. Its objective: a uniform level of protection and certainty for trade secrets throughout the single market.
As defined, a trade secret has three constituent elements: (i) the information must be confidential; (ii) it should have commercial value because of its confidentiality; and (iii) the trade secret holder should have made reasonable efforts to keep it confidential.
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Indian, Chinese and Russian officials will meet on Friday to discuss Afghanistan. Is there substance to this trilateral?
By Ankit Panda January 16, 2014
On Friday, senior officials from India, China, and Russia will meet in Beijing for a trilateral discussion on the emerging security situation in Afghanistan ahead of the United States’ drawdown and the upcoming general election scheduled for April. Cooperation between the three powers on Afghanistan has been burgeoning since 2013 and could become a major factor for Afghan leadership following a U.S. withdrawal.
A new book looks at the damage the fugitive American whistleblower and his Snowdenistas are doing to Western interests
By Edward Lucas 8:27PM GMT 24 Jan 2014
Edward Snowden is, in the eyes of many, a secular saint. The fugitive NSA contractor has sacrificed his career and risked his freedom to expose systematic wrongdoing by Western intelligence agencies: America and Britain spy on other Western countries; they hoover up and store vast quantities of information about domestic emails and phone calls; they use secret court orders to force cooperation, and they can bug almost any international communication.
After his daring heist of secrets from America’s National Security Agency, the 30-year-old has fled to a secret hiding place where he awaits deserved vindication. It is the stuff of spy movies – played out in real life. Read the rest of this entry »
Elements of the Irish-English settlement may offer a model for how a Kosovar-Serbia deal might be made, including recognition that the creation of an ethnic state cannot proceed peacefully on the back of forcing an ethnic minority to join.
By Gerard M. Gallucci
The history of Ireland presents interesting points of similarity with that of Serbia and Kosovo, as well as clear differences.
At the dawn of history, Ireland was a land of Celtic tribes. It was one of the first nations to be converted to Christianity in the 5th century. The Celts struggled to maintain their existence through waves of invasions by Vikings, Normans and English. The history of the Irish from the 12th Century to the last was one of reaction to foreign rule and the struggle to preserve their Catholic faith. The Irish sometimes made their accommodations with their foreign rulers but never abandoned the quest to regain independence. In 1916, in the Easter Rising, the Irish rose again against English rule. The small band of rebels in Dublin didn’t expect a military victory but to reaffirm the Irish demand for independence. They were defeated in six days. But thanks to the British overreaction – they executed all the leaders and imprisoned many – the Irish people rallied around the nationalist cause and supported a guerrilla war that finally led the UK to accept a treaty in 1921. It recognized the independence of the Irish Free State.
The British, however, forced the Irish to accept a deal which kept Ireland within the British Commonwealth and under the British Crown. It also allowed the Protestant majority in the northern six counties to opt to remain part of the United Kingdom. Ireland only declared itself a sovereign state in 1937 and a republic in 1949. It was only in 1999 that the Republic of Ireland gave up its claim on the north. Read the rest of this entry »