December 15, 2010 |
Dozens of Iranians were feared dead or injured after a coordinated suicide bombing Wednesday morning in the southeastern port of Chabahar targeted a procession of worshipers observing an important Shiite Muslim holiday, state media reported. Conflicting reports of one or more explosions estimated the number of deaths at between 21 and 50. Initial reports described an attack outside the Hossein Mosque in Chabahar and another one or two failed bombings. The Jundallah organization, a militant Sunni group that claims to represent Iran's ethnic Baluch minority, took responsibility for the attack shortly after it happened, according to the Dubai-based Al Arabiya news channel.
December 6, 2010 |
A majority of Muslims around the world welcome a significant role for Islam in their countries' political life, according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center, but have mixed feelings toward militant religious groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. According to the survey, majorities in Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan and Nigeria would favor changing current laws to allow stoning as a punishment for adultery, hand amputation for theft and death for those who convert from Islam to another religion.
December 2, 2010 |
Syrian President Bashar Assad described Hamas as an "uninvited guest" in his country in confidential conversations with American lawmakers, and appeared to suggest he would be willing to give up the alliance in exchange for incentives, according to several documents contained in the trove of leaked diplomatic cables posted online by the website WikiLeaks. But even as Assad appeared willing to downgrade ties with the Palestinian militant group that rules the Gaza Strip, he brushed off pressure to change the dynamics of his friendship with Iran.
December 1, 2010 |
The Middle East has been suspicious of Iran for years, but the recent disclosure of diplomatic cables highlights the contempt that has spurred Arab countries to strengthen their defenses, including Saudi Arabia's $60-billion deal with the United States to buy missiles and F-15 fighter jets. Confidential memos from U.S. embassies made public over the weekend by WikiLeaks are not likely to reshape the region's political maneuverings. But they have further agitated the ill will between Tehran and Arab capitals over Iran's nuclear enrichment program and its influence on militant groups in Iraq, the Gaza Strip and other locales.
November 4, 2010 |
The State Department on Wednesday formally designated an Iranian anti-government group as a foreign terrorist organization, which some analysts took as a gesture of U.S. goodwill toward Tehran. The group, Jundallah, is a Sunni Muslim organization that has killed dozens of Iranian civilians and military personnel with the declared aim of defending the Baluch minority in Iran's remote southeastern corner. Tehran has accused the United States of supporting the group to destabilize the government, and has demanded that Washington regard Jundallah as a terrorist organization.
October 31, 2010 |
U.S. efforts to weaken the Al Qaeda branch in Yemen have collided with that nation's political reality as President Ali Abdullah Saleh needs foreign support to defeat militants but cannot appear to appease Western interests in a country where distrust of America runs deep. Yemen is a freewheeling mix of clan loyalties, rebellions in the north and south and suspicion of the government that in recent years has made it an ideal gathering ground for Al Qaeda. Echoing the quandary Washington faces battling militants in Pakistan, Yemen is marked by corruption and, at times, what seems to be a calculated inability to crush militant elements.
October 30, 2010 |
The parcel bombs sent from Yemen destined for the United States have hallmarks of the militant group Al Qaeda or its affiliate Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on Saturday. "I think we would agree with that, that it does contain all the hallmarks of al Qaeda and in particular Al Qaeda AP," she said in an interview on ABC News, referring to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. She also said on CNN that it appeared that the bombs contained the same type of explosives used in the failed Christmas Day bombing attempt of a U.S. airliner flying from Amsterdam to Detroit.
September 20, 2010 |
Two gunmen opened fire Sunday on tourists near one of India's largest mosques, injuring two Taiwanese men before making their escape on a motorcycle, raising security concerns two weeks before India hosts a major international sporting event. The tourists were shot about 11:10 a.m. as they were boarding a bus parked near Jama Masjid, a mosque in New Delhi's crowded, labyrinthine old city, police said, sparking a major manhunt and a security alert in the Indian capital and Mumbai.
September 13, 2010 |
Sheik Sabah Janabi wears a painful-looking metal brace on his left hand, its rods pressing into the puffy flesh like the spring on a mousetrap. He fumbles a Marlboro from a pack with his good hand, sucks in the smoke and frowns. In this farming town that was a center of extremism when Iraq fell into its nihilistic civil war, Janabi sits in a darkened room, his white shirt half tucked in and his blue tie slightly askew. He talks about how gunmen tried to kill him three months ago and describes himself as a leader under siege.
August 25, 2010 |
Insurgents in army uniforms stormed a hotel in the Somali capital Tuesday, killing at least 31 people, including six lawmakers, in an hourlong blaze of gunfire, explosions and smoke. The Shabab movement, an Islamic militant group fighting the frail internationally backed government of Somalia for years, claimed responsibility for the attack. Statements from the group cited by news organizations indicated that the assault was part of a "massive war" it declared Monday against the Somali government and the United Nations-backed peacekeeping force propping it up. Perpetually in crisis, the violent Horn of Africa country of Somalia has been a source of instability since the early 1990s.