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Archive for 'Al-Qaeda'

At Fisk

Guest post by Sackcloth & Ashes When The Independent went entirely online in late March, its readers (or what were left of them) received solemn undertakings that it would keep its high standards of reporting and analysis, even if it was no longer in print. An op-ed by none other than Robert Fisk written on […]

Good men tragically killed in anti-al Qaeda strike

I won’t be mourning the deaths of the execrable American-born al Qaeda operative Adam Gadahn (aka “Azzam the American“) and that of Ahmed Farouq in US counter-terrorism operations, but I am deeply saddened by the accidental deaths of American hostage Warren Weinstein and Italian hostage Giovanni Lo Porto. Gadahn, you may recall, praised the likes […]


I’m quite surprised, I expect Cage would be quite surprised also. After years and years of seeing apologies for terrorism on television and reading them in op-eds it turns out that the vast majority of people see through Jihadi propaganda in about 5 seconds flat. For all of the Facebook likes and shares very few […]

Review of The Missing Martyrs: Terrorism, Institutions and the End of History

This is a cross-post by Mugwump The Missing Martyrs: Why there are so few Muslim Terrorists by Charles Kurzman (Oxford University Press, 2011), pp.256 I recently finished re-reading The End of History by Francis Fukuyama and I still accept his core argument: history is directional. The contradictions inherent in illiberal regimes, economic systems and ideology inevitably […]

Shock! Islamism may be involved in Nairobi massacre, says Guardian

After – in fact during – the hideous massacre in Nairobi The Guardian has really outclassed itself with its special brand of fatuity, which causes old Guardianastas like me to swallow a little vomit. There was Jenkins’ ludicrous piece.  It’s neatly summed up here and has been much linked to in derision. There was Giles […]

Friday 7th August, 1998

Guest post by Sackcloth and Ashes Fifteen years ago today al-Qaeda conducted two truck bombings against the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. 223 people were murdered (200 Kenyans, 12 Americans, and 11 Tanzanians), and over 4,000 were wounded. The bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam are Osama bin Laden’s forgotten atrocities […]

Soiling a classic

I have just commenced reading Émile Zola’s highly regarded novel, Germinal. I am reading an English language translation by Roger Pearson that was published in 2004 by Penguin. As well as translating the work, Pearson, a professor of French at Queen’s College, University of Oxford,  also wrote the introduction to this edition. The protagonist of […]