Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

Al Qaeda and the financial crisis

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uhrlau.jpgThe  global financial crisis has become a topic of feverish debate for al Qaeda sympathisers on militant Internet forums.

According to  the U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors  al Qaeda-linked propaganda on the Web and translates it for the benefit of security analysts and counter-terrorism officials, the militant chat rooms have been buzzing for weeks with excited comment.

“Now Sheikh Osama bin Laden has an historic opportunity to crash America completely. Al Qaeda, which has caused America to be ruined economically in Iraq and Afghanistan, has an opportunity to deliver the fatal blow,” wrote a member of a Turkish militant forum recently.  “Al Qaeda could bury America into the landfill of history with an operation similar to or greater than September 11.”

In a discussion on al-Hesbah, a password-protected forum linked to al Qaeda,  one participant gloated that the U.S. economy is “on the precipice”, SITE reported.

The shadows that lie behind Beirut’s glitzy façade

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Jouneih beachIn downtown Beirut, resurrected from the rubble of the 1975-90 civil war, one is spoilt for choice of smart restaurants, trendy bars and lively clubs. Performances by sexy Lebanese divas and belly dancers contribute generously to Lebanon’s gross domestic product by attracting Gulf Arab tourists enchanted with Lebanese talent and beauty — not necessarily in that order.

There is isn’t a single international designer who has not found his or her way to Beirut’s elegant boutiques and jewellery shops. On the other hand, Lebanese designers such as Elie Saab are dressing Hollywood stars these days.

Long list of enemies in Syria blast

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One of the problems with countries like Syria – secretive and authoritarian – is that whenever a bomb goes off or someone is assassinated, the list of possible suspects is extensive.

Bulldozer removes debris from blast site in front of security complex after explosion in Damascus REUTERS/Khaled Al HaririOne can draw up a long list of enemies who could have plotted and carried out Saturday’s rare car bomb attack on a major road near a Syrian state security complex and an intersection leading to a famous Shi’ite Muslim shrine. The blast, which killed 17 people including a brigadier general and his son, poses another test to Syria’s reputation for keeping a tight grip on dissent and maintaining stability in a troubled area. 

Algerian bombers strike again

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Police officer inspects the site of a car bomb attack in BouiraFor years Algerian authorities have said the country’s Islamist armed groups are on their last legs. Attacks are sometimes described as the last kicks of a dying horse.

However, the militants have proved themselves to be resilient. Bombings and ambushes over the past week have caused at least 65 deaths, making it the bloodiest in years, and the toll so far for August stands at more than 80. That is the worst month in a long time.

Turkey and the art of the coup

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erdogan.jpgThere can be few countries where the art of the coup is so finely honed as in Turkey, adapting as it does constantly to the spirit of the age, spawning over the decades its own enigmatic lexicon – the “Coup By Memorandum”, the “Post-Modern Coup”, the “Judicial Coup”, the ill-starred “e-Coup”.

Now newspapers (largely pro-government newspapers it should be said), gorge on tales of coup plots dubbed ‘Glove’, ‘Blonde Girl’ , ‘Moonlight’ and devote pages to a shadowy militant group code-named “Ergenekon”. Two retired military commanders, supposed members of the group, have been arrested at their homes on military compounds; a bold step by civilian authorities against an army that jealously guards its privileged status. Critics of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan call the arrests, also netting businessmen and journalists, a ‘revenge action’ for moves by the conservative judiciary to shut his AK party on charges of Islamist subversion.  Ertugrul Ozkok, editor of Hurriyet, a newspaper critical of the government ,  suggested authorities were riding roughshod over judicial processes. If  things are as they seem, he said, “none of us can feel comfortable any more. Any one of us can be taken from our homes and held in custody.”

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