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Posts Tagged ‘terrorism’

(This post first appeared on May 19, 2011 on the blog INSCT on Security, Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, Syracuse University)

With President Barack Obama set to deliver his second major speech on the Middle East today, and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu scheduled to deliver his own speech to a joint session of Congress next week, the Palestinian National Authority’s President Mahmoud Abbas’ recent call to the international community to recognize the State of Palestine (“The Long Overdue Palestinian State”, The New York Times, May 17) was timed well. By preempting Obama and Netanyahu, Abbas has compelled both statesmen to address the urgency of Palestinian national aspirations. With Abbas’ formal call for UN recognition, the Palestinians have stated in no uncertain terms that they will no longer wait for this status to be bestowed at some future time at the conclusion of final status negotiations with Israel—recognition of statehood will come this September, whether Israel or the US likes it or not. (more…)

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The killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan has been hailed by many political pundits and policymakers as marking the beginning of the end for the Al Qaeda organization he founded and led for over two decades. Yet, the truth is that bin Laden’s death is merely the nail in the coffin of the organization. The reality is that the appeal of Al Qaeda has long been on the wane—the recent heady months of the “Arab Spring” demonstrates just how little resonance bin Laden and Al Qaeda have for most people in the Middle East and North Africa, which was once a much more fertile recruiting ground. This week’s suicide attack in Morocco by the Al Qaeda affiliated group operating in North Africa is further evidence that the organization has lost a great deal of ground in the last five years. The take home message from this latest act of terrorism is not that Al Qaeda continues to exert a powerful influence, but rather just how limited its range of influence really is. Moroccans showed little sympathy whatsoever for Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and instead rallied behind the king—an action which is the exact opposite of the dissent to incumbent rule that Al Qaeda hopes to generate. (more…)

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