• Questions and thoughts after the consulate attack in Benghazi.

Drones Hysteria & The Targeted Killing Programme

Much of the controversy over the American use of drones against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban is completely ignorant of the realities of warfare. Critiques must acknowledge this to be convincing.     Read the rest at The Risky Shift. .

Hague indicates change in British position on Syria

There have been two clear shifts in language from Foreign Secretary William Hague on Syria this week. The first is in drawing a distinction between a peaceful solution (the Annan plan and unity with the Russians) and further options, which may include military measures. The second is the apparently-recent assessment that Syria is “on the … Continue reading

Targeting Top Terrorists – Mughniyah and Hezbollah

Hezbollah is an interesting beast. For all the rubbish about its separate “political” and “military” wings, it really has two armed cohorts. The first is the force that bled the Israelis out of southern Lebanon and fought them to a standstill in 2006. The second is the loose group, closely tied to Iran, behind Hezbollah’s … Continue reading

The weird politics of arresting French terrorists

It’s probably inevitable just before an election, but a lot of the stuff being aimed at the Sarkozy government right now is ridiculous. Having been criticised for not doing enough with regard to jihadi terrorists, Sarkozy is being criticised for doing the things he didn’t do. Given the people being arrested, the scepticism really isn’t … Continue reading

How arming the Syrian rebels will make things worse

The Syrian rebellion is over a year old and there is little end in sight. Unsurprisingly, the rebels haven’t been able to overthrow a decades-old military apparatus whose primary aim has long been to protect the Assad family. It took nearly a year for Libya’s revolutionaries to defeat Gaddafi, and NATO and certain Arab states … Continue reading

Mohamed Merah and Sheikh Olivier Corel of Artigat

  Inevitably there’s an array of questions being asked about Mohamed Merah’s about the usual topics: his background, his ties and even his upbringing. I’ve hopefully contributed a bit to the discussion on his brother, Abdelkader Merah, in a previous post. There’s another character who should probably come in for a bit of scrutiny: Olivier … Continue reading

Was the Toulouse gunman’s brother expelled from Egypt for jihadi activity?

The jihadi ties in Mohammed Merah apparently run deep. Since the Internet is abuzz with his training in Pakistan and Afghanistan, I thought I’d have a look at his older brother Abdelkader and his associations. He is currently being held by French police after several hundred grams of explosives were found in his car. It … Continue reading

Toulouse – whodunit?

Little is clear about the three shootings in and near Toulouse targeting French soldiers and a Jewish school except for the gunman’s professionalism. In each incident, he closed with his targets, opened fire and – at least in the first two incidents – shot them in the head to ensure they were dead. He did … Continue reading

Hezbollah after Assad

In a previous article, I looked at the position Hamas finds itself in light of the Arab Spring, events in Syria being particularly important. Since that time, Hamas has publicly broken with Syria and endorsed the rebellion against Bashar Assad. Hamas was useful to the Iranian-led “resistance bloc”, but Syria is vital. For a regional … Continue reading

Lebanon’s old politics endure

Despite being the Arab world’s modern trend-setter, Lebanon today looks very much a part of the old Middle East. A year ago, as Tunisians and Egyptians marched for their freedom and Libyans, Yemenis and Syrians rose up for theirs, Lebanon’s government was in crisis, but for reasons dating back to the establishment of the state … Continue reading

  • All written content is copyright of Matt Wahnsiedler.