After close to two years of scoops, I decided to put this page on hiatus. I might start a new topic soon, at which time I will make an accouncement here and post a link. Meanwhile, followers are kindly redirected to my personal website: http://ammarabdulhamid.com/ and my Syria blog http://www.syrianrevolutiondigest.com/./ Thank you all for following my scoops.
Earlier today, President Obama voiced his concerns over use of chemical weapons in Syria to Mr. Putin, but does he have time to hear some Syrians voice their own concerns over the issue? For we are indeed concerned, Mr. President, concerned that you are becoming desensitized in this connection, desensitized to the point of continued inaction, of accepting a status quo of continued suffering and impunity, of hiding behind the convenient cover of popular apathy. But while an American President’s primary responsibility is to the American people, he is also answerable to countless of millions beyond America’s borders – people whose fate to a great degree is determined by his policies and decisions. Many of those people wish that you could hear their concerns and respond to them through meaningful actions.
Bassel Khalil fled the devastating conflict in Syria with only $400 in his pocket and, together with his family, found refuge in Egypt’s “Little Damascus” where he scrapes a living giving guitar lessons.
Computer hackers aren't an especially earnest bunch. After all, lulz (a corruption of the phrase "laugh out loud" and a reference to hackers' penchant for tomfoolery) was the primary objective of the hacker collective Anonymous before it graduated to more serious cyberoperations in the latter half of the 2000s. But if the hacking community likes to flaunt its glib side, it also has a rich history of political activism -- or "hacktivism" -- that has come to define it in the era of WikiLeaks. If there's one thing that unites hacktivists across multiple generations, it's dedication to the idea that information on the Internet should be free -- a first principle that has not infrequently put them at odds with corporations and governments the world over.
While al-Awlaki's influence as a propagandist seems to have died with him, al-Suri's strategic concept about the rise of a "leaderless network" of small jihadist cells -- thoroughly exposited in his 1,600-page web tract, The Global Islamic Resistance Call -- has become a principal al Qaeda playbook. He was taken into custody several years ago, interrogated by American intelligence personnel, then "rendered" to the Syrians, of all people. From there the trail goes dark, save for the tantalizing message from the Assad regime, released shortly after the start of the uprising, that he had been released. Who knows? The important point is that his blueprint is the one being followed. It is what to watch for: the rise of little terrorist teams in unexpected places. Not particularly skillful jihadists -- there are limits to how much can be learned online -- but motivated, dedicated, and skilled enough to cause damage that captures world attention.
Not since the countries of Africa tossed out their colonial masters several decades ago has there been this much optimism and excitement about the continent's prospects. While China's economic expansion has slowed, and while Europe and the United States try to dig themselves out of recession, Africa has not only weathered an up-and-down global economy -- it's been booming. Consider Nigeria's stock market, which gained 35 percent last year, or Uganda's, up 39 percent. But even more important is that real gains are finally being made on the ground in Africa today -- ones that speak to the possibility of a breakout phase that would lift millions out of utter poverty and great misery.
Providing shadow governance structures, especially where local councils involve the encouragement of voluntary participation (rather than through recruitment or ‘conscription’) indicates a future capacity to out-administer the incumbent central government. A review of resilient Syrian opposition groups or shadow administrations suggests that the nature of governance as well as the nature of warfare and violence is shaping the strategic logic of civil war transitions as a means of significant social change in the Middle East and North Africa.
From his city hall under Belgium's most imposing cathedral, Mayor Bart Somers is wracking his brains trying to figure out how to keep young Muslims from going to fight "holy war" in Syria against the Assad regime.
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