Tag Archive: Al-Qaeda

September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: V...

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Ten years ago today, 19 Islamist extremists from the terrorist group Al-Qaeda hijacked four planes in the United States.

American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center in New York’s North Tower.

United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower 17 minutes later.

Half an hour later, American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon.

United Airlines Flight 93 rebelled against the hijackers. It crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

A total of 2,977 people, excluding the 19 hijackers, died in the New York, Arlington and Shakesville attacks that day.

It marked the day when the world changed. It marked the day when enemies revealed themselves. It marked the day we realised what we had blindly stumbled into. It marked the day when the nature of war changed. It marked the day when the nature of terrorism changed. It marked the day when the nature of foreign policy, of the international community, of life itself, changed. An entire generation felt their mortality, and would never view the world in the same way again. It marked a struggle for cultural dominance, and for civil rights. It marked a rise in extremism. It marked a changing point in history.

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Osama Bin Laden, head of Al Qaeda and the man linked to 9/11, the 1998 American embassy bombings, and the 2000 USS Cole bombing in Yemen, is apparently dead.

President Obama said in a press conference that a targeted operation against Osama’s compound in Abbotabad, north of Islamabad, resulted in the death of Bin Laden, and three other adults (including, it seems, an adult son of Bin Laden). The government took six of his other children, and two wives, into custody.

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Protests in Bahrain are ongoing, despite a deadly crackdown by the government.



Bouthaina Shaaban, an adviser to Bashar al-Assad, told Al Jazeera that emergency law in Syria would “absolutely” lifted, but didn’t mention when.

This has been a key demand of protestors in Syria. Emergency law, in place since the 1963 coup that brought the Baath Party to power, imposes restrictions on public gatherings, movement, allows the arrest of “suspects or persons who threaten security”, authorises interrogation of any Syrian, monitoring of personal communication and state censorship of media.


Yemeni protests are ongoing, particularly in the volatile south of the country. This conflict has a strong anti-Islamist element. President Saleh has been backed by other states, in order to prevent the spread of Al Qaeda in Yemen and the entire Gulf.


Wefaq – the main Shia opposition group in Bahrain – has welcomed Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Saban al-Ahmad al-Sabah’s offer to mediate between the al-Khalifa ruling family of Bahrain and the Shia opposition.

070122-N-9594C-001 Manama, Bahrain - King of B...

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The chain of dominoes has brought down the regimes of Ben Ali in Tunisia and Mubarak in Egypt, may topple Gaddafi in Libya… and other presidents and monarchs are in peril. What has happened in these other countries? Welcome to the Spineless Liberal’s fact-file on the Arab Spring.

Divided up into four, including a brief description of the protests and possible outcomes – in this post, we discuss where the crackdowns have been hardest and where we may yet see a change in government. Enter Bahrain and Yemen.

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