News and Analysis (5/30/12)

“In 2009, when President Obama was first known to have authorized a missile strike on Yemen, U.S. officials said there were no more than 300 core AQAP members. That number has grown in recent years to 700 or more…. In addition, hundreds of tribesmen have joined AQAP in the fight against the U.S.-backed Yemeni government”:

“Far from uncovering radical terror networks, [undercover FBI informant,] Monteilh [,] ended up traumatising the community he was sent into. Instead of embracing calls for jihad or his questions about suicide bombers or his claims to have access to weapons, Monteilh was instead reported to the FBI as a potentially dangerous extremist”:

A comprehensive analysis on the first round of the Egyptian presidential elections:

His swing to the right having procured a place in the runoff election, Morsi now swings back to the center offering “to place Christians in top government jobs” and promising women “full rights in jobs and education” and “to freely choose the attire that suits them”:

Books recently published by Canadian author Irshad Manji feed the debate between “hardline” and “reformed” interpreters and followers of Islam …

… but the fact that puritanical Islamists can ban Western icons from Indonesia, but they are impotent to end the native  “dangdut” entertainment, suggesting that their power in the broader society may be more driven by fears of Western cultural imperialism rather than agreement with their interpretation of religious law”:

“A Pakistan doctor who assisted the CIA in tracking down Osama bin Laden was sentenced to 33 years in prison for conspiring with an Islamist militant commander, a verdict that could make it more difficult for Washington to argue for his release”:
“It was not until the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979 and the Iraq-Iran war (1980-1988) culminating with the Iraq war in 2003 that the relationship between the Arab world and Iran was again re-framed in the context of the Sunni-Shiite schism”:

According to a recent survey, “[a]bout 50% of Palestinians said they would vote for jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti when and if he decides to participate in the presidential election… [and] approximately 80% of Palestinians said they preferred ‘peaceful resistance’ against Israel”:

“In the wake of the Houla massacre, the United States and several other countries expelled Syrian diplomats to protest the killings. Survivors blamed pro-regime gunmen for at least some of the carnage in Houla”:

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