News and Analysis (1/18/13)

The emerging picture, still incomplete, indicates the disastrous Algerian rescue attempt has not ended the hostage crisis triggered by the French intervention in Mali:

As West Africans states join the French intervention in Mali …

… “analysts are grappling with the scale of operations thought necessary to retake northern Mali from the rebels – with many commentators questioning how France could have underestimated the strength of its adversary”:

U.S. officials compare their restraint in Mali to the successful strategy in Somalia where “[p]olitical progress … appeared to catch up with military gains in September, when a newly elected parliament chose Mohamud as president, ending years of “transitional” governments deemed ineffective and corrupt” …

… and the al-Shabab rebels have PR problem due to the rift with a tweeting Alabama native “whom the FBI named as one of its most-wanted terrorists in November”:

“[A]bout 1,300 Muslim Brotherhood members and others, united in the election boycott and in demands that King Abdullah II cede some of his powers and give parliament more say in the country. Holding up small yellow cards mimicking a judge’s warning to players in soccer games, the protesters chanted: “Freedom, freedom. This is not a royal gift, but our right’”:

Vigelantes forcing Muslims to dump beer and harassing women to cover up earn the ire of mainstream Muslims and provide Islamophobes an opportunity to rabble-rouse:

The early elections spoil the PPP’s aim to be the first “civilian government to complete a full term,” but according to one political risk analyst, “the upside is that this situation remains constitutional and, as of now, it appears that a peaceful and democratic transition of power could still be in the cards”:

“A South Florida Muslim cleric who was jailed for 20 months on allegations he sent money to terrorists was freed Thursday by a judge who found the case so lacking in evidence he threw it out”:

“At the centre of its concerns, the IAEA wants access to the Parchin military complex southeast of Tehran where it believes explosives tests relevant for nuclear weapons development may have taken place, something Iran denies”:

“Residents said protesters threw stones at the local church after midday Friday Islamic prayers. Police fired tear gas to scatter the crowd, which is in one of Egypt’s poorest areas”:







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