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November 08 2013

al-Qaeda chief orders dismantling of ISIL faction in syria

#al-Qaeda chief orders dismantling of ISIL faction in #syria

This still image from video obtained on October 26, 2012 courtesy of the Site Intelligence Group shows al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri speaking in a video, from an undisclosed location, released by al-Qaeda’s media arm. (Photo: AFP / Site Intelligence Group)

Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri has ordered the disbanding of the main jihadi faction in Syria, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, in an audio message aired on al-Jazeera Friday. The tape appears to (...)


September 30 2013

ElBaradei warns against 'fascist' media campaign in Egypt Ahram Online, 29th of September 2013

ElBaradei warns against ’fascist’ media campaign in Egypt

Ahram Online, 29th of September 2013

Former Egyptian vice president Mohamed ElBaradei criticised on Sunday what he described as a fascist media campaign that does not uphold the value of human life.

On his official Twitter account, the former leader of the Constitution Party complained about a “systematic fascist campaign by ‘sovereign sources’ and ‘independent’ media that are against the insistence on upholding the value of human life and the inevitability of national consensus. Violence only begets violence.”

Several state-owned and independent media outlets have been critical of political figures, including ElBaradei, who opposed recent security measures against the Muslim Brotherhood.

ElBaradei resigned from his position as vice president on 14 August in objection to the violent dispersal of pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo by security forces, which left hundreds of protesters dead, saying he was troubled by the loss of life “particularly as I believe it could have been avoided."

Following his resignation, he left the country for Europe.

The Nobel peace laureate has been subjected to a smear campaign by some journalists and politicians who charged that his resignation was “unpatriotic” and accused him of abandoning the government at a critical moment.

ElBaradei was recently accused by opponents of collaborating with the international Muslim Brotherhood organisation to sabotage the post-Morsi government.

However, no meeting between ElBaradei and members of the Muslim Brotherhood was confirmed.

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September 09 2013

Inside the Coursera Hype Machine

Inside the #Coursera Hype Machine

The quest continues among venture capitalists to find the next Facebook, the next Google, the next eBay—and the Silicon Valley hype machine is suggesting that it might be Coursera, the “leader of the pack” among companies trying to make money with massive open online courses, or MOOCs.

Tech Mania Goes to College

Are MOOCs—massive open online courses—the utopia of affordable higher education, or just the latest fad?

August 12 2013

Division among Syria's Islamist groups is growing deeper

Division among Syria’s Islamist groups is growing deeper

The global Al Qaeda-led jihad movement is witnessing sharp divisions that seem no longer containable. For two main reasons, Al Zawahiri can’t allow the leader of ISIS, with its mainly Iraqi fighting force, to annex Al Nusra with its mainly Syrian fighters to his virtual state.

The first reason is of a practical nature: a merger of Al Qaeda-affiliated Islamist groups in Iraq and Syria would focus effective power in the hands of Mr Al Baghdadi, turning Al Zawahiri into a mere symbolic leader with no real leverage on the ground.

The second reason is ideological. Syria, known in religious texts as Al Sham, holds a special sentimental and religious value for fervent extremist fighters. They regard the Syrian war as an act of obedience to the Prophet’s commandments and a realisation of his vision.

In jihadist ideology, then, the fight in Syria takes precedence to any other fight. Syria has indeed become the largest ground for jihadist battles in the world and the man who prevails on this battlefield will hold effective power.

Tu auras pu déjà lire ceci dans le Akhbar :’s-internal-war-syria
mais il n’est pas anodin de retrouver ça dans The National d’Abu Dhabi.

July 29 2013

Exclusive : How Saudi Arabia picked leader of the Syrian exile opposition

Exclusive: How Saudi Arabia picked leader of the Syrian exile opposition

This is what has not been reported about how Saudi Arabia picked the leader of the Syrian National Coalition, with the full support of the (fake) progressive boy of Bandar, Michel Kilu.  Ahmad Al-Jarba, the tribal polygamist who was unknown in opposition circles inside and outside Syria, was picked purely because he is related by marriage to Saudi King Abdullah.  The Saudi King is currently married to two sisters from Al-Jarba family: Tadi and Malika Al-Jarba (his other two wives are from the Sha’lan and the Muhanna families.)  Enjoy your Syrian polygamist “revolution”.

PS Correction. Tadi and Malikah are cousins and not sisters.

June 27 2013

Why Russia evacuated its naval base in Syria -

Why Russia evacuated its naval base in Syria -

In a surprise move, Russia has pulled all its military and nondiplomatic civilian personnel out of Syria. That includes a complete evacuation of the naval supply station in the Mediterranean port of Tartus, which is often discussed as one of Russia's key reasons for its long and stubborn support of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.


Other Russian analysts agree that, whatever the reasons for Russia's personnel pullout, it probably doesn't signal any change of the hard, pro-Assad position that Mr. Putin most recently reiterated at last week's G8 summit in Northern Ireland.

“Russia's position hasn't changed. In fact it's getting tougher,” says Sergei Strokan, a foreign affairs columnist with the pro-business Moscow daily Kommersant.

“The reasons behind this evacuation probably come down to security. That base's importance has been greatly overrated in Western reporting. It just isn't that big a deal. So, I guess the thinking is, why risk some major incident that the rebels might stage by attacking Russians at this sensitive moment when all the hopes are pinned on a new Geneva peace conference?”

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