Andrew McGregor

Andrew McGregor is Director of Aberfoyle International Security, a Toronto-based agency specializing in security issues related to the Islamic world. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto’s Dept. of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations in 2000 and is a former Research Associate of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs. In October 2007 he took over as managing editor of the Jamestown Foundation’s Global Terrorism Analysis publications. He is the author of an archaeological history of Darfur published by Cambridge University in 2001 and publishes frequently on international security issues. His latest book is A Military History of Modern Egypt, published by Praeger Security International in 2006. Dr. McGregor provides commentary on military and security issues for newspapers (including the New York Times and Financial Times), as well as making frequent appearances on radio (BBC, CBC Radio, VOA, Radio Canada International) and television (CBC Newsworld, CTV Newsnet, and others).

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Articles by Andrew McGregor

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Preparing for the Next Stage: Islamic Jihad’s Gaza War Andrew McGregor Days after the September 24 ceasefire that ended Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, thousands of members of Islamic

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THE HEZBOLLAH WILD CARD IN THE CONFLICT IN GAZA Andrew McGregor The ongoing Israeli military operations in Gaza have benefitted from the knowledge that Israel’s northern border with Lebanon is

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HOUTHIS BATTLE ARMY AND TRIBAL MILITIAS FOR CONTROL OF YEMEN’S AMRAN GOVERNORATE Andrew McGregor At the conclusion of a three-day battle, experienced Houthist fighters stormed the ancient Yemeni walled city

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EGYPT’S DOMESTIC SECURITY THREAT: AJNAD MISR AND THE “RETRIBUTION FOR LIFE” CAMPAIGN Andrew McGregor A Cairo-based extremist group using the name Ajnad Misr (Soldiers of Egypt) has intensified its bombing

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WILL ISIS SPUR NEW STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS FOR SAUDI ARABIA? Andrew McGregor In some ways, the recent triumphs of the radical Sunni Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) inside Iraq

Andrew McGregor Interviewed by Rediff

The managing editor of Jamestown's Terrorism Program, Andrew McGregor, was interviewed by Rediff.com on potential U.S. intervention in Iraq and how this would affect the ISIS militants.

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IRAQI COUNTER-INSURGENCY TACTICS UNDER FIRE Andrew McGregor Ineffective military tactics may have caused more damage to relations between the Iraqi National Army (INA) and the disaffected Sunni population of northwestern

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ATTACK ON CHINESE COMPANY IN CAMEROON DRAGS YAOUNDÉ INTO CAMPAIGN AGAINST BOKO HARAM Andrew McGregor An assault on a Chinese road-building camp in northern Cameroon is the latest in a

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ALGERIA FIGHTING A TWO-FRONT WAR WITH ISLAMIST MILITANTS Andrew McGregor The continuing break-up of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) into northern and southern factions under rival commanders Abd al-Malik

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CRISIS IN SOUTH SUDAN PART ONE:  SHAKE-UP IN MILITARY LEADERSHIP REFLECTS TRIBAL CRISIS Andrew McGregor As the security situation in the Sudan continues to deteriorate, Government of South Sudan (GoSS)

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LIBYA PURCHASES BLOODLESS RETURN OF ITS EASTERN OIL FACILITIES In a move that may help restore revenues to a desperate national government in Tripoli, Libya’s ruling General National Council (GNC)

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NEW REBEL MOVEMENT DECLARED IN NORTHERN MALI Andrew McGregor On March 18, a statement issued from the “military base of Hassi Labiad” in the name of the political and military

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IRAQI PRESIDENT ACCUSES QATAR AND SAUDI ARABIA OF WAGING A TERRORIST WAR AGAINST THE IRAQI GOVERNMENT  Andrew McGregor As Iraq descends further into a pattern of intensive sectarian violence and

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EGYPTIAN MILITARY OFFENSIVE IN THE SINAI FOLLOWS TOURIST MASSACRE  Andrew McGregor  Egyptian security forces have responded to the latest terrorist blow to Egypt’s vital tourism industry with a series of

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SUCCESSFUL OFFENSIVE ESTABLISHES HOUTHI SHIITE MOVEMENT AS A POLITICAL FORCE IN THE NEW YEMEN Andrew McGregor Since last October, the Zaydi Shiite Houthis of northern Yemen’s Sa’ada governorate have been

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BERBER-ARAB CLASHES IN ALGERIA’S M’ZAB VALLEY  Andrew McGregor  The ongoing Berber cultural revival in North Africa has gone hand-in-hand with a new political assertiveness. In nations such as Libya, Algeria

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SOUTH SUDAN’S TRIBAL “WHITE ARMY” – PART TWO: ARMS AND THE OVERTHROW OF TRADITIONAL ORDER Andrew McGregor An unprecedented cattle raid by members of South Sudan’s Murle tribe on the

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SOUTH SUDAN’S TRIBAL “WHITE ARMY” – PART ONE: CATTLE RAIDS AND TRIBAL RIVALRIES Andrew McGregor One of the most important developments in the ongoing political and tribal violence in South

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SYRIA’S ARMY OF THE MUHAJIRIN PLEDGES ALLEGIANCE TO THE ISLAMIC STATE OF IRAQ AND SYRIA  Andrew McGregor  On December 2, the Islamist Army of Muhajirin and Ansar in Bilad al-Sham

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ANSAR BAYT AL-MAQDIS INTENSIFIES ASSASSINATION CAMPAIGN IN THE SINAI  Andrew McGregor  Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM) is the Egyptian branch of a Gazan Islamist organization that first appeared in the Sinai

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MERGER OF NORTHERN MALI REBEL MOVEMENTS CREATES POLITICAL DISTANCE FROM ISLAMIST MILITANTS  Andrew McGregor  Proclaiming that the move was the only means of securing peace in northern Mali, the three

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LOW EXPECTATIONS SURROUND LEBANESE MILITARY DEPLOYMENT IN TRIPOLI Andrew McGregor The latest intervention of the Lebanese Army into the coastal city of Tripoli to force an end to armed clashes

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AL-QAEDA STRIKES U.S. DRONE BASE IN YEMEN’S HADRAMAWT GOVERNORATE Andrew McGregor Yemen’s al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has claimed that its September 30 attack on a military base in

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OPERATION HURRICANE EXODUS: MEND THREATENS CHEVRON PRODUCTION IN NIGERIA Andrew McGregor Nigerian militants in the oil-rich Niger Delta have recently threatened American oil operations in that region as part of

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JIHADIS CHALLENGE THE ROLE OF THE ARAB ARMIES Andrew McGregor With one Arab army locked in battle against rebels (including Sunni Islamists) in Syria and another apparently set on cleansing

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MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD DISSENTER KAMAL AL-HELBAWY SAYS CAMPAIGN TO RESTORE MURSI THREATENS THE MOVEMENT’S FUTURE Andrew McGregor Since his resignation from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood in March 2011, Kamal al-Helbawy has been

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UGANDAN REBEL MOVEMENT REEMERGES ALONG THE OIL-BEARING UGANDAN/CONGOLESE BORDER Andrew McGregor The once moribund Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan rebel movement now operating out of remote bases in the

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HEZBOLLAH DEVISES STRATEGY TO DEAL WITH SYRIAN FALLOUT  Andrew McGregor  Despite condemnation for their military role in Syria from Sunni elements in Lebanon and abroad, the leader of the Shiite

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POLITICAL AND SECTARIAN POLARIZATION MAY SPARK A NEW PHASE OF THE EGYPTIAN REVOLUTION Andrew McGregor One year into the presidency of Muslim Brother Muhammad al-Mursi, Egypt finds itself consumed by

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MUSLIM BROTHERS’ SPIRITUAL LEADER YUSUF AL-QARADAWI CONDEMNS HEZBOLLAH Andrew McGregor There are few more prominent preachers in the Islamic world than Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian Islamic scholar now based

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ARMED CLASHES NARROWLY AVERTED IN THE SINAI AFTER ENIGMATIC ABDUCTION OF EGYPTIAN SECURITY PERSONNEL  Andrew McGregor  A potentially explosive situation in Egypt’s volatile Sinai Peninsula appears to have been averted

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ARABS AND TUAREG CLASH IN STRUGGLE FOR DESTINY OF NORTHERN MALI Andrew McGregor New fighting between northern Mali’s Arab community and the Tuareg rebels working with French intervention forces in

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ISLAMIST VIOLENCE IN TRIPOLI DEFIES EFFORTS TO RESTORE SECURITY IN LIBYA   Andrew McGregor An estimated 80 percent of the two-story French Embassy in the suburban al-Andlus neighborhood of Tripoli was

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CHAD WITHDRAWS FROM NORTHERN MALI AS PLANNING FOR UN FORCE BEGINS Andrew McGregor Chad has begun the withdrawal of its expeditionary force of roughly 2,250 troops from northern Mali as

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SOUTH AFRICAN MILITARY DISASTER IN THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: PART ONE – THE REBEL OFFENSIVE Andrew McGregor While international attention focused on efforts to deal with the fallout from Mali’s

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SHOCK WAVES CONTINUE FROM MYSTERIOUS SUICIDE BLAST AT U.S. EMBASSY IN ANKARA Andrew McGregor In terms of scale alone, the February 1 suicide bombing that killed a Turkish security guard

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DEAD OR ALIVE? THE FATE OF MOKHTAR BELMOKHTAR Andrew McGregor Despite claims that “terrorist kingpins” have been eliminated in the secret war being fought in the Adrar des Ifoghas Mountains

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ASSASSINATION SPARKS POLITICAL CRISIS IN TUNISIA  Andrew McGregor  Tunisia’s political crisis deepened this week with the emergence of a split in the ruling Islamist Ennahda Party and the subsequent resignation

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SALAFISTS AND SECULARISTS CHALLENGE THE AUTHORITY OF TUNISIA’S ISLAMIST RULERS Growing tensions in Tunisia between that nation’s Islamist government, secular political forces and radical Salafists exploded on February 6 following

Commentary: Did France Move Too Soon in Mali?

When an Islamist offensive took the Malian town of Konna late last week, France decided to respond with a military intervention it declared was necessary to prevent Islamist forces from

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ISLAMIST GROUPS MOUNT JOINT OFFENSIVE IN MALI  Just as the days of cooperation between the three Islamist groups that seized control of northern Mali last year seemed to be over,

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SUDANESE SECURITY FORCES RAID ISLAMIST TRAINING CAMP IN NATIONAL PARK  A raid earlier this month on what was described as a Salafi-Jihadist training camp in a remote part of Sudan’s

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TUNISIAN PRESIDENT WARNS OF GROWING STRENGTH OF SALAFI-JIHADI MOVEMENT Like Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Tunisia’s Islamist-dominated government is facing often violent demands for the immediate imposition of an Islamic state from

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AL-QAEDA SUPPORT IN NORTHERN MALI BEGINS TO CRUMBLE AS ALLIES PULL BACK It was an alliance that shocked security professionals and political observers—a coalition of Tuareg military veterans, Muslim militants

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ALGERIA WORKING TO SPLIT TUAREG ISLAMISTS FROM AL-QAEDA IN NORTHERN MALI Algeria has modified its stance on the conflict in northern Mali by dropping its insistence on a mediated settlement

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LIBYAN ISLAMIST ABD AL-HAKIM BELHADJ ON BENGHAZI CONSULATE ATTACK One of the most prominent Islamists to emerge as a political power in Libya’s post-Qaddafi era has offered his views on the

Instability in Nigeria: The Domestic Factors

On June 19, 2012, The Jamestown Foundation held a conference on Boko Haram entitled "Threats to Nigeria's Security: Boko Haram and Beyond" at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in

Perspectives on the Future of the Somali Jihad

For nearly a year now, the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia has been waging a life or death struggle for survival against the repeated assaults of a radical Islamist

Counterterrorism Operations Continue in Tajikistan

Having recently abandoned the pretense that they were running anti-narcotics sweeps rather than counterterrorist operations in eastern Tajikistan, the Interior Ministry and the State Committee for National Security (GKNB) announced

Sudan’s Oil Industry Faces Major Security Challenges

Sudan’s growing oil industry has already transformed the capital of Khartoum and has the potential to raise living standards throughout the country. The industry, dominated by Asian multinationals, nevertheless faces

Darfur’s JEM Rebels Bring the War to Khartoum

Last weekend’s daring raid on greater Khartoum by Darfur’s rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) has shaken the regime and effectively disrupted the already morbid peace process in West Sudan.

Mining for Energy: China’s Relations with Niger

A latecomer to the exploitation of foreign energy resources, China has resorted to developing economic relationships with high-risk yet energy-rich nations like Niger in order to maintain its extraordinary pace

Mining for Energy: China’s Relations with Niger

A latecomer to the exploitation of foreign energy resources, China has resorted to developing economic relationships with high-risk yet energy-rich nations like Niger in order to maintain its extraordinary pace

TURKEY AT THE INTERSECTION OF ISLAM AND KEMALISM

Tuesday’s announcement of the re-nomination of Turkey’s Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul for the post of president of Turkey puts the nation’s fiercely secularist military only one step away from reporting

PKK Arms Scandal Fuels Turkish Suspicions

U.S. policy in Kurdish northern Iraq seems to be in flux, reflecting differences within the U.S. administration and the growing bitterness in U.S.-Turkish relations since Turkey prohibited the movement of

Niger’s Uranium Industry Threatened by Rebels

As the focus of U.S. justifications for its invasion of Iraq and the subsequent "yellowcake" political scandal, both the African country of Niger and its considerable uranium reserves have become

Situation in Somalia Remains Precarious

After several weeks of relative calm in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, expelled Islamist leaders now based in Eritrea have pledged to continue attacks despite setbacks suffered in battles with

The Leading Factions Behind the Somali Insurgency

The U.S.-supported Ethiopian invasion that expelled Somalia's Islamist government last December is rapidly deteriorating into a multi-layered conflict that will prove resistant to resolution. Resistance to Ethiopian troops and the

Turkey Turns up the Heat in Northern Iraq

Although a final decision has not yet been made in the Turkish capital of Ankara, preparations by the Turkish armed forces continue for a series of strikes against the northern

Yemeni Sheikh al-Zindani’s New Role as a Healer

Despite being designated by the United States and the United Nations as a "global terrorist," Yemen's Sheikh Abdul Majid al-Zindani continues to be protected by the Yemeni government. Most recently,

Weapons and Tactics of the Somali Insurgency

After being driven from the Somali capital of Mogadishu to the port city of Kismayo by Ethiopian troops in late December, Islamist leader Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed urged "Islamic Courts

Somalia’s Islamist Leadership: Where Are They Now?

Bombings, shootings and mortar attacks continue in Somalia's capital of Mogadishu and the southern port city of Kismayo, as Somali Islamists engage Ethiopian occupation forces. Many Islamist leaders took refuge

Aleksandr Litvinenko: An Islamist Threat?

One of the most surprising elements in the recent poisoning of the former FSB officer Aleksandr Litvinenko is his apparent deathbed conversion to Islam. At first, there seemed little reason

Concerns Mount over Hezbollah’s Rearmament

As the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) completes its withdrawal this week from southern Lebanon, there are fears in Israel that the Hezbollah movement is consolidating and even expanding its arsenal,

Russia Reorganizes its War on Terrorism

In August 2006, the Russian Interior Ministry (MVD) announced changes in the security structure of the North Caucasus that would dissolve the Regional Operational Headquarters responsible for counter-terrorism, replacing it

Hezbollah’s Rocket Strategy

Rockets are not new weapons, nor are they strangers to Middle East warfare. Size, range and destructive power are all factors in the development of rocket-based strategies, the ultimate of

Pakistan Launches New Offensive in Balochistan

Since the forcible annexation of the Baloch Khanate of Kalat by Pakistan in 1947, the Balochistan region has seen a succession of revolts against political centralization and resource exploitation. Balochistan

Toronto’s Terrorist Conspiracy

During the afternoon of June 2, Toronto residents were shocked to learn of the arrest of 17 would-be Islamist terrorists accused of planning an attack on the downtown headquarters of

Islamists and Warlords Clash in Mogadishu

Hopes of restored stability in war-ravaged Somalia have been dashed as warlords and Islamists skirmish across battle-lines in Mogadishu. The new Transitional Federal Government (TFG), once expected to restore order

Stand-Off in Yemen: The al-Zindani Case

The war on terrorism is fought in Yemen in the press and courtrooms as well as in the mountains and deserts. Yemen’s president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, is a veteran political

Al-Qaeda’s Great Escape in Yemen

Yemen’s U.S.-sponsored fight against al-Qaeda suffered a severe blow last week with the escape of 23 convicts from a high security prison in the capital of Sana’a. Among the escapees

Al-Qaeda Suspects on Trial in Yemen

Yemen is preparing to try a number of prisoners who are accused of being associated with al-Qaeda terrorist activities in Yemen and abroad. The most notable prosecution involves Muhammad Hamdi

Al-Qaeda Manhunt in Kenya

Kenya is widely remembered as the site of the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombing that killed over 200 people and cast al-Qaeda into international prominence. The attack was followed by a

DOKKU UMAROV: THE NEXT IN LINE

While warlord Shamil Basaev dominates the headlines of the Chechen conflict, a lesser-known guerrilla leader has worked his way into a crucial position in the Chechen leadership. Dokku Umarov was

Al-Azhar, Egyptian Islam and the War in Iraq

The recently replaced flag of Iraq has three stars in its middle band, representing a stillborn alliance between the great Arab nations of Iraq, Syria, and Egypt. Though the wave

The Indefinable War

How are we to evaluate the success of a "War on Terrorism" (WOT)? On the one hand, the United States has not experienced a foreign terror attack on its soil

Ricin Fever: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in the Pankisi Gorge

With Russia once again threatening pre-emptive strikes on "terrorist" installations in Georgia's Pankisi Gorge, it seems timely to re-examine the alleged activities of Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in the

Military Rebellion and Islamism in Mauritania

Mauritania, the vast desert refuge of the Arab/Berber Moors in northwest Africa, may seem a distant front in the war on terrorism. Yet the pro-Israel/U.S. policies of its President, Maaouya

The Jamaat Movement in Kabardino-Balkaria

Shortly before his death in March 2005, Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov made some interesting remarks about the spreading political violence in the Russian republics of the Northwest Caucasus. Maskhadov described

THE JAMAAT MOVEMENT IN KABARDINO-BALKARIA

Shortly before his death in March 2005, Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov made some interesting remarks about the spreading political violence in the Russian republics of the Northwest Caucasus. Maskhadov described

MILITARY REBELLION AND ISLAMISM IN MAURITANIA

Mauritania, the vast desert refuge of the Arab/Berber Moors in northwest Africa, may seem a distant front in the war on terrorism. Yet the pro-Israel/U.S. policies of its President, Maaouya

ABU HAFS AL-URDANI: THE QUIET MUJAHID

A little known veteran jihadist, Abu Hafs al-Urdani, made a rather dramatic entrance onto the world stage on February 5, 2003, when U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell displayed his

RICIN FEVER: ABU MUSAB AL-ZARQAWI IN THE PANKISI GORGE

With Russia once again threatening pre-emptive strikes on "terrorist" installations in Georgia's Pankisi Gorge, it seems timely to re-examine the alleged activities of Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in the

THE INDEFINABLE WAR

How are we to evaluate the success of a "War on Terrorism" (WOT)? On the one hand, the United States has not experienced a foreign terror attack on its soil

Al-azhar, Egyptian Islam And The War In Iraq

The recently replaced flag of Iraq has three stars in its middle band, representing a stillborn alliance between the great Arab nations of Iraq, Syria, and Egypt. Though the wave

ABU HAFS AL-URDANI: THE QUIET MUJAHID

A little known veteran jihadist, Abu Hafs al-Urdani, made a rather dramatic entrance onto the world stage on February 5, 2003, when U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell displayed his

DOKKU UMAROV: THE NEXT IN LINE

While warlord Shamil Basaev dominates the headlines of the Chechen conflict, a lesser-known guerrilla leader has worked his way into a crucial position in the Chechen leadership. Dokku Umarov was

Russia Reorganizes its War on Terrorism

In August 2006, the Russian Interior Ministry (MVD) announced changes in the security structure of the North Caucasus that would dissolve the Regional Operational Headquarters responsible for counter-terrorism, replacing it

Aleksandr Litvinenko: An Islamist Threat?

One of the most surprising elements in the recent poisoning of the former FSB officer Aleksandr Litvinenko is his apparent deathbed conversion to Islam. At first, there seemed little reason