Latest Articles about South Asia

Is the NWFP Slipping out of Pakistan’s Control?

A discredited military regime in the center, the problematic rule of a religious political alliance (Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, or MMA), ill-planned military operations in the adjacent Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) belt and the growing unpopularity of the “war on terror” have all tarnished the socio-political... MORE

Pakistan Loses Swat to Local Taliban

In recent weeks large swathes of Pakistan’s idyllic mountainous region of Swat—a mere 90 miles from Islamabad—have fallen to militants purportedly led by Maulana Fazlullah, whose Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shari’at-e-Mohammad (Movement for the Enforcement of Islamic Laws, or TNSM) shaheen (fighters) may number as many as 4,500. Swat’s... MORE

Pakistan’s Radical Red Mosque Returns

The reopening of Pakistan's Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) in Islamabad in October after a government siege in July is a direct threat to the country and to the world community fighting religious extremists and international terrorist networks. Three months after clashes between homegrown militants and... MORE

Who Tried to Kill Benazir Bhutto?

Benazir Bhutto, twice-elected prime minister of Pakistan and the first woman head of a Muslim state, decided to terminate her self-exile and return to Pakistan last week. By all accounts, more than a million people (mostly poor and young) welcomed her enthusiastically in the port... MORE

Al-Qaeda and Iraq: Too Soon to Declare Victory

"Al-Qaeda in Iraq Crippled" was the headline splashed across Western print and electronic media on October 15. The stories accompanying the headline described the number of Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) leaders who have been killed in recent months, the downward trend in AQI car bombings... MORE

Iraqi Insurgent Media Campaign Targets American Audiences

Since the September 11 attacks, the internet has emerged as a pillar of radical Islamist propaganda efforts against the United States by al-Qaeda and other groups. Extremist websites and chat forums provide radicals and sympathizers with moral and theological justification for acts of violence and... MORE

Al-Qaeda: Beginning of the End, or Grasping at Straws?

Since early September, there has been a flurry of media reports and commentaries suggesting that the Saudi religious establishment has turned against Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda; that a split has occurred among the Taliban, Ayman al-Zawahiri and bin Laden; and that al-Zawahiri has pushed... MORE

Increasing Talibanization in Pakistan’s Seven Tribal Agencies

The government of President Pervez Musharraf is facing policy failure in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan. Taliban forces and their sympathizers are becoming entrenched in the region and are aggressively expanding their influence and operations (especially in Tank, Dera Ismail Khan and... MORE

Assessing the Six Year Hunt for Osama bin Laden

More than six years after the September 11 attacks, Osama bin Laden remains free, healthy and safe enough to produce audio- and videotapes that dominate the international media at the times of his choosing (Terrorism Focus, September 11). Popular and some official attitudes in the... MORE