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Pakistani govenor slain

The New York Times is reporting that Salman Taseer, Punjab governor and ally of President Asif Ali Zardari, was killed by his police guard.  Pakistan seems to grow ever more calamitous, where the military competes with politicians for leadership and where taking stances against religious extremism invites reprisals.

Mr. Taseer’s death will serve as a chilling warning to any politician who speaks out against the religious parties and their fundamentalist agenda and will certainly end immediate attempts to amend the blasphemy laws, politicians said. “It is a loss to progressive forces — he stood up for what he believed in,” one of his party colleagues, legislator Sherry Rehman, said.


Egyptian church attacked

Over the past few months we have seen a rise in violence against Christians in Iraq and Egypt.  The New York Times reports that a bomb detonated in Alexandria outside a Coptic church there killing 21, the worst violence that Egyptian Christians have faced so far.

Government officials quickly blamed foreign terrorists for the bombing and called for national unity. In a televised address hours after the bombing, President Hosni Mubarak said that the authorities had found evidence of “foreign fingers,” adding: “We are all in one trench. We will cut off the head of the snake, and confront terrorism and defeat it.”

Interpol sifts through tips on Al Qaeda

BBC News reports that the Interpol office in Baghdad has obtained information from the confessions of militants that attacks are planned for the United States and Europe during the Christmas season.  This includes the recent bombing in Stockholm, however the information was obtained after the attack had occurred.  So it is up to Interpol to figure out what intelligence is actionable and which is a red herring.  The link above also includes several other links for more information on the Stockholm explosion.

Al Qaeda’s Latest Weapon?

I came across this interesting video segment from Fareed Zakaria’s weekly television program on CNN, GPS: Al-Qaeda’s Latest Weapon? Al Qaeda has launched a new magazine – “Inspire” – dedicated to providing the latest & greatest news for terrorists worldwide. Bizarre? Yep. What struck me was not just how glossy and polished the magazine looks, but the fact that companies are running ads within it! Having worked in the advertising world for several years, I know how important it is to define a target consumer and look for contact points – magazines, websites, television programs – that reach a high composition of such consumers. I can only imagine what kind of products and services are filling the pages of the book – I guess terrorists have become a key demographic in the increasingly bizarre world of modern media.

Separate Bomb Plots Linked to Yemen

Several news sources are reporting on the recent wave of bombing attempts.  On Friday, two cargo planes were grounded at East Midlands Airport, in Nottingham, north of London, and at a courier facility in Dubai.  A package containing explosives found in the UK was on board a UPS cargo aircraft, while another, in Dubai, was found in a FedEx sorting facility.  U.S authorities are heightening security, and Yemeni President Ali Abudullah Saleh again reiterated his government’s commitment to fight terrorism, but reminded the international community that Yemen “will not allow anyone to intervene in its affairs.”

Al Jazeera, BBC, & NYTimes report on this breaking news.