Monthly Archives: March 2013

Al Qaeda’s Gamble in Mali

A few years from now, when the first full-length book on Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is written (any takers?), how will it characterize the group’s recent adventure in Mali? My bet: Mali will be described as a … Continue reading

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Syria/Bosnia, Part II: Islamic Fighters

My last post in this series ended with a note about how Bosnia currently serves as mostly a “transit or recuperation” zone for Islamic extremists (see relevant ICG Report). This label does not have to be confined to the country’s post-conflict … Continue reading

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March Madness at Notes on the Periphery!: Part 1 (Europe and the Middle East)

It’s mid-March. Those of you in the United States know what that means: it’s time for the most exciting three weeks of the year—NCAA college basketball’s final tournament. Each year, 68 college teams (annoyingly bumped up from 65 a few … Continue reading

Posted in Al Qaeda, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Balkans, Caucasus, Cyprus, Egypt, Europe, Georgia, Iraq, Kosovo, Libya, March Madness, Middle East and North Africa, North Caucasus, Northern Ireland, Saudi Arabia, territorial disputes, terrorism, Tunisia, Turkey, Western Sahara, Yemen | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Syria and Bosnia: A Series (Intro)

INTRODUCTION Some experts are just now starting to compare the magnitude of bloodshed in Syria for a little over two years now with that of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992-1995. But the comparison is almost always surface-level, mostly confined to commenting on the … Continue reading

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Updated Mali map – as of March 23, 2013

Time to update the Mali map again! (Any excuse to combine geography with int’l affairs…) Some significant events in the past two weeks: -Islamists struck Timbuktu for the first time since they fled the city in late January. One Malian … Continue reading

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Weekly News Roundup: “National dialogue” in Yemen, CAR on edge, and Bosco takes a long vacation to The Hague

West Africa Mali: France confirmed “with certainty” that key AQIM commander Abou Zeid is dead. But the jury is still out on the status of Mokhtar Belmokhtar. Speaking of AQIM, the terrorist group announced this week that it had beheaded … Continue reading

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Obscurity: Holy Malvinas!

The recent papal election has brought the native Argentina of Pope Francis under the spotlight. The media has focused largely on the tenuous relationship between the now Pope and President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and the now Pope’s actions during … Continue reading

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Weekly News Roundup: Rumblings in Central Africa, progress on the two Sudans, and Al Qaeda’s pitiful online game

Busy week in several areas of interest for Notes on the Periphery! A lot of interesting stuff to get plugged into… West Africa Mali: Le Monde has a very eloquent description of the Islamist fighters’ “citadel of rocks”—the rugged Adrar de … Continue reading

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Mali: Visualizing the Adrar des Ifoghas

In case you’re already bored with coverage of the new pope (a Jesuit!)… As a follow-up to my post last week about the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains in northeastern Mali (see here), I thought I’d share some interesting pictures and … Continue reading

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Book thoughts: “The Last Refuge: Yemen, al-Qaeda, and America’s War in Arabia” by Gregory Johnsen (2013)

Most counterterrorism wonks know the basic story of al-Qaeda’s rise: the brainchild of a rich and charismatic Saudi (Osama bin Ladin) and an Egyptian doctor-cum-theologian and terror organizer (Ayman al-Zawahiri); jihad against the Soviets in 1980s Afghanistan; the move to … Continue reading

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