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  • Originally published 08/03/2013

    Daniel Pipes: On Closed Embassies, the Worldwide Travel Alert, and Wimpitude

    Daniel Pipes (DanielPipes.org) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2013 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.In April, the city of Boston was effectively under military curfew because two terrorists were on the loose. Now, fears of al-Qaeda attacking has led the U.S. government to close 21 U.S. embassies in Muslim-majority countries and then issue a worldwide travel alert announcing that "Terrorists may elect to use a variety of means and weapons and target both official and private interests. U.S. citizens are reminded of the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure."The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, said that the two steps result from "a significant threat stream" and so the authorities "are taking it seriously."

  • Originally published 01/28/2013

    Timbuktu mayor: Mali rebels torched library of ancient manuscripts

    Islamist insurgents retreating from the ancient Saharan city of Timbuktu have set fire to a library containing thousands of priceless ancient manuscripts, some dating back to the 13th century, in what the town's mayor described as a "devastating blow" to world heritage.Hallé Ousmani Cissé told the Guardian that al-Qaida-allied fighters on Saturday torched two buildings where the manuscripts were being kept. They also burned down the town hall and governor's office, and shot dead a man who was celebrating the arrival of the French military.French troops and the Malian army reached the gates of Timbuktu on Saturday and secured the town's airport. But they appear to have got there too late to save the leather-bound manuscripts, which were a unique record of sub-Saharan Africa's medieval history....

  • Originally published 01/22/2013

    From Red Army to Al Qaeda: Terror and Postwar Japan

    Postwar Japan has, by and large, been insulated from the type of terror that has afflicted the U.S. and Europe. In recent history, the crisis that resulted in the largest number of Japanese casualties was the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on New York. On that day, 24 Japanese citizens died, including a number of bank employees working at World Trade Center offices.Here’s a brief history of such incidents:Sept. 28, 1977: Five members of Japanese Red Army hijack Japan Airlines plane in Indian airspace with 156 people aboard. All hostages released after Japanese prime minister accepts demands for $6 million and release of imprisoned comrades, illustrating Tokyo’s preference for negotiation.Aug. 2, 1990: Baghdad starts detaining Japanese and Westerners to deter U.S.-led attacks after invasion of Kuwait. Former pro wrestler and member of Japan’s parliament Antonio Inoki helps negotiate release of all 41 Japanese “human shields” through talks with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein....

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