Don’t Look to the West for help as IS enters Libya

By Abdel Bari Atwan

While the United States and the anti-IS coalition were focused on striking at IS in Syria and Iraq, and on training the Iraqi army and peshmerga forces, the Islamic State (IS) surprised everyone by revealing its strong presence in Libya where it controls four major cities (Sirte, Tibruk, Derna and Banghazi).

After Egyptian fighter planes bombed IS targets in Eastern Libya last week in retaliation for the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians, the group launched


There’s no magic solution to Yemen crisis

The sectarian aspect of the current violence in Yemen mirrors other conflicts throughout the region and the proxy nature of many of these wars

  • By Abdel Bari Atwan | Special to Gulf News

  • Published: 16:11 February 18, 2015

  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Luis Vazquez/©Gulf News

Yemen’s former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, once described ruling his fractious country as being “like dancing on the heads of snakes”.

Saleh was toppled in Yemen’s episode of the Arab Spring and replaced by


Abdel Bari Atwan Special to Gulf News: Heinous barbarity is part of ISIS ‘brand’

The group needed to reassert its credentials as the ‘meanest kid on the block’ following the loss of Kobani

  • By Abdel Bari Atwan | Special to Gulf News

  • Published: 16:23 February 5, 2015

  • Gulf News

Heinous barbarity is part of Daesh ‘brand’

  • Image Credit: Ramachandra Babu/©Gulf News

I thought I was inured to the horrific excesses of violence perpetrated by Daesh (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) — especially as I am about to publish a new book on the subject — but I was unable to watch all of its latest video depicting the burning


Difficult challenges facing new Saudi Arabia’s king

 

Abdel Bari Atwan

The death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, Saudi Arabia lost a “reformist” who wanted  to convey, gradually, to a new phase of modernity through changes in social, political and economic, but advanced age and deteriorating health, opposing the powerful religious establishment, and the revolutions in the Arab world, and the rising power of radical Islamic currents and dual internal and external threat to the Saudi


Paris Attacks Shows AQAP/IS Co-operation

Abdel Bari Atwan

If, as seems highly likely, the CH killers & Kosher supermarket assassins were sent by AQAP this is highly significant in terms of jihadist politics, with implications for regional and global security.

In all the panic over the rapid spread of Isis, many have forgotten that there is already a Global Jihadist number one – AQ’s Ayman al-Zawahiri – and also, a Caliph – Taliban leader, Mullah Omar. Taliban and AQ are tight allies.

If


Paris Attacks: Racial Hatred, Social Disintegration A Greater Threat Than Terrorism

By Abdel Bari Atwan

I am a Muslim who has been living in Europe for 40 years ago. I am not a terrorist and yet, like all Muslims, I am made to feel like one in the wake of the horrific attacks in Paris. This increasingly inextricable linkage between Islam and Terrorism is extremely dangerous, emotive, politically-motivated, and illogical. Should every Westerner  stand associated with  the deaths of the 300 thousands victims of the war in Iraq? Or the 50 thousands


Thoughts On The ‘Charlie Hebdo’ Massacre

By Abdel Bari Atwan

After the attacks of 11 September 2001 The Economist’s main editorial remarked that, while the West flies thousands of miles to attack Muslim countries with bombs and shells, it had never imagined that retaliation in the heart of the homeland was possible.

I have been following, with great concern, reports about Wednesday’s attack by three youths – believed to be Islamic jihadists – on the satirical weekly, Charlie Hebdo. In broad


America’s U-turns on Middle East Continue For 2015 (Atwan in Gulf News)

Washington’s policy in the region is predicated on two inaccurate assumptions: That all problems can be solved militarily and that the solution US policy-makers envisage is necessarily right

  • By Abdel Bari Atwan | Special to Gulf News

  • Published: 17:10 January 5, 2015

  • Gulf News

America’s U-turns on Middle East

  • Image Credit: Ramachandra Babu/©Gulf News

In December 2011, US President Barack Obama celebrated the withdrawal of the last batch of US troops from Iraq and declared: “We are leaving behind a sovereign,


US Middle East Policy For A Catastrophic 2015

By Abdel Bari Atwan

2015 may prove a nightmare for American strategy in the Middle East in particular, but also in other regions of the world, including the Ukraine. The US has experienced military and political defeats on several fronts, forcing it to retreat and make many concessions. The only exception is with regard to the Palestinian issue, not because of the strengths of America but due to catastrophically weak Palestinian leadership.

The most distinguishing feature


Islamic State’s Prospects for the New Year [Atwan in Gulf News]

While Al Zawahiri’s star has been eclipsed and Mullah Omar has yet to speak on the issue, the old guard can still create problems for Al Baghdadi

  • By Abdel Bari Atwan | Special to Gulf News

  • Published: 16:32 December 30, 2014

  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: REUTERS
  • Members of the Iraqi Special Operations Forces take up positions during clashes with the al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the city of Ramadi.

Daesh (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) has dominated global