Islamic Fundamentalism Interactive Lecture Notes Prior to World War One, European Politics Played a large Role In The Middle East



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Islamic Fundamentalism Interactive Lecture Notes

Prior to World War One, European Politics Played A Large Role In The Middle East:

M

A

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Impact on the Ottoman Empire:

Middle Eastern Independence:

These were the dates that all imperial influences of France, Britain, and Russia left these Middle Eastern States.

  • 1941 – Iran

  • 1943 – Lebanon

  • 1944 – Syria

  • 1946 – Jordan

  • 1947 – Egypt & Iraq


Cold War and the Middle East:

  • Following WWII, the United States and the Soviet Union began a Nuclear Arms Race that was known as the Cold War.

  • The Middle East became a strategic area of interest because of their oil reserves.

  • About two-thirds of world’s known oil reserved located in Middle East

  • Reserves have been great source of wealth for Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, other countries

  • Most members of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries

  • OPEC attempts to regulate production of oil exports to maximize revenues

  • Oil revenues allowed Middle East governments to modernize countries, promote industrialization, economic, social development

Oil as source of conflict in Middle East:

  • Some governments have used oil revenues to build up military, maintain power, threaten neighbors

  • Oil wealth has caused internal clashes within countries, societies

  • Region’s strategic importance as source of oil has led outside nations to become involved in Middle Eastern affairs, politics

The Strength of Islamic Fundamentalism:

  • Fundamentalism-refers to a belief in a strict adherence to a set of basic principles (often religious in nature), sometimes as a reaction to perceived doctrinal compromises with modern social and political life.

  • Religion defines political identity

  • Can be found in:

    • India and Pakistan—Hindu v. Muslim, Kashmir conflict

    • Iraq and Iran—Sunni v. Shia

    • Israel—United Jerusalem

    • United States—Conservative movement


Islamic Fundamentalism:

  • Movement to reorder government, society according to Islamic laws

  • Islamists believe Muslim countries have strayed from true Islam, followed Western models of political, economic development

  • Egypt, Iran, Iraq have seen growth of Islamism; has led to conflicts within society, government

  • Some extremists have used violence to bring about changes, have attacked regional governments, their allies, innocent civilians

  • Over 1 billion Muslims worldwide

  • Only one of four Muslims is an Arab

  • Multiple interpretations of “jihad”

  • Triumphant beginning

  • Conflict with Christian powers

  • Domination of Muslims by others

  • Muslim pride”

  • Pan-Arab (ummah) sentiment

  • Palestinian Liberation Organization

  • Yet much diversity within Islam—ummah unlikely

  • Iraq-Iran war (conflict between countries)

  • Nationalism still prevalent

  • Sectarianism: Shiites versus Sunnis

  • Traditionalists (Iran) versus secularists (Morocco)

  • Ethnic differences within Islam

  • Deep-seated anti-Western sentiments

    • Ex: Iran Friday Prayers Chant

  • Fueled by Iraq war, Western support of autocratic and repressive regimes in the Middle East, and Israeli-Palestinian conflict

  • Perceptions of Western secular threats to Islamic cultural traditions and mores

  • People more open to Western culture than leaders (rural Iran)


History of Iraq:
British Control:

  • This region was part of the Ottoman Empire in the 1500’s.

  • During WWI, Great Britain set up the Kingdom of Iraq and put a Pro-British ruler into power.

  • In 1941, a group of Iraqi Nationalists that wanted to be independent and began to revolt against the British governing them with the help of the Nazi’s.

  • This was during WWII and the British violently ended the revolt in 1 month.

  • Following this Britain also invaded Syria and Lebanon in order to maintain order in the Middle East.


Baath Party and then Rise of Saddam Hussein:

  • In the 1950’s this government was overthrown.

  • After a series of other governmental changes the Ba’ath Party too power in 1968.

  • A Ba’ath leader named Saddam Hussein became the president.

  • Saddam Hussein was a harsh ruler. He controlled the press, restricted personal freedoms and killed numerous political enemies.

  • Iraq was the second largest oil exporter in the world.


Iraq-Iran War: 1980-1988:

  • Assassination attempt on Iraqi official named Tariq Aziz by a Shiite extremist group backed by Iran named DAWA

  • Contested rights to waterway called Shatt Al Arab along the border of Iran and Iraq

  • Saddam hoped to annex, or conquer, a part of Iran where many Arabs lived

  • But remember… there are deeper, more complicated issues between Iraq and Iran

Saddam Hussein of Iraq was:

  • Modern, western government

  • Sold oil to US

  • Secular, laws not based on Koran

  • Sunni Arab

  • Known support of terrorists (Abu Nidal)

  • Wanted to make Iraq the leading state in the Middle East

Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran was:

  • Came to power through revolution in 1979

  • Shiite Persian

  • Created Islamic theocracy

  • Held Americans hostage in US Embassy in Iran for 444 days

  • Supported Hezbollah, a known terrorist organization which attacked Israel

  • In 1980 Iraq invaded Iran.

  • Saddam Hussein was worried that the Shia Islamic revolution that was taking place in Iran would spill over into Iraq.

  • Saddam Hussein decided to take advantage of the chaos in Iran and invade without being noticed.

  • The Iranians fought back and the Iraq/Iran war continued until 1988. Both countries suffered.

  • This was a war between a Saddam Hussein led Iraq vs. Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iranian Army.

  • Iraq Invaded Iran in 1980.

  • At the time Iran was a bitter enemy of the U.S. with Iran taking U.S. Hostages in 1979. This was protest against U.S. involvement in the Iranian Government. So the U.S. supported Iraq in the war.

  • Iraq used Chemical Weapons against Iran on several occasions.

  • The war ended in a ceasefire in 1988.

  • Horrific trench warfare, massive casualties (over 1 million)

  • Allegations of Iraqi use of chemical weapons on both Iranians and Iraqi Kurds

  • US quietly and secretly supported both sides…

  • Ended as a stalemate, although Saddam claimed victory (built the “Hands of Victory” monument pictured on right)

  • Massive war debts for Iraq and Iran


Genocide in Iraq:

  • Horrific trench warfare, massive casualties (over 1 million)

  • Allegations of Iraqi use of chemical weapons on both Iranians and Iraqi Kurds

  • US quietly and secretly supported both sides…

  • Ended as a stalemate, although Saddam claimed victory (built the “Hands of Victory” monument pictured on right)

  • Massive war debts for Iraq and Iran

  • Ali Hassan al-Majid, aka "Chemical Ali”, commander of the north at that time , Saddam’s First Cousin



Who were the Kurds?

  • Sunni Muslims

  • Own Language & Culture

  • Live in areas of Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Syria and Armenia. ( Kurdistan)

    • About 5 million currently live in Iraq

  • Kurds over the past 90 years

  • struggle and rebellion against governments that have tried to

1. assimilate them

2. at times marginalize them

  • War broke out in 1974-75

  • Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP)

  • Vs. the Iraqi Army

  • 1975 the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)

  • 1980 The start of the Iraq-Iran war



Operation al-Anfal:

  • Used chemical weapons on villages too difficult to for troops to reach.

  • Halabja-March 16, 1988--(largest chemical attack on civilians in history)

  • 3,200-5,000 died

  • 7,000-10,000 wounded

  • Diseases and birth defects for years to 15 million land mines throughout countryside

  • 90% of villages & 15-20 cities/towns destroyed

  • 1.5 million Kurdish peasants interned in camps

  • follow



After the Kurdish Genocide:

  • AFTER SADDAM HUSSEIN, AN AGREEMENT
    The toppling of Hussein's regime = KDP and PUK buried their differences

  • Gains

    • Helped draft the country's new constitution

    • Protected their distinctive identity

    • Got a share of the country's resources and revenues

    • Guarantees Kurds a certain degree of autonomy

  • Kurdistan (state within a state)

    • Intelligence service

    • Army

    • Government

    • Judiciary

    • Holds its elections separately

    • Sixteen countries = diplomatic ties

    • Safety and stability = investment and trade

  • June 2006 Iraqi Special Tribunal announced

  • established under Iraqi law to try Iraqi nationals or residents accused of

    • Genocide

    • Crimes against humanity

    • War crimes

    • or other serious crimes committed between 1968 and 2003.

  • Iraqi Special Tribunal

    • Panel of the five Trial Judges

    • Conduct hearings

    • Pronounce judgments

    • Impose the sentences without using a jury

  • August 21, 2006 Saddam Hussein and six co- defendants = face trial

  • December 2006 Saddam was put on trial for the genocide during Operation Anfal.

  • December 30, 2006 Saddam Hussein was executed for his role in an unrelated massacre. The trial for the Anfal campaign was still underway

  • January 8, 2007 remaining charges against Saddam Hussein were dropped

  • June 23 2007: Ali Hassan al-Majid and two co-defendants = sentenced to death by hanging

  • Another two co-defendants = sentenced to life imprisonment

  • One was acquitted on prosecution's demand



First Persian Gulf War:

  • On August 2, 1990, Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein, ordered his army to invade Kuwait.

  • At the time Kuwait produced over ten percent of the world's oil.

  • Saudi Arabia feared an Iraqi invasion and promoted United Nations (which meant U.S.) Intervention.

  • The War itself only lasted a little over a month. (Jan to Feb of 1991)

  • Retreating Iraqi’s set fire to oil wells in Kuwait, because their view was that U.S. interests were only based on oil in the Middle East.

  • In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait.

  • Western world leaders were afraid to have Saddam Hussein in control of such a large share of the world’s oil.

  • Western world leaders also thought Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD’s) (chemical and biological weapons)

  • An alliance of countries (including U. S. and Great Britain) forced the Iraqis out of Kuwait


Results of First Persian Gulf War:

  • Saddam Hussein remained in power in Iraq.

  • Because Saddam refused to accept U. N. terms for peace, the U. N. placed an embargo on Iraq.

  • Iraq’s economy suffered as a result of the embargo.

  • 600 oil fields in Kuwait were set on fire with devastating environmental effects.


Second Gulf War After September 11, 2011:

Causes/Reasons:

  • United States identifies Iraq as a threat

  • Broke cease fire agreement 17 times

  • Repeatedly kicked weapons inspectors out of Iraq

  • Police once held inspectors in parking lot for 2 days at gunpoint

  • US points to evidence that Saddam is developing Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD’s)

  • Could be used against Israel or sold to terrorists

  • President Bush declares Saddam Hussein a threat to the safety of the United States

  • Issues Feb. 2003 as deadline for Saddam to step down from power

  • Deadline ignored

  • United States identifies Iraq as a threat

    • Reasons given for invasion of Iraq:

    • Fear of “Weapons of Mass Destruction”

    • (Destroy them before they can be used on the U.S.)

    • Saddam Hussein’s “human rights” abuses

    • To spread Democracy and improve the life of the Iraqi people




  • Saddam Hussein captured

  • Tried and executed

  • 4,287 US troops killed

  • Over 30,000 US troops wounded

  • Over 60,000 Iraqi’s killed

  • $657 Billion so far

  • March 2003: U.S. invades Iraq

    • 78,000 troops

  • Saddam’s government quickly collapses

    • US confident that end of war is near

  • Without clear authority- violence breaks out

    • Looting

    • Ethnic violence

    • Not enough US troops to control the situation

    • Police were disbanded

  • 1st resistance: Political

    • Former Iraqi Army soldiers trying to re-gain control

  • 2nd resistance: religious

  • Iran helps Shia insurgence with weapons

  • Method: Guerilla Warfare

    • Ambush

    • I.E.D.’s

  • 168,000 by 2007

    • Attempting to provide stability in order to establish a Democratic government

    • Training a national army/ police force

  • Patrols through cities

  • Leading raids on suspected insurgents


New Government:

  • Should Iraq be divided up into 3 separate nations?

    • Problem:

      • North (Kurds): Oil. Water resources

      • Sunni (North): No water or oil resources

      • Shia (South): Oil/ water resources. Connection to Iran

  • Dec. 2005: Parliamentary elections successfully held

    • Democracy is established


Meanwhile, coalition worked to create new, democratic government in Iraq

  • 2004, power transferred to Iraqis

  • 2005, Iraqis voted in country’s first multiparty election in fifty years

    • Later approved new constitution to make Iraq Islamic federal democracy

  • Continued violence, potential for civil war made country’s future highly uncertain


Results:

  • In 2003, nearly 85% of American citizens, and Congress, supported the invasion of Iraq.

  • In 2009, about 20% of American citizens support the current invasion of Iraq.

  • Why the change?

  • No WMDs were ever found.

  • Iraqi suicide bombers (loyal to Saddam Hussein) continue to interfere with any progress the U.S. makes in Iraq.

  • Fewer Iraqi citizens support us than in 2003. (Don’t see enough progress)

  • The new democratic Iraqi gov’t continues to have problems.

  • As of 2009, a majority of American citizens see the Iraq War as a waste of the last 6+ years, a waste of the 4,000 American soldiers killed, believe Iraq has nothing to do with the “War on Terror,” and believe we should remove our soldiers from the country immediately.

  • However, others say one of the main reasons we have not had another Sept. 11th attack is because we removed Saddam Hussein from power before he had the chance to harm the United States, and believe that we should stay in Iraq until it is safe – no matter how long that takes.

  • Current 142,000 troops will be reduced to 25-30,000 by end of 2010.

    • Iraqi Army / police will take on more responsibility

    • US troops will be based outside of cities

      • For support of Iraqi troops

  • US troops will leave Iraq by end of 2011

  • Saddam Hussein captured

    • Tried and executed

  • 4,287 US troops killed

  • Over 30,000 US troops wounded

  • Over 60,000 Iraqi’s killed

  • $657 Billion so far


Costs to America:

History of Iran:

  • Historically known as Persia until 1935, when Reza Shah Pahlavi asked for the country to be called by its native name

  • Iran means “Land of the Aryans”

  • Persia derived from ancient Greek name for Iran, Persis

    • Name comes from a region in southern Iran called Pars

  • North: former Soviet Republics

  • South: Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman

  • East: Afghanistan, Pakistan

  • West: Turkey, Iraq

  • Major Cities: Tehran, Tabriz, Mashhad, Esfahan, Shiraz

  • In 1921, an Iranian military officer took power claimed the old Persian title of “Shah”, or king.

  • In 1941 the Shah’s son took control who was an ally to the United States and Britain.

  • He also wanted to modernize Iran.

  • During WWII, Iran was an ally of the Nazi’s.

  • So the USSR and Britain invaded the country in 1942 in order to secure oil fields.

  • Following WWII, the Soviet Union refused to leave Iran until 1946, when the United States threatened to invade Iran and remove the Soviets by force.

  • Ruled Iran from the crowning of Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1925 to the overthrow of Reza Shah Pahlavi's son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in the Iranian Revolution of 1979.

  • By the mid-1930s Reza Shah's dictatorial style of rule caused dissatisfaction among some groups

  • Dynasty collapsed following widespread uprisings in 1978 and 1979.

  • Its collapse marks a break in the ancient tradition of Iranian monarchy.


1953 CIA Coup of Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, Prime Minister of Iran

Shah Reza Pahlavi (r. 1941 – 1977)

  • Institutes Western reforms & ties with the West .

  • But, the majority of his people live in poverty.

  • Brutal suppression of dissidents SAVAK

  • Land reform – 90% of Iran’s peasants became land owners.

  • Massive government-financed heavy industry projects.

  • Granted women more political power – the right to vote.

  • Poured government money into education – especially in rural areas where illiteracy was very high.

  • Profit-sharing for industrial workers.

  • Nationalization of forests and pasture lands



Iranian Revolution: 1979
Causes:

  • The Shah spent the oil profits for top of the line
    American military hardware.


  • Little money to reinvest back into the Iranian economy.

  • Religious leaders angry with the Shah for too much
    “Westernization.”


  • Government corruption.

  • The Shah’s constitutional violations of the basic human rights of his citizens.

  • The Shah spent the oil profits for top of the line
    American military hardware.


  • Little money to reinvest back into the Iranian economy.

  • Religious leaders angry with the Shah for too much
    “Westernization.”


  • Government corruption.

  • The Shah’s constitutional violations of the basic human rights of his citizens.


Opponents of Shah:

  • Oil field workers

  • Students and other intellectuals

  • Middle class businessmen

  • Iranian nationalists

  • Muslim clerics.


Effects of Iranian Revolution:

  • Transformed Iran from a monarchy under Pahlavi dynasty to an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the revolution and founder of the Islamic Republic.

  • It has been called the third great revolution in history

  • Helped make Islamic fundamentalism a political force

  • Constitution based on rule by Islamic jurists

    • Khomeini—Supreme leader (lifetime appointment)

    • President—Head of the Government

    • Cabinet

    • Supreme Court

    • Legislation

  • Shah fled Iran, took his money with him!

  • Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran

  • Iran became an Islamic theocracy, ruled by Sharia Law

  • The new government was anti-American (“The Great Satan”) and anti-Israeli

  • Hostage crisis and the Iran-Iraq War

  • Relations with the United States broke down.

  • In 1979, a mob of Iranian students took American’s hostage.

  • The Iranian government gave permission for the Americans to be taken hostage.

  • The Americans were held by force for over 1 year.

  • Anti-Iranian feeling in US (sale of Iranian flags actually increased!)

  • President Carter seen as having failed to gain release of hostages

  • Conservative Republican President Ronald Reagan won 1980 Presidential election in US

  • Hostages released on Reagan’s inauguration in exchange for $8 billion ($5 billion was used by Iran to pay debts to US anyway)

  • Khomeini needed money with war against Iraq looming


1980s: Strained Relations with United States:

  • 52 U.S. diplomats held hostage by group of Iranian terrorists who took over American embassy in support of the Islamic revolution.

  • 444 day hostage crisis ended in 1981

  • The incident was seen by many as a blow against U.S. influence in Iran and its support of the recently fallen Shah of Iran, Pahlavi, who had recently been allowed into the United States for cancer treatment.

  • In Iran, the crisis is thought to have strengthened the political hold of radical anti-American forces who supported the hostage taking.

  • The crisis also marked the beginning of American legal action, or sanctions, that weakened economic ties between Iran and America.


Iran Since the Death of Khomeini:

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

  • Born 1956

  • Engineer, Party: Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran

  • Elected mayor of Tehran in 2003

  • Won ~60% of the popular vote in 2005 presidential election

  • Outspoken and often controversial for his views on Israel, the US, Great Britain, and human rights

  • Iran’s government has supported many hard-line policies.

  • For example: call for the destruction of Israel

  • For example: supported terrorist groups


Afghanistan:

  • Afghanistan is a land-locked country with very high mountains.

  • The Khyber Pass is a narrow passage through the Hindu Kush Mountains that lie between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

  • Merchants, warriors, and missionaries have long used the Khyber Pass to reach India.


Characteristics of the People of Afghanistan (Demographics):


History of Afghanistan:

  • Afghanistan was made up little tribes, but these tribes united to fight off Alexander the Great in 327 BC.

  • Then in 642 AD, the Islamic Empire swept in and took control of western Afghanistan, converting much of the population to Islam.

  • Then in 1826, British and Russian forces fought each other, in Afghanistan. The citizens of Afghanistan fought against the British troops three times, and on August 19, 1919, defeated the British for the last time, and British troops left the country.

  • From there, political unrest dictated Afghanistan life, with several powers coming and going until 1979.


Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan:

  • -The Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979 in order to support the Communist Party’s push for power in the Country.

  • The opposing side was an Islamic Fundamentalist, Osama Bin Laden being one of them, group that was supported by the United States and Western Allies.

  • In 1979, (around the same time as the Iranian Revolution discussed earlier), The Soviet Union sent troops to Afghanistan to help the communist government there in a civil war.

  • This led to a long war between Soviet troops and Afghan rebels (Mujahedeen).

  • The United States was supporting the Afghan rebels.

  • In 1989, an alliance of Afghan rebel groups took power and the Soviet troops left.

  • Then the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan to set up a pro-Moscow government.

  • For the next 9 years, a civil war broke out with different tribes of Afghanistan against and with the Soviet forces.

  • The Soviets pulled out in 1989, but they left a pro-Moscow government who fell with the Soviet Union in 1992.

  • Over 1 million Afghans were killed. 5 million Afghans fled to Pakistan and Iran.

  • Another 2 million Afghans were displaced within the country.

  • In the 1980s, one out of two refugees in the world was an Afghan

  • Vital parts of the Afghan economy were destroyed including Irrigations systems to provide water for farming

  • In 1989, the Soviet finally withdrew from Afghanistan


Rise of the Taliban:

  • In 1995, the Taliban, promising traditional, Islamic values came into power, imposing strict Islamic law, including revoking many women’s rights.

  • Turmoil in Afghanistan continued and in the mid-1990’s a radical Muslim group called the Taliban arose.

  • The Taliban took over most of Afghanistan and ruled strictly.

  • The Taliban forced women to wear veils and stop working outside the home.

  • Taliban came to power in most Afghanistan by 1996.

  • Osama bin Laden moved his terrorist activities there.

  • Used mountain hideouts as a base of operations for his terrorist network called al-Qaeda.

  • Prior to 2001, the Taliban, led by Mullah Mohammad Omar, ruled Afghanistan under Islamic law.

  • During this time, women had virtually no rights and received no education.

  • Watching television and listening to music were forbidden, as were playing games and sports.

  • The United States entered Afghanistan in October 2001 and replaced the Taliban with an elected president.

  • While the Taliban lost some power and the people regained some rights, the Taliban has not gone away.

  • Instead, it has worked to regain power by promising to help Afghanistan’s poorest people and aligning itself with warlords, al-Qaida, and other militant groups to gain financial support and recruit new fighters.

  • Taliban rules: Women

    • Must always be escorted in public by male relative and wearing burqa.

    • Must not wear high heeled shoes (sound of women’s footsteps excite men).

    • Cannot speak in public

    • Women cannot be seen from street—all ground and first floor windows must be painted over.

    • No photography of women

    • Place names not to be women’s

    • May not appear on balconies

    • May not appear in the media

Long-Lasting Effects on Women:

  • Although the new constitution guarantees equal rights an opportunities for both men and women…that is not always the case.

  • Health care

    • Child birth

      • highest maternal death rate

in the world

    • Male doctors

    • Men & boys take precedence

in the few emergency rooms

that exist (very few hospitals after Taliban rule)

  • Unequal opportunities: jobs, divorce, custody

  • Taliban Insurgencies – harsh policies for women

  • Afghanistan’s Human Rights Commission

    • 1,500 atrocities against women (2008)

    • 1/3 domestic violence cases

    • 200 forcibly married

    • 98 set themselves on fire

    • 100+ tried to commit suicide

by taking poison

  • Increasing number of women

taking drugs

  • Judgments against women (Jirgas)

  • New “Rape Law” against Shiite women


Al Qaeda and September 11, 2001:

  • The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks were traced to Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network based in Afghanistan.

  • Al-Qaeda cells operate in African countries as well.

    • 1998 bombings occurred at the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania leaving 200 dead and more than 5,000 people injured.

    • The U.S. responded with missile strikes against terrorist facilities in Afghanistan and Sudan. Bin Laden was based in Sudan from 1991-1996.

  • The Destruction:

    • Fuel—The flights were near their start, therefore the tanks were full. Explosions and fires weakened the skyscrapers, and both towers fell within two hours.

    • Pentagon damage confined to only one section of the building.

    • Human Death Toll: about 3,000

      • All passengers

      • WTC workers/visitors

      • 340 NYC firefighters

      • 60 NYC police officers


2001 Anthrax Scares:

  • 5 deaths (including 2 postal workers)

  • 17 infections

  • Suspected perpetrator: Bruce Edward Irvins (died July 29, 2008 of suicide after he was informed he would be prosecuted for murder), a microbiologist and vaccinologist who was supposed to develop vaccines against anthrax.

  • However, many people doubt the government’s conclusions about Irvins. Some coworkers said they would have noticed him develop the anthrax that was used.

  • One historian believes the anthrax Irvins developed was stolen by an al-Qaida sympathizer at George Mason University because of lax security.

  • We will probably never know.

  • The cost of the cleanup to decontaminate buildings where anthrax was found was about $1 billion.


Hunting Osama bin Laden:

  • Osama bin Laden evaded capture for almost 10 years.

  • In the mean time the United States had engaged in wars in Iraq (looking for weapons of mass destruction) and in Afghanistan (against the Taliban who supported terrorism).

  • bin Laden was suspected of hiding out in the mountainous regions of Afghanistan

  • Early on the CIA sought to identify al-Qaeda couriers (messengers who pass information) who might have contact with bin Laden.

  • Detainees in the CIA’s secret prison system revealed the name of an al-Qaeda courier with the pseudonym Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti.

  • When No. 3 al-Qaeda leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was captured by the CIA he admitted knowing al-Kuwaiti, but said he was not operating in al-Qaeda. The CIA believed he was protecting the courier.

  • In 2004, a top operative for al-Qaeda was captured in Iraq named Hassan Ghul.

  • Ghul revealed to the CIA that al-Kuwaiti was indeed a key courier in the al-Qaida organization close to operational commander Faraj al-Libi.

  • In May 2005 Faraj al-Libi was captured by the CIA, but he adamantly denied that al-Kuwaiti was the secret courier.

  • This convinced the CIA that he, as well as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was protecting the identity of the courier.

  • After years, detainees revealed the real name of the courier al-Kuwaiti as Sheikh Abu Ahmed, a Pakistani born in Kuwait.

  • One detainee gave false information that Abu Ahmed was wounded fleeing U.S. forces and died in his arms.

  • But in the middle of 2010 Abu Ahmed used the telephone and his conversation was monitored by U.S. officials.

  • In August 2010 Abu Ahmed was tracked to the mysterious compound in Abbottabad.

  • It had unusually high walls.

  • No one came or went.

  • There was no telephone or internet. U.S. authorities became convinced that a high level terrorist was living there


Current Government in Afghanistan:
Directory: cms -> lib02 -> PA01001045 -> Centricity -> Domain -> 610
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610 -> Political success depends on reaching out to the masses. What better way is there to be in the public eye than to feature on buttons one of the most commonplace, everyday objects

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