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ground zero

Podcast: 9-11 and the GWOT at 20

In Episode 88 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg revisits his predictions from 20 years ago and from a month ago about what the world would look like on the 20th anniversary of 9-11. The attack, and Dubya Bush’s Global War on Terrorism, did not lead to a wave of new attacks within the US, as the jihad has proved more concerned with the struggle within Islam. But this has meant an invisible catastrophe for the Muslim world. The ongoing wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen get at least some international media attention. There are many more nearly forgotten wars and genocides: the serial massacres in Pakistan, the insurgency in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, the Boko Haram war in Nigeria that is now spilling into Cameroon, the mounting massacres in the Sahel nations. Even the insurgency in Somalia, where the US has had a military footprint, wins little coverage—despite the fact that it is spilling into Kenya. The insurgency in Mozambique has now prompted an African-led multinational military intervention. The insurgency on the Philippine island of Mindanao has been met with air-strikes. All waged by entities claiming loyalty to either al-Qaeda or ISIS. The new imperial doctrine appears to be that this violence is acceptable as long as it is not visited upon the West. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon. (Photo: CounterVortex)

Greater Middle East

Egypt: ‘crimes against humanity’ in Sinai feared

Human Rights Watch detailed abuses against civilians by both the Egyptian government and militants in the Sinai Peninsula, some of which HRW classified as war crimes or crimes against humanity. The information in the report was collected over a two-year investigation into conditions facing civilians in Sinai. Abuses include mass arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, torture, extrajudicial killings, and unlawful air and ground attacks against civilians. These actions are part of the government’s fight against the ISIS-affiliated militants in Sinai. HRW claims that both groups are guilty of atrocities against civilians, but the Egyptian government is responsible for the majority of the abuses. (Photo: Egypt Daily News)

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Egypt refers 555 terror suspects to military court

Egypt's chief prosecutor referred 555 individuals suspected of joining a local ISIS affiliate to military court. The charges against them arise out of a series of attacks carried out by dozens of small militant groups situated in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula. The suspects will faces charges for the planned and executed killings of security personnel, attacks on military checkpoints, and the destruction of a gas pipeline between Egypt and Jordan. The charges come amid growing concerns over torture, lengthy solitary confinement and other rights abuses in Egypt's prisons. (Photo: Egypt Daily News)

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Egypt: Sufis targeted in Sinai mosque massacre

At least 235 were killed and over 100 wounded in a suicide attack as people gathered for Friday prayers at a mosque in Egypt's North Sinai. Women and children are among the dead. The mosque is said to be run by adherents of a local Sufi order, and includes a zawiya—a lodge used by order members for prayer and chanting. Although no group has yet claimed responsibility for the massacre, followers of Sufi Islam have faced numerous attacks by ISIS cells operating in the Sinai Peninsula.

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Egypt: ISIS claims attack at historic monastery

ISIS militants attacked a security checkpoint near the gates of the 6th century St. Catherine's Monastery in Egypt's Sinai peninsula, as draconian emergency measures take effect.

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HRW: Egypt violated international law in Sinai

Human Rights Watch charges that Egypt violated international law in the creation of a "buffer zone" on the border with the Gaza Strip, evicting thousands of local residents.

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Suez Canal expansion amid regional war

Egypt formally opened an expansion to the Suez Canal amid pomp, spectacle—and a massive troop presence. The new trade hub opens as a jihadist insurgency mounts in the Sinai.

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Egypt: clashes in Cairo; ‘war’ in Sinai

A protester was killed at a Cairo rally in support of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, as Egypt's military luanched air-strikes on ISIS-aligned militant forces in the Sinai Peninsula.

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Egypt: ISIS claims deadly Sinai attacks

ISIS-affiliated militants launched near-simultaneous raids on military checkpoints in the north of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, with at least 100 killed in the resultant clashes.

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ISIS insurgency escalates in Sinai Peninsula

Several were killed and a mosque reportedly destroyed as Egyptian security forces battled militants of the ISIS-aligned Ansar Bait al-Maqdis in the Sinai Peninsula.