Sources close to French and Belgian intelligence services have told this reporter that there could be up to 1,000 Islamist “sleepers” currently hiding in Belgium and waiting for the right moment to strike.
Belgian police killed two men and arrested a third during a raid last week in a town in southern Belgium. The men had been under police surveillance and the authorities were convinced they were about to move into the action phase of the operation when they launched their attack in a preemptive move.
More than half of them —possibly as many as 800 — are believed combat-hardened jihadis returning from a stint in Syria or Iraq where they received military training and experienced combat in the ranks of the Islamic State, ISIS or ISIL.… Seguir leyendo »
Civil unrest is not something new in Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet republic in Central Asia, a country of outstanding natural beauty and much political strife. What appears to have been spontaneous demonstrations in the capital, Bishkek, last Wednesday quickly spread to other parts of the country, leading to the ouster of the president, the resignation of the prime minister, the dissolving of the Parliament and a change of regime by the end of the day. About 70 people are feared to have lost their lives in the day's violent clashes between demonstrators and security forces. Among the dead is thought to be the country's minister of the interior, who ultimately was responsible for security, an authority he has been accused of abusing.… Seguir leyendo »
When the presidents of two Central Asian countries meet to discuss matters of mutual concern, the outcome of their talks may seem irrelevant to American politicians. Indeed, why should talks that took place last month in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, have any effect on Washington? But they do. Why? Because what is in play may be the future of just how much assistance ends up going to Afghanistan from Central Asian countries (and others) to help the American war effort. That is something the U.S. badly needs.
Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser to former President Jimmy Carter, told me from his office at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington recently that with "Kazakhstan assuming the chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), it will be in a position to influence the politics in the region.… Seguir leyendo »