Michael Weiss

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Surveillance video footage showing the murder of a businessman in Moscow in 2013; Russian police identified Vadim Krasikov as the suspected attacker, seen escaping on a bicycle. Krasikov is now in prison as chief suspect in another assassination, in Berlin in August 2019, that German authorities say was commissioned either by Russia or Chechnya.

The last fortnight has seen new revelations in two separate cases of suspected Russian state murder. In one of these cases, the alleged hit squad was directly a unit of the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence service. In the other, German authorities recently concluded that there is “sufficient evidence” that the Russian state, or its federated southern republic Chechnya, is responsible for the execution-style killing of an ethnic Chechen asylum-seeker; as a result, two officers of the GRU have been expelled from the Russian embassy in Berlin.…  Seguir leyendo »

A still showing Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi from a video released on April 29, 2019. Islamic State Group/Al Furqan Media Network/Reuters TV via Reuters

Like many sinister plots, this one started within a family. Tarek Khayat, an Australian originally from Lebanon, had been living in Raqqa as a dutiful soldier of ISIS before he texted his brother Khaled back in Sydney with an urgent request. It was April 2017. Mosul, the de facto capital of ISIS’s three-year-old “caliphate,” which had been inaugurated in that city, was falling to a hodgepodge consortium of Iraqi forces and Kurdish forces variously backed by the United States or Iran. Tarek’s message to his brother had heightened urgency. Khaled should wage an attack against their adoptive country, a member-state of the broad coalition committed to the caliphate’s annihilation.…  Seguir leyendo »

Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Presidential Palace, Helsinki Summit, Finland, July 16, 2018

In March 1986, Yuri Dubinin arrived in New York to assume his post as the Soviet ambassador to the United Nations. Dubinin’s daughter, Natalia, was already a diplomat serving at the Soviet mission, and she picked her father up at the airport and drove him into a city to which he’d never before been. (He wouldn’t stay long—within weeks of his arrival, Dubinin was reposted as Soviet ambassador to the United States and relocated to Washington, D.C.) Their first stop, Natalia told the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, was a Tetris-like black skyscraper on Fifth Avenue. Professing himself impressed by what he saw in this monument to American capitalism, the graying apparatchik asked to meet its owner.…  Seguir leyendo »

Desde que me trasladé a vivir a Londres hace más de un año, he visto a una mujer arrojar un gato vivo a un cubo de basura porque sí; a un grupo denominado Partido Socialista de los Trabajadores manifestarse contra el Royal Bank of Scotland, que es de propiedad pública en un 84%, y a un hombre arrojar una tarta de espuma de afeitar a un magnate de los medios de comunicación derrotado dentro de un edificio oficial.

Los estadounidenses, en general, se habrán quedado asombrados y horrorizados al ver a unos alborotadores enmascarados y con capuchas recorriendo Londres, volcando coches, quemando tiendas de muebles de cien años de antigüedad y saqueando comercios como si fueran de compras: incluso se probaban la ropa que iban a robar.…  Seguir leyendo »

At its worst, the American Tea Party is a helter-skelter of conservative populism, a movement broadly united by small-government principles but more animated by a hatred of the current president. It lacks a coherent vision and prefers paranoid sloganeering and anti-establishment platitudes to a viable platform. At its most benign, the Tea Party represents what the late historian Samuel Huntington, in an insight more valuable than his more famous one about a "clash of civilizations," once termed a "creedal-passion period" of American politics. That is to say, a cyclical phenomenon that occurs every few generations in Anglo-Saxon cultures and has its roots in the Protestant Great Awakening of the 1740s.…  Seguir leyendo »