Current Events and the Psychology of Politics
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Summary: Deputy al-Qaida leader Abu Yahya al-Libi has been killed in a U.S. drone strike in North Waziristan, Pakistan. Al-Libi, who escaped from a U.S. military prison at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan in 2005, was one of al-Qaida’s most influential propagandists and one of its most able leaders.



Summary: Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born Muslim cleric who played a significant operational role in al-Qaida, plotting and inspiring terrorist attacks on the United States, has been killed in a drone missile strike in Yemen. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on October 2, 2010, Aubrey Immelman reported that the U.S. State Department, responding to credible al-Qaida threats, issued a travel alert urging American citizens to be vigilant if they planned to travel in Europe. Officials did not identify specific targets, but thought terrorists might launch Mumbai-style “swarm attacks.”


May 7th, 2011

Summary: Radical American-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki escaped a U.S. drone attack in Yemen when a missile was fired at a car in southern Yemen, killing two brothers believed to be al-Qaida militants. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on May 7, 2010, Aubrey Immelman reported that alleged links between Faisal Shahzad’s Times Square bombing attempt and the Taliban are adding to perceptions of Pakistan as a global exporter of terror and increasing pressure on its military to crack down on extremists along the Afghanistan border. The Pakistani Taliban — Tehrik-e-Taliban — was hellbent on revenge inside America after a U.S. Predator drone attack killed its leader, Baitullah Mehsud, in August 2009 and more recent strikes that nearly killed Baitullah’s successor, Hakimullah Mehsud, in January 2010.



Summary: Investigators believe the same al-Qaida-affiliated group responsible for the Christmas Day underwear bomb were behind the PETN-based devices hidden in packages sent from Yemen. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on October 30, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, on her first official visit to Pakistan, faced sharp rebukes from Pakistani audiences brimming with resentment toward U.S. foreign policy, including one woman who accused the U.S. of conducting “executions without trial” in aerial drone strikes, equating it to terrorism.


Oct 27th, 2010

Summary: Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden threatens in a new audiotape to kill French citizens to avenge France’s support for the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan and a new law that will ban face-covering Muslim veils. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on October 27, 2009, Aubrey Immelman provided his weekly report of U.S. military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Sep 22nd, 2010

Summary: As terror groups move away from planning complex 9/11-style attacks, involving months of planning and a large group of participants, it’s more difficult to detect and disrupt plots against the United States, according to three of the nation’s top counterterrorism officials. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on September 22, 2009, Aubrey Immelman provided his weekly report of U.S. military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan and reported that Al-Qaida marked the 8th anniversary of 9/11 with a new 106-minute video predicting President Barack Obama’s downfall.


May 23rd, 2010

Summary: Link to nominating petition to help Aubrey Immelman gain ballot access as an independent candidate to challenge Rep. Michele Bachmann in the 2010 general election. … Please download, print, sign, and mail to Immelman for Congress, P.O. Box 117, Sartell, MN 56377. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on May 23, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that a Katyusha rocket blasted Baghdad’s fortified government and military Green Zone compound overnight, killing a civilian working for the U.S. Department of Defense.


Jan 12th, 2010

Summary: Thousands of Somali boys and teenagers fleeing war and chaos at home are sailing to Yemen, where officials worry that the new arrivals could become the next generation of al-Qaida fighters. U.S. and Yemeni authorities also fear that Islamist fighters from Somalia could slip into the country among the throngs of refugees, deepening ties between al-Qaeda leaders in Yemen and the particularly hard-line al-Shabab militants of Somalia. … Massoud Ali Mohammadi, a nuclear physics professor who publicly backed Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi in the disputed June 2009 presidential election, was killed when a bomb-rigged motorcycle blew up outside his home in Tehran. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on January 12, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that security forces used tear gas and batons to repel anti-Israel protesters who tried to attack a U.S. consulate in Pakistan as tens of thousands of people demonstrated worldwide against Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip. He also reported that seven years after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan routed the Taliban regime, hard-line Islamic fighters who had scattered under massive bombardment to their villages and rear bases in Pakistan once again govern large swaths of Afghanistan and are dug in across regions that surround the capital Kabul, saying they welcome the U.S. military’s proposal to send as many as 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan by summer 2009 because it will give them more chances to kill “infidels.”


Dec 28th, 2009

Summary: The New York Times reports that in the midst of two unfinished major wars — Afghanistan and Iraq — the United States has quietly opened a third, largely covert front against Al Qaeda in Yemen. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on December 28, 2008, Aubrey Immelman reported that the Taliban, which had long operated its own shadow government in the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan, had begun spreading north, encroaching on the capital city of Kabul.


Dec 19th, 2009

Summary: U.S. Navy warships fired missiles at suspected al-Qaida training camps in Yemen, with that government’s support, according to Pentagon sources. One U.S. official said President Barack Obama personally ordered the missile strikes in northern Yemen. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on December 20, 2008, Aubrey Immelman reported that according to U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer, Zimbabwe had collapsed and ran the risk of deteriorating into Somalia-scale chaos. He also featured a personality profile of Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe that he developed in 2002 with Adam Beatty at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics and reported that for the sixth consecutive year, Iraq was the deadliest place in the world for journalists in 2008.