Current Events and the Psychology of Politics
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Aug 7th, 2010

Summary: The Justice Department has announced the indictment of 14 people — 12 of them Minnesota Somalis, many of them U.S. citizens — accused of funneling “money, personnel, and services” to the Shabab, the Islamist terrorist group fighting an insurgency in Somalia. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on August 7, 2009 Aubrey Immelman reported that a suicide car bomb devastated a Shiite mosque in northern Iraq, one of a series of attacks that killed at least 40 and wounded about 100 Iraqis. He also reported that Pakistan’s Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud had been killed in a CIA missile strike.


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.”