President Obama's recent speech on counter-terrorism policy defended drone strikes while suggesting a new determination to close Guantanamo. To undermine the narrative of international terrorists, he must show that force is a less efficient tool than the observance of universal values and the rule of law.
From film and eye-witness footage, it is quite clear that the perpetrators of the Woolwich attack were motivated for terrorist ends. The trend is now quite apparent, as is their intended objective of sowing societal discord.
The attack on the Al-Amenas facility in Algeria earlier in the year reveals the nexus between organised crime and terrorism in West Africa. This has major implications for the international community and requires greater support to national governments in the region.
The acquittal on 28 April 2009 of three men accused of helping plot the attacks leaves a large number of questions unanswered. The much anticipated Intelligence and Security Committee report may help provide a clearer picture and improve future response.
Assistant Commissioner John Yates has been parachuted into the job of the UK’s most senior counter-terrorism officer. He was appointed amidst a crisis created by his predecessor. The affair underlines the tough brief that the new incumbent must master, whilst negotiating a treacherous political terrain.
Pakistan is at risk of collapse. Increasing threats to its integrity on the economic, political, and military fronts may constitute the biggest existential threat that Pakistan has faced in its sixty-one year history.