1/6, 9/11 and the threat of terrorism

by Rashmee

Posted on January 17, 2021


Could 1/6, the day of the Trump-incited US  Capitol siege, be the harbinger of a 9/11-type attempt to attack America? I ask this in light of a fascinating piece I read the other day. Ed Luce, US editor of the Financial Times, quoted former FBI counter-terrorism agent Ali Soufan’s warning that January 6 could be … Continue reading “1/6, 9/11 and the threat of terrorism”

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A Christmas Day suicide bomb blast has to be a terrorist act, right? Not really

by Rashmee

Posted on December 30, 2020


So here’s the scenario. On Christmas Day, a suicide bomb blast left an historic part of an American state capital looking like Baghdad after a car bombing. The Nashville bomber is thought to be Anthony Quinn Warner, 63. But there’s continuing confusion if Warner can be described as a terrorist. What? A suicide bomber. Christmas … Continue reading “A Christmas Day suicide bomb blast has to be a terrorist act, right? Not really”

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The third wave of bloodshed in France is not really about Islam but lone wolf criminality

by Rashmee

Posted on October 30, 2020


11 Mar 2004  Spain Madrid train bombings 193 killed, 2,050 injured[69] Al-Qaeda 7 Jul 2005  UK 2005 London bombings 56 killed, (inc. 4 perps.), 784 injured[70] Al-Qaeda 7–9 Jan 2015  France January 2015 Île-de-France attacks 20 killed (inc. 3 perps.), 22 injured[73] Al-Qaeda 13 Nov 2015  France November 2015 Paris attacks 138 killed (inc. 7 perps.), 413 injured[75][76] Islamic State 22 … Continue reading “The third wave of bloodshed in France is not really about Islam but lone wolf criminality”

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Biggest failure of the US-Taliban talks was the lack of preconditions

by Rashmee

Posted on September 10, 2019 / The National


Now that Donald Trump has peremptorily cancelled an unprecedented Camp David meeting with the Taliban, the Afghan peace negotiations remain just as impenetrable as the day they began 11 months ago. Where do they go from here, and should they go anywhere in the current format? What were the peace talks really about if the … Continue reading “Biggest failure of the US-Taliban talks was the lack of preconditions”

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An acting president, no plan for the future. What happens to Afghanistan now?

by Rashmee

Posted on June 7, 2019


Afghanistan technically has an acting president right now and no particular plan for the future. Ashraf Ghani’s five-year term expired on May 22, but he’s remained in the job and is even pursuing long-term projects such as boosting exports or cleaning up the Kabul River. An Afghan Supreme Court decision allows Mr Ghani to remain in … Continue reading “An acting president, no plan for the future. What happens to Afghanistan now?”

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Meet Mr & Mrs Saudi Normal. Was her firstborn, Osama bin Laden, an aberration?

by Rashmee

Posted on August 4, 2018


What’s fascinating about Osama bin Laden’s mother’s media debut is the timing. There she sits, face unveiled, photographic representations of her son all around the room, and tells a piteous and loving story. Osama, her firstborn, said Alia Ghanem, “was a very good child until he met some people who pretty much brainwashed him in … Continue reading “Meet Mr & Mrs Saudi Normal. Was her firstborn, Osama bin Laden, an aberration?”

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Sixteen years after 9/11, how does America see the world?

by Rashmee

Posted on September 11, 2017 / The National


The “war on terrorism” may have been a misnomer, for how do you fight a noun that describes a methodology, but it has been moderately successful in real terms. That’s if you measure success for the United States domestically. It hasn’t suffered a successful attack by a foreign terrorist organisation since 9/11 on its territory. … Continue reading “Sixteen years after 9/11, how does America see the world?”

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‘Don’t freak, I’m a Sikh’. The slogan America’s Sikhs might want to take from the UK

by Rashmee

Posted on May 3, 2017


“Don’t freak, I’m a Sikh”. I remembered the quavering slogan on a T-shirt worn by a young man on the London Tube in the days after the 7/7 bomb attacks, when I read of American Sikhs’ new publicity campaign. That T-shirt was a desperate and innovative way to reassure jumpy Londoners that darker-skinned people with … Continue reading “‘Don’t freak, I’m a Sikh’. The slogan America’s Sikhs might want to take from the UK”

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Will tomorrow’s world be realism redux, liberal resilience or radical uncertainty?

by Rashmee

Posted on October 26, 2016


Harvard professor Stephen Walt offers three models of the future and you can take your pick depending on whether you’re an optimist like Winston Churchill or a miserable git. In December 1938, Churchill said, “I am an optimist – it does not seem to be much use being anything else”. But he never, as is famously … Continue reading “Will tomorrow’s world be realism redux, liberal resilience or radical uncertainty?”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK