Much of the bloodshed that has wracked the Middle East in the past decade has been motivated by intra-Islamic religious differences—most often pitting Shiites against Sunnis, but also Sunnis against Alawites (the ruling religious minority in Syria) and Islamic State against everyone who has not accepted its own particular brand of Sunnism. To Hassan Hassan, this violence has marked the culmination of four decades of sectarian conflict in the Muslim world that began with the Islamic Revolution in Iran in the late 1970 and the subsequent rise of the Salafist-jihadist ideology that motivates al-Qaeda and Islamic State. He now believes this period is coming to an end:
Has Intra-Islamic Violence in the Middle East Finally Peaked?
Understanding Hizballah’s Sprawling South American Crime Syndicate
Sunday marked the 27th anniversary of Hizballah’s bloody bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which demonstrated to the world the long reach of the Lebanon-based terrorist group. But its presence in Latin America goes far beyond plotting attacks: located on the continent is the heart of its global criminal empire, which Hizballah uses to supplement the income it receives from its masters in Tehran. Emanuele Ottolenghi, drawing on detailed and extensive research, explains the inner workings of the group’s illicit operations, and its recent attempt to relocate networks disrupted by the U.S. and Europe to the tri-border area (TBA), where Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil meet.