26th February 2016

  • The UN reports horrible violence and lawlessness in Libya, where there are thousands of cases of beheadings, torture by electrocution, beatings, and arbitrary detention.
  • Libya is also the site of major Islamic State expansion.
  • French special forces have a presence inside Libya to combat the Islamic State, reportedly working out of Benina airport in Benghazi.
  • No one can figure out why Giulio Regeni, an Italian student living in Cairo, was tortured and killed.
  • Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni won a fifth term in office, in an election criticized by EU observers.
  • The Central African Republic’s former prime minister, Faustin-Archange Touadera, won the run-off election for president.
  • The US plans to send special forces to advise Nigeria in its fight against Boko Haram.
  • Nigerians accused of being involved with Boko Haram are rounded up anddisappear.
  • Human Rights Watch highlights deepening, worsening violence in Burundi.
  • While 20,000 West Africans obtained identity documents last year, one million remain stateless.
  • Somalia’s president said that last month’s Al Shabaab assault on a Kenyan army base killed 180 troops. Kenya disputes this, but doesn’t offer a competing casualty figure.
  • Long read: how changing media is changing terrorism.
  • War is Boring digs into the ideology held by Sudan’s most successful rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).
  • According to Action on Armed Violence, 6,119 civilians in Yemen were harmed by explosive weapons in 2015. The calls are growing for an arms embargo against Saudi Arabia.
  • Canadian rifles may have wound up in use by Yemeni rebels.
  • Iran’s offer to compensate the families of Palestinians who have been killed in a recent wave of violence is being held up by Israel as evidence of Iranian backing of terrorism.
  • After spending three months in jail, two Turkish journalists charged with revealing state secrets are free following a constitutional court ruling.
  • The US and Russia agreed to enforce a ceasefire in Syria (it does not include the Islamic State, Al Nusra Front, et al) that would start Saturday.
  • Medical workers in Syria believe they are not just the victims of stray bombings, but overt targets.
  • The Syrian town of al-Shadadi, a key Islamic State logistics hub, is seen by the USas key to plans to degrade the group’s power in Syria.
  • An examination of IED components gathered from the battlefield sources the Islamic State’s bombmaking parts to 51 companies and 20 countries.
  • Long read: a dispatch from a correspondent in Syria on the work of governance under the bombs.
  • The UN carried out its first air drop of food aid for Syrians. The entire 21-ton drop was either lost or damaged. Some landed on mined areas. It could have fed 2,500 people for a month
  • Two groups in Syria swore their allegiance to Al Nusra Front, which has been accumulating the loyalties of smaller jihadist operations since late 2015.
  • Two suicide bombers killed nine people in an attack on a Shi’a mosque in Baghdad, claimed by the Islamic State.
  • Kamal and Mohamed Eldarat, held without charge in the UAE for 505 days, aregoing on trial.
  • It’s election day in Iran. Here are some of the parliamentary candidates.
  • US payments to the survivors and the families of those killed in the attack on the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz are seen as inadequate “sorry money.”
  • Russia gifted Afghanistan 10,000 automatic rifles.
  • The Afghan Army withdrew from bases in the Musa Qala district of Helmand province, and then from the Now Zad district.
  • NATO is investigating the possible role of foreign troops in a fatal hospital raid near Kabul.
  • Enforcing new sanctions on North Korea is going to be primarily China’s responsibility.
  • The people-smuggling industry made over $6 billion last year, fueled by the refugee crisis.
  • The closure of a French mosque because of alleged evidence of radicalism and terror recruitment was upheld by a high court.
  • Canada aims to revoke a law that strips dual nationals convicted of terrorism of their citizenship.
  • Special forces increasingly have to buy their own military gear, paying out of pocket for equipment the military doesn’t provide.
  • Long read: an excerpt from Brian Castner’s All The Ways We Kill and Die.
  • President Obama made his last pitch to close Guantánamo.
  • The US test-fired ICBMs in a demonstration of nuclear capability.

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