Leela Jacinto

The Regretful Jihadists of the Islamic State

The West is terrified of foreign fighters returning from Iraq and Syria. But not all of them are trying to bring jihad with them.

On Sept. 24, as the U.N. Security Council prepared to adopt a resolution aimed at tackling the threat of foreign terrorist fighters around the world, French security services were wrapping up a "jihadist arrest" that seemed worthy of the bumbling Inspector Clouseau.

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Stuffing the Sheep in Kabul

As accusations of voter fraud fly, Afghanistan’s presidential race is ripping the country apart.

It's déjà vu season in America's "right" and "wrong" war zones. In Iraq, the old Bush-era neocons are back on the airwaves, blaming everyone but themselves for the latest perfect storm of crises. In Afghanistan, the same old candidate is once again crying electoral fraud. His archrival, the outgoing president, has been forced back into the picture. And the international community, this time the United Nations, has been dragged yet again into helping a country that has faced so many "crunch times," we may as well call it Crunchistan.

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Nigeria Is Not Pakistan

The state isn't trying to use Boko Haram as a political tool -- it's just been totally useless in doing anything to defeat it.

Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain was scheduled to arrive in the Nigerian capital of Abuja on April 21 with a group of around 70 officials and business leaders for a three-day visit aimed at boosting bilateral trade.

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Where Are You, Bouteflika?

Why are Algerians so keen to elect (once again) an ailing 77-year-old man they so rarely see?

There aren't too many elections in the world where the leading candidate is seldom seen or heard. So, when John Kerry visited Algiers earlier this month, Algerians were grateful to the U.S. secretary of state for providing them a rare sighting of the man who is very likely to win the April 17 presidential election. Looking sallow and sunken, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika greeted Kerry with a raspy, "Comment allez-vous?" (How are you?). As translators hovered uselessly, America's famously French-speaking top diplomat responded that he was very well, thank you -- and very happy to see Bouteflika.

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Is Karzai Actually a Great Leader?

Don't be too quick to condemn Afghanistan's unpredictable president to history's dustbin.

Afghan presidents historically have never gone gently into the night -- they have been variously shot, poisoned, suffocated by pillows, castrated, and hanged. This has never been a job with a comfortable retirement plan.

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