Taliban The Taliban (Pashto: طالبان ṭālibān "students"), alternative spelling Taleban, is an Islamic fundamentalist political movement in Afghanistan. It spread throughout Afghanistan and formed a government, ruling as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan from September 1996 until December 2001, with Kandahar as the capital. However, it gained diplomatic recognition from only three states: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Mohammed Omar has been serving as the spiritual leader of the Taliban since 1994. From 1995 to 2001, the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence and military are widely alleged by the international community to have provided support to the Taliban. Etymology The word Taliban is Pashto, طالبان ṭālibān, meaning "students", the plural of ṭālib. History Origin The Taliban movement traces its origin to the Pakistani-trained mujahideen in northern Pakistan, during the Soviet war in Afghanistan. Taliban Emirate against United Front
Al-Qaeda | Mapping Militant Organizations Narrative Summary Al-Qaeda (AQ) is one of the longest-operating jihadist militant organizations in the Middle East and Asia, with followers and support around the world. Founded by Osama bin Laden on August 11, 1988 after nearly a decade of training and organization against Soviet invasion into Afghanistan, al-Qaeda has carried out some of the most violent and brutal attacks in the last 25 years. AQ was founded around the individual ideologies of bin Laden, with minimal foreign influence permeating his command of the organization as it has grown into a global entity seeking to rid the Muslim world of foreign influence and establish a Shariah-based Islamic government. AQ was initially comprised of Afghan mujahideen fighting against Soviet influence in Afghanistan from the late 1970s through the 1980s. Leadership Ideology & Goals Islamist Sunni Name Changes Size Estimates The size estimates for core al-Qaeda members are relatively low. Designated/Listed Resources External Influences Major Attacks
Osama bin Laden Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden (/oʊˈsɑːmə bɪn moʊˈhɑːmɨd bɪn əˈwɑːd bɪn ˈlɑːdən/; Arabic: أسامة بن محمد بن عوض بن لادن, Usāmah bin Muḥammad bin ‘Awaḍ bin Lādin; 10 March 1957 – 2 May 2011) was the founder of al-Qaeda, the Sunni militant Islamist organization that claimed responsibility for the September 11 attacks on the United States, along with numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets. He was a Saudi Arabian, a member of the wealthy bin Laden family, and an ethnic Yemeni Kindite. He was born in the bin Laden family to billionaire Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden in Saudi Arabia. He studied there in college until 1979, when he joined the mujahideen forces in Pakistan against the Soviets in Afghanistan. Name There is no universally accepted standard for transliterating Arabic words and Arabic names into English; however, bin Laden's name is most frequently rendered "Osama bin Laden". Early life and education Personal life
Hijackers in the September 11 attacks The hijackers in the September 11 attacks were 19 men affiliated with al-Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 were citizens of Saudi Arabia. The others were from the UAE (2), Egypt and Lebanon. The hijackers were organized into four teams, each led by a pilot-trained hijacker with four "muscle hijackers" who were trained to help subdue the pilots, passengers, and crew. The first hijackers to arrive in the United States were Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, who settled in the San Diego area in January 2000. Background Selection Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi were both experienced and respected jihadists in the eyes of al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden. As for the pilots who would go on to participate in the attacks, three of them were original members of the Hamburg cell (Mohammed Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi and Ziad Jarrah). "Muscle" hijackers Mihdhar and Hazmi were also potential pilot hijackers, but did not do well in their initial pilot lessons in San Diego. Attacks
al-Qaeda in Iraq Origins The group was founded by the Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in 1999 under the name Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad (Arabic: جماعة التوحيد والجهاد, "Group of Monotheism and Jihad"). The group is believed to have started bomb attacks in Iraq as of August 2003, five months after the coalition invasion and occupation of Iraq, targeting UN representatives, Iraqi Shiite institutions, the Jordanian embassy, provisional Iraqi government institutions. After it pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network in October 2004, its official name became Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn. Leadership On 7 June 2006, the leader of AQI, al-Zarqawi, and his spiritual adviser Sheik Abd-Al-Rahman, were both killed by a U.S. airstrike with two 500 lb (230 kg) bombs on a safe house near Baqubah. Purpose In a letter to al-Zarqawi in July 2005, Al-Qaeda's Ayman al-Zawahiri outlined a four-stage plan beginning with taking control of Iraq. 2004
Rod of Asclepius Rod of Asclepius In Greek mythology, the Rod of Asclepius (⚕; sometimes also spelled Asklepios or Aesculapius), also known as the asklepian, is a serpent-entwined rod wielded by the Greek god Asclepius, a deity associated with healing and medicine. The symbol has continued to be used in modern times, where it is associated with medicine and health care, yet frequently confused with the staff of the god Hermes, the caduceus. Theories have been proposed about the Greek origin of the symbol and its implications. Greek mythology and Greek society The Rod of Asclepius takes its name from the god Asclepius, a deity associated with healing and medicinal arts in Greek mythology. In honor of Asclepius, a particular type of non-venomous snake was often used in healing rituals, and these snakes – the Aesculapian Snakes – crawled around freely on the floor in dormitories where the sick and injured slept. The staff has also been variously interpreted. Theories Modern use
Al-Qa‘ida - Terrorist Groups Al-Qa‘ida Established by Usama Bin Ladin in 1988 with Arabs who fought in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union, al-Qa‘ida’s declared goal is the establishment of a pan-Islamic caliphate throughout the Muslim world. Toward this end, al-Qa‘ida seeks to unite Muslims to fight the West, especially the United States, as a means of overthrowing Muslim regimes al-Qa‘ida deems “apostate,” expelling Western influence from Muslim countries, and defeating Israel. On 11 September 2001, 19 al-Qa‘ida suicide attackers hijacked and crashed four US commercial jets—two into the World Trade Center in New York City, one into the Pentagon near Washington, D.C., and a fourth into a field in Shanksville,Pennsylvania— leaving nearly 3,000 people dead. In 2005, Ayman al-Zawahiri, then Bin Ladin’s deputy and now the leader of al-Qa‘ida, publicly claimed al-Qa‘ida’s involvement in the 7 July 2005 bus bombings in the United Kingdom.
Death of Osama bin Laden Background Two days after the September 11 attacks, U.S. President George W. Bush stated: "The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. Six months later, on March 13, 2002, in an interview with CNN, Bush stated: Well, deep in my heart, I know the man's on the run if he's alive at all. On July 3, 2006, the CIA announced that late in 2005 they had closed down the unit code-named Alec Station which had been tasked for over a decade with the mission of hunting down Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants. In 2008, during a presidential debate, Barack Obama stated: And if we have Osama bin Laden in our sights and the Pakistani government is unable or unwilling to take them out, then I think that we have to act and we will take them out. In response, Republican presidential candidate John McCain stated: You know, my hero is a guy named Teddy Roosevelt. Locating bin Laden Identity of his courier A 2010 wiretap of another suspect picked up a conversation with al-Kuwaiti. Objective
World military expenditures This article is a list of countries by military expenditure, the amount spent by a nation on its military in a given year. Military expenditure figures are presented in US$ based on either constant or current exchange rates. These results can vary greatly from one year to another based on fluctuations in the exchange rates of each country's currency. Such fluctuations may change a country's ranking from one year to the next. The first list is based on the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Yearbook 2013 which includes a list on the world's top 15 military spenders in 2012, based on current market exchange rates. SIPRI Yearbook 2013 – World's top 15 military spenders SIPRI military expenditure database Countries by military spending Military spending as percentage of GDP See also  Notes
Markup language Examples are typesetting instructions such as those found in troff, TeX and LaTeX, or structural markers such as XML tags. Markup instructs the software displaying the text to carry out appropriate actions, but is omitted from the version of the text that is displayed to users. Some markup languages, such as HTML, have pre-defined presentation semantics, meaning that their specification prescribes how the structured data are to be presented; others, such as XML, do not. A widely used markup language is the HyperText Markup Language (HTML), one of the document formats of the World Wide Web. HTML, which is an instance of SGML (though, strictly, it does not comply with all the rules of SGML), follows many of the markup conventions used in the publishing industry in the communication of printed work between authors, editors, and printers. Types There are three general categories of electronic markup: Presentational markup Procedural markup Descriptive markup TeX
Boston Tea Party Coordinates: 42°21′13″N 71°03′09″W / 42.3536°N 71.0524°W / 42.3536; -71.0524 (Boston Tea Party) This iconic 1846 lithograph by Nathaniel Currier was entitled "The Destruction of Tea at Boston Harbor"; the phrase "Boston Tea Party" had not yet become standard. The Boston Tea Party (initially referred to by John Adams as "the Destruction of the Tea in Boston") was a political protest by the Sons of Liberty in Boston, on December 16, 1773. Background Plaque affixed to side of the Independence Wharf building (2009) The Boston Tea Party arose from two issues confronting the British Empire in 1765: the financial problems of the British East India Company, and an ongoing dispute about the extent of Parliament's authority, if any, over the British American colonies without seating any elected representation. Tea trade to 1767 Townshend duty crisis Tea Act of 1773 Eliminating some of the taxes was one obvious solution to the crisis. Resisting the Tea Act Standoff in Boston Destruction of the tea
Briefing on the Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 MR. VENTRELL: Okay. Good afternoon, everyone. We have with us today Ambassador Dan Benjamin, the State Department’s Coordinator for Counterterrorism. AMBASSADOR BENJAMIN: All right. Of course, 2011 was an extremely significant year in counterterrorism. At the same time, I should underscore we have no illusions that the transition process that we are in the midst of will be painless or happen quickly. The report also notes that al-Qaida and its affiliates are not the only terrorist threat that the United States faces. Let me make a few points about the statistical annex, which is at the end of the report and which was prepared by the National Counterterrorism Center. Africa experienced 978 attacks in 2011, an 11.5 percent increase over the previous year. Well, let me end these brief remarks by noting that as a result of international pressure and events such as the Arab Awakening, both al-Qaida the organization and al-Qaida the idea are evolving. QUESTION: Two questions if I may. MR.
Iran Iran ( i/ɪˈrɑːn/ or /aɪˈræn/; Persian: ایران [ʔiːˈɾɑn] ( )), also known as Persia (/ˈpɜrʒə/ or /ˈpɜrʃə/), officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and Azerbaijan, with Kazakhstan and Russia across the Caspian Sea; to the northeast by Turkmenistan; to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan; to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman; and to the west by Turkey and Iraq. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), it is the second-largest nation in the Middle East and the 18th-largest in the world; with 78.4 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 17th most populous nation. It is the only country that has both a Caspian Sea and Indian Ocean coastline. Iran is a founding member of the UN, NAM, OIC and OPEC. Etymology Main article: Name of Iran History Early history in Iran Classical Era Modern impression of Achaemenid cylinder seal, 5th century BCE.
NATO Coordinates: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO; /ˈneɪtoʊ/ NAY-toh; French: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique Nord (OTAN)), also called the (North) Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4 April 1949. The organization constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party. NATO's headquarters are in Brussels, Belgium, one of the 28 member states across North America and Europe, the newest of which, Albania and Croatia, joined in April 2009. An additional 22 countries participate in NATO's Partnership for Peace program, with 15 other countries involved in institutionalized dialogue programmes. History Beginnings The North Atlantic Treaty was signed in Washington, D.C., on 4 April 1949 and was ratified by the United States that August. Cold War French withdrawal Détente and escalation