While WikiLeaks has provided no details about how it obtained the emails, Stratfor announced in December that the hacker collective known as Anonymous had breached its servers.
WikiLeaks is promising that "the material contains privileged information about the US government's attacks against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks and Stratfor's own attempts to subvert WikiLeaks."
For its part, Stratfor executives seemed unconcerned at the time of the initial breach of its servers.Continue »
A secret NATO report relays long-held fears that members of the Pakistani security services have been helping the Taliban in Afghanistan, despite repeated official denials to the contrary, the BBC reports.
The secret report leaked to the BBC is based on material from 27,000 interrogations with more than 4,000 captured Taliban, al Qaeda and other foreign fighters and civilians, and truly undermines an already damaged relationship between Pakistan and NATO allies, especially the U.S.
While the accusations may be nothing new - the former NATO chief, Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, said in 2009 that Iranian and Pakistani spies were assisting the Taliban, to name one of many instances - any proof behind the accusations has never been laid bare before.Continue »
While the West struggles with the questions of if and how to enter into negotiations with the Taliban in Afghanistan, that country's leaders are not waiting around for an answer.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai now plans to hold direct talks with Taliban leaders in Saudi Arabia in an effort to jump start peace talks, the BBC reports.
Taliban leaders had already announced plans to open an office in Qatar as part of their expressed willingness to engage in direct peace talks with the U.S.Continue »
A Saudi Arabian official attempted to undercut one of Iran's most potent threats to the world community Monday when he said in an interview that his country would make up for any oil production shortfalls caused by Iranian actions.
As international pressure on Iran over its nuclear program increases, the Islamic Republic has threatened to blockade the Strait of Hormuz, through which 17 million barrels of oil passed per day in 2011, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency.
Speaking to CNN, Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said his country could boost production enough to meet that potential shortfall, and he also expressed doubt that Iran could succeed in closing the strait at all.Continue »
The late African music legend Fela Kuti was an unapologetic and very vocal agitator against Nigeria's rampant governmental unscrupulousness. It was a position that often got him in trouble, and, according to one of his songs, led to a military raid on his family compound that eventually killed his mother, who was herself a prominent feminist and voracious anti-corruption protester.
That agitator strain has apparently been passed down to his kids, of which there were many. One in particular, however, has taken center stage in the growing fuel protests currently spreading across Nigeria.Continue »
While Iran and the U.S. talk tough over naval activity in the Persian Gulf, European Union leaders have decided to join the U.S. in imposing increasingly harsh sanctions against the Islamic republic over what many assume is a rapidly-developing nuclear weapons program there.
At an E.U. ministers meeting in late January, diplomats are expected to announce plans for an embargo against Iranian crude oil, according to the BBC.
The embargo would hit Iran much harder than the current round of sanctions against it imposed by mostly the U.S. and Europe. The EU currently accounts for around 17 percent of Iranian oil exports, according to the BBC, and the Iranian state gets more than half of its revenue through the export of crude oil.Continue »
Most Americans probably can't imagine a worse electoral body than their own Congress, as is reflected in its current 9-percent approval rating. "Stalemate" seems to be the operative word for them in 2011.
Even though the two major political parties are so bad at getting along that they appear to get nothing done, at least our congressmen and senators haven't yet come to blows on the floors of Congress.
In many parts of the world, political emotions spill over into fisticuffs and tear gas attacks in legislative chambers. When so much is at stake, some politicians still can't use their oratorical abilities better than their physical ones.
It seems, at least, that there were less violent eruptions between politicians in 2011 than in 2010, as you can see here in our roundup of last year's parliamentary brawls.
In the following pages, find video and photos of some of the lowest moments parliamentary democracy has produced in 2011.Continue »
Something popular protest movements have learned in the last year is that Twitter is an excellent medium for offering whoever wants it your unvarnished message. While that may please Western government when it comes to anti-totalitarian demonstrators, what happens when designated terrorist groups create Twitter accounts?
Al-Shabab, the fundamentalist Islamic group ruling most of southern Somalia, began tweeting its worldview this week under the handle "@HSMPress." Their self-written bio states: "Harakat Al-Shabaab Al Mujahideen is an Islamic movement that governs South & Cen. Somalia & part of the global struggle towards the revival of Islamic Khilaafa."
They join the likes of the Taliban in Afghanistan, as well as many other media-savvy Muslim fundamentalists using 140 characters at a time to push for a strict global Islamic caliphate.Continue »
If it is the U.S. drone nicknamed "Beast of Kandahar," many of the worst fears of intelligence analysts could come true.
"Military experts are well aware how precious the technological information of this drone is," The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Aerospace Forces Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh told state-run news agency FARS.Continue »
Updated 11:36 p.m. ET
At least three rockets were allegedly fired from Lebanon into northern Israel Monday, and Israeli Defense Forces returned fire, according to several reports.
Although there were no reported casualties on either side, the event is a dangerous reminder of the costly and deadly 34-day conflict in 2006 that saw Israel pitted against Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hezbollah forces in Lebanon.
The rockets from Lebanon on Monday caused minimal damage, landing close to the Lebanese border and just causing some damage to a chicken coop and a gas tank, The Jerusalem Post reports. Although investigations are currently underway, some reports indicate there may have been as many as four rockets fired from Lebanon.Continue »
Let's say, for the sake of argument, you're out one night drinking with your buddies, and you realize you forgot your anniversary. It's late, and you can plausibly say you stayed after hours at work, but getting your special someone that diamond pendant they've been hankering for probably seems impossible.
The Gitanjali Group of India - self-described as the "world's largest integrated conglomerate of diamonds, jewelry and lifestyle brands" - seems intent on proving that the ever-growing class of wealthy Indians also have an insatiable appetite for outlandish luxury goods. Over the weekend, they unveiled what is most likely the world's first diamond- and gold-dispensing ATM in Mumbai.Continue »
Updated 12:39 AM EST
Muammar Qaddafi's final day most likely began as it ended: In a squeeze. He was almost surely in the 700-square-yard area of Sirte where Libya's ex-rebels had penned in the die-hard forces remaining loyal to him.
The transitional government had for some time speculated that Qaddafi was out wandering the desert, recruiting fighters for a counter-insurgency. Therefore, at around 8 a.m., the ex-rebels where probably unaware that their ultimate target was actually within their grasp as they began an assault on that small final area. It was around that time that Qaddafi got in a convoy to flee, according to most accounts.
Somewhere just outside of the loyalist-held area, NATO aircraft struck Qaddafi's convoy, but didn't kill him. According to NATO officials, they were unaware Qaddafi was inside. That airstrike, however, hastened his demise.Continue »
Almost all of the children of Muammar Qaddafi lived a life of largesse and eccentricity, but few more so than Mutassim Qaddafi, who Libya's ex-rebels say was captured Wednesday in their hometown of Sirte, according to Al Jazeera.
It is worth noting that Libya's ex-rebels only claim they have captured the strategically crucial Mutassim, but they also claimed earlier to have captured Mutassim's older brother Saif - the alleged successor to their father - only to have him reappear free the next day. Saif is still at large.
Mutassim was Col. Qaddafi's National Security Adviser in recent years, and was the face of Libya during the normalization of relations with the West, meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington, D.C., in 2009.Continue »
The history of Jews in Libya stretches back 2,300 years, but about 40 years ago, former dictator Muammar Qaddafi kicked them all out, and demonized Israel and Judaism to further his populist support.
The legacy of that policy apparently is stronger than most Libyans' hatred for Qaddafi's ways, as an exiled Libyan Jew who helped the rebels overthrow Qaddafi has been forced to leave the country again after an angry mob demanded it.
David Gerbi, a 56-year-old psychoanalyst living in Italy, was referred to by many as the "revolutionary Jew." He returned to his homeland after a 44-year exile recently, and wanted to restore Tripoli's long-abandoned main synagogue. The day he knocked down a wall blocking its entrance, he said a prayer and cried, according to the Associated Press.Continue »
As populist movements in several corners of the world take to the streets against the status quo, it is often the young faces in the crowd bursting to the forefront. The movements have varied in their efficacy and levels of violence, but the people standing at the front of each face some sort of detention, arrest or worse.
Egypt had Wael Ghonim, the 30-year-old, bespectacled ex-Google executive who became the face of an explosive movement against a repressive regime. Tunisia had Lina Ben Mhenni, the industrious, 27-year-old blogger who broadcast the Tunisian revolution online before most of the world knew there was one, and was even tipped as a candidate for this year's Nobel Peace Prize.
Now garnering international attention is 23-year-old Chilean geography student, Camila Vallejo. The 6-month-old Chilean student protests - which have seen marches and riots involving hundreds of thousands - have not drawn as much attention as many other movements, but Vallejo' persistence, outspokenness and striking looks could be changing that.Continue »