Monday, November 6, 2017

The New Yorker

The Saudi Royal Purge--with Trump Consent
By Robin Wright 
With the tacit support of President Trump, King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his powerful son launched an unprecedented purge of their own family over the weekend. The major targets were royal brethren who controlled money, the media, or the military. Among the dozens arrested were eleven senior princes, several current or former ministers, the owners of three major television stations, the head of the most important military branch, and one of the wealthiest men in the world, who has been a major shareholder in Citibank, Twentieth Century Fox, Apple, Twitter, and Lyft.
“It’s the equivalent of waking up to find Warren Buffett and the heads of ABC, CBS and NBC have been arrested,” a former U.S. official told me. “It has all the appearances of a coup d’├ętat. Saudi Arabia is rapidly becoming another country. The kingdom has never been this unstable.”
The purge sent shockwaves of fear through the kingdom—one of the world’s two largest producers and exporters of oil—as well as the Middle East, global financial markets, and the international community. The arrests continued on Monday, with no indication when the crackdown might end.
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Thursday, November 2, 2017

The New Yorker

What Does the New York Attack Say About ISIS Now?
By Robin Wright 
Shortly after the terrorist attack in New York on Tuesday, a new account, @cnnbrea, which described itself as “CNN Breaking News,” appeared on Twitter. Its crude, explicit and ungrammatical tweets vowed more ISIS attacks on the United States. One warned: “O, Nation of Cross in America We will continue to terrorize you and ruin your lives.” It attached a photo of American police overlaid with a headline: “RUN The Islamic State is Coming.”
ISIS’s constantly evolving and mischievous propaganda is one of the few tools left for the group to spread its toxic message and inspire lethal attacks. It has now lost about ninety per cent of the territory that made up its pseudo-caliphate, which was the size of Indiana in 2014. Yet ISIS’s propaganda was sufficient to animate Saipov to carry out the worst terrorist attack in New York since 9/11—as he has now confessed, waiving his Miranda rights.
As John Miller, the New York Police deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism, told “CBS This Morning,” the United States has not yet figured out how to deal with the arc of radicalization. “This is something that has vexed us since 9/11,” he said. “We have no effective counter-message today.”
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https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/what-the-new-york-attack-says-about-isis-now