Al Qaida

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 Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr: did not run as a candidate and has ruled himself out as prime minister – but made clear whom he considers natural political allies. Photograph:  Karim Kadim/AP

Iraqis are still haunted by memories of black-clad death squads roaming Baghdad neighbourhoods a decade ago, cleansing them of Sunnis as the country w(...)

Men suspected of being Islamic State fighters are searched at a security screening centre near Kirkuk, Iraq, on October 1st. Photograph: Ivor Prickett/The New York Times

Its de facto capital is falling. Its territory has shrivelled from the size of Portugal to a handful of outposts. Its surviving leaders are on the run(...)

President Jalal Talabani talks to reporters in Baghdad, Iraq, in 2007. Photograph: AP Photo/Hadi Mizban

Jalal Talabani, the Kurdish former president of Iraq and its first non-Arab head of state, has died. He was 83. The leader of one of Iraq’s main Kur(...)

Benazir Bhutto, former prime minister of Pakistan, waving to supporters at Allama Iqbal airport in Lahore, Pakistan, November 11th, 2007. She died on December 27th of that year in a suicide bombing near her vehicle at a election rally in the city of Rawalpindi. Photograph: Rahat Dar/EPA

A Pakistani court has sentenced two former police officers to 17 years in prison for failing to protect former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, but acqu(...)

Mohibur Rahman (left) and Khobaib Hussain, two of the  “three musketeers” found guilty of plotting a Lee Rigby-style attack in Britain. Photograph: West Midlands Police/PA

Four men have been convicted in Britain of planning a terrorist attack in which they intended to use a pipe bomb and meat cleaver against a police or (...)

Iraqi Army soldiers   celebrate  gains   against Islamic State militants   in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq, on Sunday. Photograph: Felipe Dana/AP

Three years ago, a black-clad cleric named Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ascended a mosque pulpit in the Iraqi city of Mosul and addressed the world as leader (...)

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan. “Interrogating the commissioner before the Public Accounts Committee has become a political blood sport.” Photograph: Eric Luke

If all goes to plan, 2018 will witness the report of the independent “root-and-branch” review of An Garda Síochána, the product of the commission anno(...)

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman: has just been appointed crown prince by his father, King Salman bin Abdelaziz Saudi. Photograph: Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty

Riyadh in mid-summer, nearing the end of the Ramadan fast, is a cauldron of searing heat. The political temperature in the Saudi Arabian capital and a(...)

A Christian women gives a Muslim man flowers as they gather close to Finsbury Park Mosque in north London, near where a van was driven into pedestrians on Monday. Photograph:  John Stillwell/PA Wire

When a 47-year-old man rammed a van into a crowd near a London mosque on Monday morning, controversy quickly erupted over whether the attack would be (...)

Boats  in the port along the corniche in Doha. Arab nations including Saudi Arabia and Egypt cut ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting extremism. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terror, in the Gulf Arab regi(...)

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