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Brian Glyn Williams
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Brian Glyn Williams is a professor of Islamic studies at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, formerly of the University of London. He has spent four summers in Afghanistan researching terrorism and is the author of Predators: The CIA's Drone War on Al-Qaeda, based on his field work in Pakistan, as well as The Last Warlord: The Life and Legend of Dostum, the Afghan Warrior Who Led U.S. Special Forces to Topple the Taliban Regime.

Entries by Brian Glyn Williams

At Least Trump Got One Thing Right. There Were No WMDs in Iraq

(16) Comments | Posted April 5, 2016 | 6:18 PM

Recently Donald Trump broke with the Republican convention and roiled the party base by boldly stating "You call it whatever you want. I want to tell you. They [the Bush administration] lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction [in Iraq]; there were none. And they knew there were...

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Who Are the Yazidi 'Devil Worshipers' and Why Is ISIS Trying to Slaughter and Enslave This Ancient Minority? Part Two.

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2016 | 2:22 PM

ISIS Declares a Total Jihad on the Yazidi "Infidels"

Like most Iraqis who suffered under Saddam Hussein, the Yazidis celebrated the overthrow of this hated dictator but, like the ancient Christian communities of northern Iraq, they soon became the target of fanatical Sunni jihadist groups such as...

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Who Are the Yazidi "Devil Worshipers" and Why Is ISIS Trying to Slaughter and Enslave This Ancient Minority? Part Three.

(0) Comments | Posted February 17, 2016 | 11:23 AM

The Secrets of the Yazidi Faith.

As it transpired, Baba Chawish was a member of one of three castes that all Yazidis belong to, he was a holy man from the highest sheikh (priest) caste. He led a life of piety and celibacy and had authority over the shrine. He...

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Who Are the Yazidi "Devil Worshipers" and Why Is ISIS Trying to Slaughter and Enslave This Ancient Minority? Part One.

(0) Comments | Posted February 17, 2016 | 11:22 AM

On February 3, the New York Times quoted the desperate plea of a Yazidi, a member of an ethnic-religious group facing communal extermination at the hands of ISIS jihadi terrorists. In simple, but moving terms he summed up the plight of his people, whose ancestral lands in northern Iraq was...

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Journey to Iraqi Kurdistan -- Realm of the Endangered Yazidi Pagans and Female Anti-ISIS Peshmerga Fighters

(4) Comments | Posted January 26, 2016 | 2:18 PM

It was the sort of invitation that causes both excitement and trepidation, an invite to visit the autonomous mountain enclave in northern Iraq known as Kurdistan to carry out field research. It was exciting because we were being given an "inside track" to a moderate sanctuary inhabited by a pro-American...

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Feruzan: The Face of One of the Many Muslims Trump Wants to Ban

(24) Comments | Posted December 22, 2015 | 4:50 PM

Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has called for the banning of Muslims from traveling to America in light of the recent shootings in San Bernardino by two Muslim terrorists. This news coincided with my mother-in-law Feruzan getting her American tourist visa from the American embassy in Istanbul, Turkey.

I thought...

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GIve Us Your "Huddled Masses," but "Syrians Need Not Apply!"

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2015 | 2:23 PM

Perhaps no words more beautifully define who we are as a people than those etched in that emblem of American freedom that has welcomed countless immigrants to our shores, the Statue of Liberty. At its base, it reads:

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning...

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From "Freedom Fries" to "We are all French." The Republicans' History of Vilifying the French

(0) Comments | Posted November 16, 2015 | 9:16 AM

France has been hit twice by radical Islamist terrorism in the last year to punish it for its strong military support for Obama's war against ISIS known as Operation Inherent Resolve. First there was the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January, which led people across America to proclaim on their Facebook...

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The Taliban Capture Their First City. Why Should You Care?

(6) Comments | Posted September 30, 2015 | 3:32 PM

On Tuesday headlines across the globe announced the fall of the first city in Afghanistan to the newly resurgent Taliban. In their greatest success since their overthrow by the U.S. and local Afghan allies in November 2001, the Taliban took the northern plains city of Kunduz. Kunduz, a strategic hub...

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Report from Turkey: Enjoying the Med Beaches While the Rest of the Mid East Burns

(19) Comments | Posted August 20, 2015 | 2:13 AM

The picture in the Middle East these days is not good. The hybrid terrorist-army known as ISIS has conquered an area in Syria and Iraq that is larger than Britain and have taken the eight million people suffering in their proto-state/"Caliphate" back to the Middle Ages. Over 200,000 people have...

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Post Mortem: Mullah Omar, the Commander of the Faithful

(0) Comments | Posted August 3, 2015 | 4:03 PM

The American-installed Afghan government on July 29th announced that its elusive bane, Mullah Omar, was finally dead. While there had been vague rumors of his death in the past, this report was more specific and stated that he died of a kidney issue in the Pakistani town of Karachi back...

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5 Things You Should Know About the CIA's 'Robotic' Drone Assassination Campaign

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2015 | 4:20 PM

Since 2001 drones have become a signature weapon in America's war on terrorists and insurgents in the Muslim world and have been deployed from sub-Saharan Africa to the Philippines. But for all the fact that drone strikes are regularly reported by the media, very few Americans have a basic understanding...

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The Killing of An American Hostage by a Drone in Pakistan. Is the CIA's Assassination Campaign Out of Control?

(2) Comments | Posted May 1, 2015 | 11:59 AM

The recent announcement by President Obama that the CIA accidentally killed an American and Italian hostage in a drone strike carried out in mid January on a Taliban compound in Pakistan's remote tribal region where they were being held captive has caused a firestorm of controversy vis a...

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Defending the Predators: The Argument for the Killer Drone

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2014 | 8:46 PM

This summer, while crossing the Boston Common, I came across an anti-drone protest. Out of curiosity I approached one of the protestors handing out anti-drone fliers decrying the fact that "99% of the people that die in the CIA's robotic drone war in Pakistan are civilians." The image the protestor...

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"They Will Kill Us All!" Critically Assessing ISIS Fear Mongering by US Politicians

(0) Comments | Posted November 18, 2014 | 12:30 PM

When the Sunni insurgent group ISIS seized Fallujah, scene of dozens of Marines' deaths during the Iraq War, in early January 2014 it barely raised eyebrows for most Americans. And while it did create fleeting headlines when ISIS conquered Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, in June 2014, few Americans felt...

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Send in the Air Force Combat Controllers and Green Berets to Destroy ISIS.

(1) Comments | Posted October 22, 2014 | 10:30 AM

It is apparent to even the most casual of observers that President Obama is a reluctant warrior when it comes to involving the US in the bloody sectarian conflict between Sunnis and Shiites being acted out in the deserts of Iraq and Syria. Obama was elected, in part, on his...

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Commemorating the 13th Anniversary of 9/11 and Recalling Lessons Learned from the 'Global War on Terror'

(0) Comments | Posted September 4, 2014 | 2:13 PM

Today's seniors in college were just seven or eight years old on 9/11. In my courses on Iraq and Afghanistan at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, I find that many students who grew up with the war on terror as a backdrop to their lives barely remember that day and are...

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Abu Khattala: The Career and Arrest of the Jihadi Behind the Benghazi Attack

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 10:31 AM

On Monday, June 16, three FBI agents, several Navy SEALs and approximately 24 Delta Force commandos captured the terrorist most wanted by the Obama administration in a classic snatch-and-grab "rendition" operation in Benghazi, Libya. The target of their raid was Ahmed Abu Khattala, a local jihadist who led an attack...

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After Six Month Lull Obama's Drone Assassination Campaign in Pakistan Is Back On

(0) Comments | Posted June 25, 2014 | 12:36 AM

Since the CIA's robotic assassination campaign began in earnest in 2008, the skies over Pakistan's wild tribal zones known as the FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Agencies) which have given sanctuary to the Taliban and Al Qaeda have been filled with the buzzing sound of CIA Predator and more advanced Reaper...

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The Mysterious Case of Bowe Bergdahl: An Attempt to Get Inside the Mind of America's Last Prisoner of War

(0) Comments | Posted June 4, 2014 | 5:47 PM

In the summer of 2009, I worked as an adviser for a U.S. Army Information Operations team in Kabul, Afghanistan at NATO's ISAF (International Security and Assistance Force) headquarters. My IO team shared a basement with the ISAF's Public Relations team and I was able to observe their daily interaction,...

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