ISIS evidently has a presence in Pakistan–and one significant enough that established regional terror groups are willing to work with it. Here’s the greatest threat that an ISIS presence in Pakistan poses, and it’s one that policymakers should plan for now: the potential escalations that could follow a major terrorist attack on India, Pakistan’s arch-foe. The aftermath of such an assault could have global consequences if both countries are not careful.
In the summer of 1988, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ordered thousands of political prisoners to be executed in secret over a two-month period. About 4,500 people were murdered, with the massacre covered up by a media blackout inside Iran. Twenty-eight years later, the official website of Khomeini’s then-heir apparent, the late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, released an audiotape of an Aug. 15, 1988, meeting on the purges. Montazeri can be heard lashing out at the clergymen present for facilitating the mass-killings, declaring, “You all will be judged as the biggest criminals in history.” The audiotape shows the ruthlessness of the committee of clergymen, some of whom hold senior positions today in President Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet–men like Mostafa Pourmohammadi, the current minister of justice–and elsewhere in the regime–like Hossein Ali Nayeri, now a senior judiciary official.
Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 brought U.S.-Russia relations to their lowest point since the Cold War. At the same time, China ramped up its aggressive activities in the South China Sea, pushing its territorial claims and challenging international norms of freedom of navigation. Iran, meanwhile, increased its support to proxies across the Middle East and bolstered its support for the Assad regime in Syria.
Construction worker Pedro Pirela and his neighbors heard a water truck that supplies nearby hotels coming down the road. They rushed to block the street, stopped the driver, and siphoned off the prized liquid. “Water is gold now,” Pirela told the Wall Street Journal earlier this year, saying he and his fellow plotters had no choice but to steal. In fact, Pirela admitted he had ambushed another water truck on a separate occasion. Venezuela’s nationwide water shortage has devastated the country to the point that citizens have had to mimic Pirela’s actions just to stave off dehydration.