Globe Trot A summary of international news compiled by senior editor Mindy Belz

On 9/11 anniversary, a look at Osama bin Laden’s heir

International | Al-Qaeda propaganda promotes the group’s rising leader
by Mindy Belz
Posted 9/11/17, 02:39 pm

AL-QAEDA: On the 16th anniversary of 9/11, al-Qaeda released four messages, one of the most telling a photo of the burning World Trade Center towers showing Hamza bin Laden as a child embedded in the flames. Hamza, a favored son of Osama bin Laden, vanished for years before reemerging in 2015 as the most likely candidate to lead a fractured global jihadi terror network. In two video messages released in May, Hamza told followers, “Sell your soul cheaply for the pleasure of [God]” and encouraged martyrdom operations directed at the West, not fellow Muslims: “Know that inflicting punishment on Jews and Crusaders where you are is more vexing and severe for the enemy.”

CHINA: Tightening control over religious practices and the forced closure of prominent underground churches raise concerns that more of the independent gatherings will be subject to repression. A Communist Party congress in October and a looming new regulation to impose restrictions on house churches also may be opportunities for further crackdown.

RUSSIA: If you can get through even half of this 4,000-word piece by the Lawfare editor-in-chief on sourcing, you’ll have some idea why Globe Trot rarely covers the Russian hacking, et al., scandal. Anonymous sourcing in even otherwise thorough reporting is problematic. Lawfare gives even more insight into the ways potential litigants will use reporters to convey a message. The idea that reporters, no matter how sophisticated and well-connected, can parse truth from propaganda without readers to hold them accountable is, well, giving reporters more credit than humans deserve.

IRAQ: Will a Kurdish independence referendum, set for Sept. 25, do more to destabilize Iraq?

STATE DEPARTMENT: For those of you in the diplomatic corps, I will be speaking Wednesday, Sept. 13, at the State Department’s Ralph Bunche Library from noon to 2 p.m. EDT on persecuted Christians in the Middle East and my book They Say We Are Infidels. The Speaker Series segments are televised internally at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world.

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Mindy Belz

Mindy is senior editor of WORLD Magazine and the author of They Say We Are Infidels. Follow Mindy on Twitter @mcbelz.

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