A New Face of Terror
Pakistani security forces have achieved remarkable success in quashing domestic terrorist groups in recent months, arresting major Qaeda-linked militants and spreading Islamist forces thin. The arrest of 11 men on June 13 in connection with a recent motorcade attack on a top Army commander in Karachi gave President Pervez Musharraf particular reason to celebrate. But that may be premature: not one of the 11 who faced a Karachi court last Friday--among them a top cardiologist, a renowned orthopedic surgeon and some university graduates--fit the profile of hardened terrorist. Although all 11 denied the charges and any connection to terrorism, some security experts believe that Pakistan's success against Islamic terrorism may be creating a new breed of militant.
Pakistani security officials assert that the 11 are members of Jundullah (Army of God), one of many terrorist cells that have emerged since Musharraf began waging war on the country's major jihadi elements last year. According to officials, some 20 cells, largely splinters of recently banned militant outfits like Jaish-I-Mohammed, now operate in Karachi.
Worryingly, officials believe these cells are attracting urban middle-class professionals, who have become disillusioned with Musharraf's pro-American tilt and his efforts to stop the infiltration of militants into the Indian-controlled parts of Kashmir. "As the external avenues for waging jihad are being closed, the militant Muslim youth are turning inwards and targeting the military or the state," says Rifaat Hussain, a leading defense analyst.
Authorities worry that these new recruits could be even harder to stop than more-established jihadis. "Most of these cells have just four or five members, making them much more effective," says Karachi Police Chief Tariq Jamil. Also, he adds, the fact that they are middle-class professionals makes it "much more difficult to track them down." And some of the groups are beginning to coordinate their operations. "If we cannot target Washington, we can at least target their local allies," one militant told NEWSWEEK. Clearly the jihad isn't over yet.
The Weakest Link?
In May 2003, President George W. Bush declared the Philippines a "non- NATO ally"--the first Asian country to be so honored. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was considered one of Bush's staunchest supporters in the war on terror, and it appeared that a beautiful friendship was in the making.
That didn't last long. Arroyo last week bowed to the demands of Iraqi militants holding Filipino truckdriver Angelo de la Cruz, and began withdrawing her country's 51-man humanitarian contingent from Iraq. Visibly irritated, the Bush administration said the pullout sent the "wrong message." Suddenly, the Philippines is "the weak link in the international campaign against terrorism," says one Filipino diplomat and security expert.
Although the move earned Arroyo valuable political points at home, now she must take steps to get back in Bush's good books. Her best option, say senior Filipino Army sources, would be to reaffirm her commitment to the war on terror by more aggressively pursuing Jemaah Islamiah, the terrorist group linked to Al Qaeda. But doing so won't be easy. NEWSWEEK has learned that a recent planned assault on JI was called off because its fighters were camped with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front--which is currently negotiating a peace deal with Manila. Arroyo, who has promised to work for peace with the MILF, is unlikely to take any action that might upset the delicate talks and cost her public support. Local priorities could trump international commitments again. And that's hardly going to win Washington's affection.
EUROPE: Banish the Boredom
The European Parliament convenes this week in Brussels, as Europeans prepare to stifle a giant yawn. To most, the Parliament remains an ineffective, scam-ridden talking shop. Only 44 percent of eligible voters turned up for last month's election to fill the parliamentary seats, down 19 points since 1979. But the irony is that the vote may show that the legislature is finally beginning to matter. Says Nigel Gardner, a Brussels-based lobbyist, "Whenever the Parliament has gained new powers, the next election has brought an even lower turnout," a trend that has continued for 25 years.
The Parliament's legislative scope is much broader than it's ever been. MEPs now share in decision making that directly affects the day-to-day lives of all Europeans. These issues range from workers' rights to food safety. And in the next term, parliamentarians should have a chance to rule on plans to trim the EU's supersize agricultural budget and on Turkey's admission to the Union.
The strongest evidence that the Parliament is a force to be reckoned with? Some 4,500 lobbyists in Brussels are now registered with the Parliament. Stories about fiscally irresponsible bureaucrats may be "easy for the media to write," sniffs former Dutch MEP Lousewies van de Laan. But citizens of member states should remember that "European decision making is very complicated." And getting more relevant all the time.
BRANDS: Simply Irresistible
The rise of anti-Americanism has sparked real fears about the future of all things "Made in the U.S.A." A survey conducted earlier this year by New York-based market-research firm NOP World found that consumers around the world said they were abandoning U.S. brands like Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Nike at a steady rate. Last year Web sites calling for U.S. boycotts proliferated, and American products suffered drops in sales.
But now the hard numbers tell a very different story, indicating that even anti-Americanism isn't squelching tastes for U.S. brands. Coke reported strong first-quarter profit growth in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. McDonald's last week announced that its second-quarter global sales rose by 7.8 percent (the company's highest since 1987), and Nike saw global revenues go up by 15 percent. The consumer backlash has "simply not happened," says John Quelch of Harvard Business School.
Why not? For one, U.S. businesses are using clever tactics to court new customers in regions where Uncle Sam is most despised. In the Middle East, for instance, McDonald's uses Arabian-style bread to lure new eaters. Many U.S. firms are also hiring locally, a considerable step toward improving community standing. And finally, throughout much of the world, there's still that irresistible appeal of all things American. No matter how "hated" the United States may be, says Russ Roberts, a professor of economics at George Mason University, "our culture, ideas and products still have a magnetic attraction."
--Karin Bennett and Adam Piore
RUSSIA: Last Moments
Paul Klebnikov, editor of the Russian edition of Forbes, often worked late. On July 9 at about 9:30 p.m., he wrote an e-mail to one of his writers, took his backpack and said goodbye to the night-duty officer, Gennady Kovalev. About 10 minutes later Kovalev came into our office. "Sasha, some man is calling, saying Paul was shot!"
Outside, Paul was lying on his back, his pack still on his shoulders. Next to him was a small puddle of blood with a bullet in it. He was obviously wounded in the stomach; his shirt was bloody there. There was a small spot of blood near his right temple. It looked like a scratch; there was no hole. Blood was coming out of his ear.
A stocky medical attendant tried to put on a bandage. Paul looked very tired. But his eyes were bright, even calm. "Do you know what happened?" I asked. "Somebody was shooting," he said. "Do you know who?" "No."
Switching to Russian, Paul asked for oxygen. The medical attendant turned away. "Another ambulance will come." It did in about a minute. We helped put Paul on a stretcher and asked which hospital they were going to. "We don't know yet; we have sent a request." While waiting, Paul got an IV. He started to look desperate, shaking his head. He tried to lift himself. The female doctor held Paul on the stretcher and kept saying, "Hold on, Pavlik."
After about 15 or 20 minutes they found out which hospital they should go to. I told my colleague Misha Fishman to go in the ambulance. As it took off, Paul started losing consciousness. The doctor and Misha shouted and snapped their fingers in front of his eyes. The doctor said that he was "leaving" and started to push on Paul's chest. At the hospital, he was transferred to a gurney and rolled away. Misha ran through the corridor to the elevator. "You can't go," he was told.
About seven people got in. Only medical personnel. The elevator got stuck right away. Somebody on staff--one of those who didn't get in--started pushing buttons, then quit. "That's it, that's fate," someone said. A hospital worker started trying to open another door near the elevator. Misha thought that he might be able to reach Paul through it. He tried to put the leg of a chair in the door to pry it open. This lasted about 10 minutes. Then a man with a tool in his hand arrived, walking slowly. The policemen shouted, "Hurry up!" It took him about a minute and a half to open the elevator.
Misha asked a woman who came out: how is he? She said distinctly, "He is already dead." Fifteen minutes later a doctor came and made a speech that Paul had died on the operating table, that he had nine wounds, one of them in the head. When Misha tried to disagree, he responded, "You have your version and I have mine."
Gordeyev is editor-in-chief of NEWSWEEK RUSSIA.
ROMANCE: A Novel Idea
Brad Pitt stares longingly into your eyes, his heart beating in perfect sync with yours. "Oh, [insert your name here]," he whispers passionately. "I've felt this way for a long time." If the feeling's mutual, Mike Pocock wants you to check out his publishing company, Book by You, which invites average Joes to play Fabio in personalized romance novels. "These are wonderful gifts," says Pocock. "People are tired of being given chocolates or even diamonds, if you can believe it." Diamonds, these books are not. But if it's camp value you're after, titles like "Vampire Kisses" and "Medieval Passion" are gems.
For $29.95, Pocock plugs your name and your beloved's into the 140 to 180 pages of one of five bodice rippers. Further detail is supplied from a questionnaire you can fill out on bookbyyou.com. A book starring the Clintons might go like this: " 'We've already wasted so many nights,' Bill admitted, gathering Hillary in his strong arms. Hillary gazed back, and in a whisper replied, 'What is but one night in the history of England, my lord...' Bill finished the sentence, '... but another night stolen from our bed'." Watch out, "My Life."
Cash In on Conspiracy
No political thriller is complete without a wild conspiracy theory. Author Kim Jin Myung serves up one that would please Michael Moore in a book that has taken South Korea by storm. His new novel, "The Third Scenario," plops President George W. Bush in the middle of a secret plan to start a war between North and South Korea. The novel focuses on a scheme, hatched at Camp David, to provoke the Stalinist state into attacking the South in order to provide a bonanza for the president's cronies in the U.S. defense industry. Luckily, the plan is foiled by a group of patriotic South Korean spies who had bugged the meeting, ingeniously sticking tiny listening devices on fluttering moths.
This isn't the first time the author has capitalized on public opinion to sell a book. Today it's the growing anger among South Koreans at the United States; in the early '90s, Kim wrote a best-selling novel that drew on heightened public animosity toward Japan. (The story: Seoul nukes Japan after a failed invasion attempt.) The formula for his work--one part political screed, two parts airport-lounge fiction--seems to be working. Despite the patchy writing, "The Third Scenario's" anti-American theme helped it sell 1.6 million copies in its first three weeks. The "fourth scenario," of course, involves giving his agent a raise.
--B. J. Lee
Nesperenub, a 2,800-year-old Egyptian priest, is certainly an odd candidate for a CT scan. After all, his last breath came under the reign of Pharaoh Takelot II in 818 B.C. But that didn't stop archeologists from admitting "Nes" to London's National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery recently. The visit produced 1,500 cross-sectional pictures along his 1.5-meter frame, all entered into a supercomputer to make a three-dimensional virtual mummy. This month Egypt enthusiasts can take a look for themselves at the British Museum's latest exhibit, "Mummy: The Inside Story" (through January 2005).
What they'll see is a record of the enigmatic religious practices of ancient Egypt, as well as a detailed picture of the process of mummification. Armed with a pair of 3-D goggles, the viewer watches as a scalpel peels off the layers of bandages, eventually finding the inside of Nes's empty skull. Visible inside is the hole from the brain tumor that caused his death at the age of 40. Across his torso lies a metal plate inscribed with the healing Eye of Horus to cover the incision made to extract his internal organs for preservation. On his chest: a stone scarab to protect his heart from revealing shameful secrets to the gods.
The biggest surprise from the unwrapping, however, was a "mistake," says curator John Taylor. A cheap clay bowl rests like a skullcap on his head. The theory, says Taylor, is that the embalmers placed the bowl under Nes's head to catch the dripping molten resin--and forgot about it, leaving the body to dry. Malpractice on the Nile, perhaps?
We were afraid Jay-Z's retirement had been a bad idea when we heard he was selling his shoes. Turns out he's auctioning a pair of his own S. Carter Reeboks to benefit a scholarship fund. Not to worry. But we'll let him tell NEWSWEEK's Allison Samuels how he's living.
How's retirement? Are you sure you're done?
Yep. Rap in many ways is a young man's game, and I know that. I never wanted to wear out my welcome. In fact, my plan in the beginning really was to make only one album in the first place.
In your latest video, "99 Problems," you get shot and killed. You've never had that type of video violence before. Did it have a particular meaning?
Yeah--it meant the end of Jay-Z and the birth of Shawn Carter. I always wanted a separation between myself as a rapper and a businessman.
Why the Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund?
I realize that everybody can't be a basketball player or a rapper, despite what most young kids might think. I tell them that even if you become a rapper, it's really only 5 percent of us that really make money and last.
You and Beyonce try to keep it low-key. What's it like to be dogged by reporters?
It's funny, really. Just yesterday I had them chase me through Beverly Hills when I was going to get breakfast. I'm not sure who they thought was with me.