War against ISIS – the role of Saudi Arabia

At the last G20 Summit, Vladimir Putin declares a s follows: “I provided examples related to our data on the financing of Islamic State units by natural persons in various countries. The financing comes from 40 countries, as we established, including some G20 members.” At the same table there were seated the envoys from Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Both countries have a difficult track record when it comes about terrorism, not to mention a number of high-profile representatives with direct ties with known terrorist and/or terrorist organizations. I was looking at a video about ISIS yesterday on YT and all of a sudden I remembered where I had seen similar black flags in the past. And the connection with the house of Saud became graphically clear.


See this people? They were bedouin raiders, the flags are from the Ikhwan organization.  What’s that? A creation of early days Wahhabi Ulama, back in 1913 (see here on Wikipedia) in order to convert potentially dangerous bedouin tribes into allies and muslims.

The parallel is quite tempting. Ikhwan militia was a real force back then, helping a lot the cause of the House Of Saud in its struggle to get control in the country that we now call Saudi Arabia. At the same time they were somewhat indisciplinate and scores of them became difficult to control, forcing the Saud ruler to crush’em in 1929.

The Ikhwan members were quite rigid in the application of the Wahhabi policies, including forced conversion of Shia muslims and enforce more control in the pilgrimage to the holy sites of Mecca and Medina. Since they want to be feared from their enemies, they applied a lot of gory practises like execution of male prisoners by cutting their throats. They opposed modernity like the introduction of gas, cars and telegraph – everything non-arab and not Wahhabi-like wasn’t welcome.

Nowadays, seeing similar flags in the Middle East and in other countries and listening to similar messages from ISIS makes me wonder. The House of Saud is actively looking for getting more and more influence all over the Persian Gulf area and the whole of the North Africa. The same for Middle East and the other islamic countries. That happened in decades of financing Wahhabi imam and radical movements all over, without even a single word of disapproval from the USA.

Back in the days Ikhwan turned against its creators and it took a while to get it under control (metaphor for “destroyed”) with the help of foreigners (mostly military advisors and personnel from UK). What will happen this time? Are the House of Saud rulers ready to discontinue their support for their black-clad allies?

Paris attacks – how to react to a strike

world map terrorism attacks

Yesterday’s post (here) last phrase was: “Are we defenseless?

My answer is no. But we have to consider a number of things before setting up a reaction and answer to a lot of questions that will concur to define what kind of answer we will give in the next days and in the years to come.

Now, please consider the image at the top of this post. As you may see, it shows the locations of the terrorist attacks in the years between 2000 and 2013, with a focus on the deadlier attacks (the biggest red dots) and the worst attacks of 2013. I think it’s appropriate to say that this is a global problem and that no place is really safe.

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Paris attacks – November 13th, 2015

paris newspaper 20151114

The day after a wave of terrorist attacks is always a turmoil of emotions, anger and rage. We still don’t know all the facts and figures about what happened, nor do we have a complete picture of the people who are involved in planning and organizing such attacks.

The nature of what’s happened last night in Paris to me resembled a lot the 2008 Mumbai attacks (see here). A small number of people, maybe eight, that perform simultaneous attacks on a list of objectives with firearms and explosives. The basic idea is to put the city in panic and force the local police department to run everywhere (not to mention all the emergency services).

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How to miss a deadline (and asking for forgiveness)

All right, I’ve missed it. My last installment of the “Ghosts of War” series is two days late and it will be postponed for no less than 30 days, so it’s official: deadline badly missed.

There are a number of reasons for this but I don’t want to justify myself, this post is about asking forgiveness from my readers and to reassure that “Left Behind” will make it on the Amazon Kindle Shop before the end of this year.

More news to follow soon, both about this project of mine and about what will happen in the last few months of 2015. Now, a good thing to be seen: Elena Betti worked out her magic once again and this will be the cover for “Left Behind”.

Ghosts of War_cover 04

Thank you for your patience, and for all the support.

Engines for a new space race


Every now and then I like to write about the new perspectives of space travel and/or space colonization projects. It’s the new frontier since the ’60s and it will become the greatest challenge of human history in a few years from now.

So, here and here you may find what I’ve written before about this matters. Today is about engines, three very different concepts about what we could use to put people and hardware in the direction of Mars and beyond. Everything is still in the concept phase and one of the concepts is quite strange (on the edge of known physics), but what we need now is food for thought.

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