August 6th, 2012
07:39 PM ET

Syria's first astronaut joins the rebels

By Jamie Crawford

A "symbolic" pioneer in Syria's scientific advancements can now be added to the list of departures and defections from the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in recent days.

Mohammad Ahmad Faris, Syria's first man in space, crossed into Turkey this past weekend after meeting with commanders of the rebel Free Syrian Army in the Syrian city of Aleppo, the Turkish news agency Anadolu reported.

"I am ready to provide assistance to the Free Syrian Army," Anadolu quoted Faris as telling commanders of the umbrella group of rebel fighters. "We are with you all the way."

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Filed under: Assad • Free Syrian Army • Syria
August 6th, 2012
05:07 PM ET

Sikh temple gunman was Army vet

An Army veteran who neighbors say played in a far-right punk band was the lone shooter in the rampage at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin that killed six people and wounded four, according to information Monday from law enforcement authorities.

Wade Michael Page, 40, was shot to death by police responding to the Sunday morning attack in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek, the community's chief of police told reporters.

It was the latest violence against the Sikh community in the United States in apparent misdirected revenge for the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

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Syrian prime minister defects, officials say
Riyad Hijab speaking in Quneitra, Syria in November 2008
August 6th, 2012
08:46 AM ET

Syrian prime minister defects, officials say

Syria's prime minister has defected, officials said Monday, in what is the highest-profile departure from the embattled regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Riyad Hijab fled Syria overnight and arrived with his family in Jordan, said George Sabra, a spokesman for the opposition Syrian National Council.

Jordanian officials confirmed that Hijab, who was appointed prime minister in June, had defected to Jordan and was with his family.

The Syrian government, meanwhile, said Hijab resigned his post, according to a banner on Syrian state-run TV.


Filed under: Assad • Syria
August 6th, 2012
01:00 AM ET

Analysis: Women and children constitute the new faces of terror

Editor’s note: Mia Bloom is an associate professor of international studies at Penn State University and author of "Bombshell: The Many Faces of Women Terrorists (2011)" and "Dying to Kill: the Allure of Suicide Terror (2005)."

By Mia Bloom, Special to CNN

Before his death during an American raid in 2011, Osama bin Laden's public statements often called on the young people of Muslim countries to rise up against their rulers.

In the documents released in May that were taken from his Abbottabad compound, bin Laden admits that "most of the work in Afghanistan [has] turned to the goal of luring and preparing the youth."

Terrorists do not fit a particular profile. No longer can we expect them to look a certain way, be of a certain age or indeed even that they be men.

For example, at least a dozen women in the Sunni triangle of Iraq targeted American military personnel and Iraqi civilians in "martyrdom operations" - especially from 2006 to 2008. In May 2008, a woman feigning pregnancy killed 36 people during a wedding reception in Balad.


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Filed under: Terrorism