Knowing Too Much?

Libyans may be celebrating the killing of Muammar al-Qaddafi, but you’d better believe that Western governments are breathing a sigh of relief themselves. DAVID RIEFF Whether the NATO countries — who had only a few years ago welcomed Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi back into the international fold in exchange for his renouncing his chemical and nuclear … Continue reading

Haw Haw Anwar al-Awlaki

What the execution of a World War II traitor can teach us about assassinating American-born terrorists. Christopher Hitchens The first thing to say, when reviewing the question of what America should do about those of its citizens who advocate the murder of random numbers of its civilians, is that it is flat-out astonishing to see … Continue reading

A Murder Foretold

Unravelling the ultimate political conspiracy. by David Grann “Guatemala is a good place to commit a murder, because you will almost certainly get away with it,” a U.N. official has said. Rodrigo Rosenberg knew that he was about to die. It wasn’t because he was approaching old age—he was only forty-eight. Nor had he been … Continue reading

What Made This University Scientist Snap?

By Amy Wallace Did Amy Bishop’s slowly roiling psychosis go unnoticed in a culture of science and academia that celebrates eccentricities? 4 pm, February 12, 2010—University of Alabama in Huntsville Shelby Center for Science and Technology, Loading Dock. Amy Bishop stepped out of the science building and into the afternoon light. She was a solid … Continue reading

Prime Suspect, Second Row Center

By Ellen A. Laird He was supposed to have been indicted in June. His father had been hacked to death in his own bed with an ax the previous November. His mother was similarly brutalized and left for dead with her husband but survived. On the last Monday of that August, after several months and … Continue reading

Pulp fiction that’s all too real

By Tracey Barnett  The six victims, from top left: Christina Taylor Green, 9, Dorothy Morris, 76, Arizona Federal District Judge John Roll, 63, from bottom left, Phyllis Schneck, 79, Dorwin Stoddard, 76, and Gabe Zimmerman, 30. Photo / AP If you remember nothing about the mass shooting in Arizona that wounded 13 and killed six, … Continue reading

Loughner Friend Explains Alleged Gunman’s Grudge Against Giffords

Gunman’s Grudge Against Giffords In a MoJo interview, the friend shares a message sent hours before the massacre. By Nick Baumann  At 2:00 a.m. on Saturday—about eight hours before he allegedly killed six people and wounded 14, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), in Tucson—Jared Lee Loughner phoned an old and close friend with whom he … Continue reading

Jared Loughner’s World of Illusion … and Ours

The accused Tucson killer isn’t the only one who has a love affair with alternative realities. By Jack Shafer   As long as we’re using Jared Lee Loughner’s tastes in philosophy and literature to probe his psyche—and I’m not saying we shouldn’t—let’s scrutinize our own tastes, too. I’m not suggesting a Mailerian equivalence between Loughner and … Continue reading

Police Publish Images of Two Sought in Codebreaker’s Death

By Kim Zetter In an effort to identify two people who may be connected to the mysterious death of a top British codebreaker, authorities have published images of a man and woman who entered his apartment building weeks before his death. Gareth Williams, 31, was found dead and naked in a North Face duffel bag … Continue reading

Taseer’s murder another sign of the dysfunctional Pakistani state

By Mosharraf Zaidi Salmaan Taseer’s alleged murderer is a twenty-six-year-old security guard, named Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri. Qadri was hired by the Punjab Constabulary in 2003 as an 18-year-old recruit. In 2008, he joined the "Elite Force," where Punjab’s best cops end up, and was working for this elite force on the security detail for … Continue reading

Dubai Assassination Followed Failed Attempt by Same Team

By Kim Zetter The successful assassination of a high-ranking member of Hamas early last year in Dubai followed an unsuccessful attempt by the same hit team two months earlier, according to a magazine story out this month. The elite team suspected of orchestrating the kill tried to poison Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in November 2009 in Dubai, … Continue reading

A killing in Dubai

By Charles Homans On Thursday, Julian Assange told reporters that WikiLeaks would be releasing State Department cables concerning the assassination of Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in January, and he has made good on the promise with a couple of short dispatches from the U.S. embassy in Abu Dhabi. They don’t offer any more … Continue reading

Ahmadinejad’s ninja army

By Charles Homans The U.S. embassy in Azerbaijan sure knows how to write a headline. Here’s a cable from the Baku mission released by WikiLeaks over the weekend, beginning with the subject line "IRAN: NINJA BLACK BELT MASTER DETAILS USE OF MARTIAL ARTS CLUBS FOR REPRESSION:" xxxxxxxxxxxx a licensed martial arts coach and trainer xxxxxxxxxxxx, … Continue reading

In Global Hunt for Hit Men, Tantalizing Trail Goes Cold

By CHIP CUMMINS And ALISTAIR MACDONALD  DUBAI—Soon after the January assassination of a top Palestinian official here, Dubai police stumbled onto what looked like a big break in the case. They linked a white-haired man with glasses to several suspects caught on security cameras preparing for the murder. Most of the suspects in the case … Continue reading

Do Freelance Assassins Really Exist?

They’re huge in Hollywood. By Brian Palmer George Clooney stars as a professional assassin in The American.In the new movie The American, George Clooney plays a mysterious professional assassin. The American got the Explainer wondering—are there people in the real world who commit murders for a living? Probably not full-time. Lots of people kill for … Continue reading