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KSM's new look

 It's been a big media week for counterterrorism expert Jarret Brachman, who has a story on ForeignPolicy.com today about Sheikh Abu Yahya al-Libi, the new face of Al Qaeda.

Brachman also got quite a bit of attention for posting the the photo on the right on his blog, which is the first anyone has seen of terrorist leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed since his capture. The photos were taken by the Red Cross for his family and then released onto the Jihadist Internet where they were spotted by Brachman's fellow terrorism-wathcer Leah Farrell.

Brachman believes the release of the photos is a significant propaganda victory for KSM and Al Qaeda, as the most recent and widely circulated photo of the terrorist mastermind is the not-so-flattering one taken right after arrest. It also shows him in relatively good condition even after being reportedly waterboarded 183 times in one month. Brachman writes:

Even the jihadis say on their forums that he looks virtually unrecognizable from the previous photos they’ve seen (none of which are all that complimentary in their opinion).  This one paints him as a pious elder Muslim. He’s serene, contemplative – is that a partial smile?

So, the jihadists get a hold of this image and have in their hands more than just a photo. They have a symbol. This is the man who dealt the single greatest blow to the ‘infidel’ and look, they might say, he’s not only still alive, but he looks more pious and happier than ever.

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South African minister threatens "third world war" over runner gender scandal

Amidst the continued debate and controversy surrounding South African world champion runner, Caster Semenya, South African officials have gone a bit overboard in their outrage about gender testing procedures used by IAAF. In regard to revoking Semenya's title, South African Sports Minister Makhenkesi Stofile stated earlier today:


"I think it would be the third world war. We will go to the highest levels in contesting such a decision. I think it would be totally unfair and totally unjust."

Similar sentiments have been expressed by President Zuma who has vocally questioned the validity of the procedures implemented by the IAAF, and the South African people, who have embraced Semenya as a national hero.

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