Dotted throughout the world are ''ungoverned territories'' outside the control of the states in which they lie and which provide havens for extremists, according to a United States military-financed study by the Rand Corporation think tank. ''The world is full of safe havens for potential terrorists,'' Angel Rabasa, director of the study, said this week.
In the barren, rocky landscape of the West Bank in the northern Jordan Valley, Yossi Hazut and his family, expelled from Israeli settlements in Gaza, dream of reconstructing their Zionist dream. Last week, the Israeli government approved this site at Maskiot to become the first new Israeli settlement to be authorised in the occupied Palestinian territories since 1992.
The Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, a Palestinian, called on Monday on Middle East leaders to become ''peacemakers'' and condemned inter-Palestinian fighting, as the pope used his Christmas message to appeal for respect of the ''dignity of children''. In Asia, there were no immediate reports of violence that had been feared for the religious holiday.
They neither carry weapons nor lay ambushes for soldiers in Iraq or in Afghanistan. But thousands of radical Islamists are waging a different kind of war from behind their computers, called ''electronic jihad''. These radical Islamic sites have sprung up over the past few years, specialising in the organisation and the coordination of concerted cyber-attacks against Israeli, American, Catholic and Danish websites.
Washington has been playing with fire in Somalia, where its support for a warlord alliance has ended up boosting Islamic militias, which now hold the capital Mogadishu, analysts say. Somalia has been torn by four months of fighting between the Islamists and an alliance of warlords, who largely controlled the lawless state for 15 years.
It may sound like science fiction, but the prospect that suicide bombers and hijackers could be made redundant by flying robots is a real one, according to experts. The technology for remote-controlled light aircraft is now highly advanced, widely available -- and, experts say, virtually unstoppable.
In his office in Peshawar's historic Mohabat Khan mosque, prayer leader Maulana Yousaf Qureshi smoothes his beard from the white roots to the henna-orange tips. "There's no time limit. If someone kills the cartoonist in 50 years he will still get the million dollars," he says.