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Terrorism

One of the greatest challenges of our time, terrorism has grown as a security threat for countries all over the world. Pulitzer Center stories tagged with “Terrorism” feature reporting on international terrorist organizations such as ISIS, al-Qaeda, al-Shabaab, Hamas and Hezbollah and the impact of terrorism of its victims. Use the Pulitzer Center Lesson Builder to find and create lesson plans on terrorism.

 

In Aleppo, Syria, Mohamed Atta Thought He Could Build the Ideal Islamic City

In 1994, Mohamed Atta traveled to Istanbul with a student group and continued onward to visit Dittmar Machule in northern Syria, where the professor was doing fieldwork on a Bronze Age village under excavation. But Atta found himself more interested in the traditional urbanism of the nearest major city, Aleppo. Atta was hardly the first student of Middle Eastern architecture drawn to Aleppo. Along with Fez in Morocco and Sana'a in Yemen, Aleppo is considered among the best-preserved cities in the Arab world.

Mohamed Atta Confronts the Historic Muslim Monuments and Modern High-Rises of Cairo

Mohamed Atta became an architect at Cairo University, in the city where he came of age. The Egyptian capital is a fascinating, albeit poorly maintained, open-air museum, spanning 5,000 years of architectural history. In its recent past—since Napoleon's 1798 invasion, in Egypt's near-geologic time frame—the city has lurched from Western model to Western model, trying in vain to reclaim its lost glory. In the Abdin neighborhood where Atta grew up, grand Parisian apartment buildings constructed in the 19th century now sit caked in dust, their windows shattered.

What Can We Learn About Mohamed Atta From His Work as a Student of Urban Planning?

A month after 9/11, Fouad Ajami wrote in the New York Times Magazine, "I almost know Mohamed Atta, the Egyptian [at] the controls of the jet that crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center." While the Middle East scholar had never met the lead hijacker, Ajami knew his type: the young Arab male living abroad, tantalized by yet alienated from Western modernity, who retreats into fundamentalist piety.

Pakistani Immigrants in Seattle Confront a Huge Challenge at Home

As the first notes of the Quran, sung by a diminutive imam in an embroidered prayer cap, fill the Westin Bellevue's ornate Grand Ballroom, a sea of hands moves to cover heads.

At the hotel, 450 people from Seattle's growing Pakistani community have gathered to help the troubled country they left behind.

It's been a tough year for Pakistan.

Pakistanis in Seattle Give a Pakistan Community the Gift of Girls' School

Thirteen-year-old Humiera Kausar's oversized sneakers hurry over piles of granite boulders and through scrubby pines bristling with last night's rain. A headscarf and pink shawl are wound tightly around her small frame to protect against the thick mist that has settled over her high mountain village.

Her school uniform, traditional baggy pants and a long tunic, is glowing white and Humiera is careful not to soil the cuffs as she quickly makes her way along a rugged green spine of the Karakoram foothills. She's late for school and still almost four miles away.

The Fall of Africa's First Narco-State

Cocaine trafficking has turned Guinea Bissau into Africa's first narco-state, and a lucrative source of cash for Hezbollah and al Qaida as well as South American drug cartels. The double assassinations last March of the country's president and army chief of staff may have been the point of no return as this tiny country sinks into a new era of conflict.

Disclaimer: The following contains graphic imagery and content, and may not be suitable for all ages.

Photographed by: Marco Vernaschi / Pulitzer Center

Guinea Bissau's drugs corruption

The West African country of Guinea-Bissau is one of the poorest nations in the world, is a base for narcotics heading to Europe and has a big crack cocaine problem.

It has suffered a series of coups and a civil war. Earlier this year the head of the armed forces was killed and, a few hours later, the president was murdered in retaliation.

But are things turning around for Guinea-Bissau? The killings led to elections being held last weekend.

In the heart of the narco-state

Drug traffickers use Guinea Bissau as a base to smuggle drugs to Europe. A journalist from El Pais visited the country: one of the poorest nations in the world, where militaries -- involved in bloody clashes -- hinder drug trafficking investigations and Latin American drug dealers cross Bissau's dark nights in luxury cars.

The Ghost Schools of Pakistan

Despite ankle deep garbage, charcoal-scribbled graffiti of machine guns and the scorched remains of squatters' fires, the dusty green chalkboard still reads "December 2, 2006," the last day that classes were held in the primary school wing of Mirza Adam Khan, a government-run compound of schools in the poor and violence plagued Karachi neighborhood of Lyari.

The Bissau-Conakry Plan

Marco Vernaschi, for the Pulitzer Center

(Editor's note: This is the seventh of eight dispatches, recounting events surrounding the double assassinations of Guinea Bissau's president and army chief of staff last March and the country's emergence as a 'narco state.')

Several years ago, two long-friends met in Guinea Conakry to talk about some business opportunities. They were Lasana Conte and Joao Vieira, the presidents of Guinea Conakry and Guinea Bissau. It was 2006 and cocaine trafficking in West Africa was at a development stage.