Saudi Judicial Reform

Ahmed Al Omran, a well known Saudi journalist and blogger, joins me to discuss judicial reform and human rights in Saudi Arabia. Al Omran runs Saudi Jeans and Riyadh Bureau, and his writing has been featured in the Guardian, the New York Times, and Foreign Policy Magazine. The issues discussed include:

  • Overview of Saudi judicial system
  • Legal safeguards for people accused of a crime
  • Recent protests about prisoner treatment
  • Salman al-Odah’s open letter
  • Recent appointment of 30 women to Shoura Council
  • Debate on women’s right to drive

Follow Ahmed Al Omran on Twitter @ahmed
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Islamist Foreign Fighters

Thomas Hegghammer, Zuckerman fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University and senior research fellow at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, joins me to discuss Islamist foreign fighters. Topics covered include:

  • Growth of foreign fighter phenomenon after 1980
  • How states view foreign fighters that originate from their country
  • Western fears that those who go abroad as foreign fighters will return to their home country to carry out attacks
  • Role of foreign fighters in current conflicts
  • Policy implications for combatting foreign fighters

More by Thomas Hegghammer

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Hezbollah in Lebanon & Beyond

Dr. Matthew Levitt, director of The Washington Institute’s Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence and author of the forthcoming book Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon’s Party of God, joins me to discuss Hezbollah’s role in the Syrian uprising and their activities around the world. We discussed many issues related to Hezbollah including:

  • The history of Hezbollah’s role in the Syrian uprising from the start to present day
  • What the fall of the Assad regime could mean for Hezbollah
  • Issues surrounding the EU’s reluctance to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist group
  • Hezbollah’s activities in Europe and the US
  • Hezbollah’s multifaceted identity

Follow Dr. Levitt on Twitter @Levitt_Matt
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