Trevor Westra

Trevor Westra is a Canadian analyst and blogger whose writings on international affairs are featured at, syndicated security news-blog, and online magazine Global Politician. He writes frequently on role of religion in global conflict at his website, and is a contributing analyst with Wikistrat. A graduate of Canada's Laurentian University, he specializes in the religious historiography of the Middle East and South Asia.

Most Recent Articles by Trevor Westra:

Venezuela, Iran Linked to Alleged Cyberattack Plot

Dec 16, 2011 — Trevor Westra

U.S. Spanish-language television network, Univision, has released an investigative documentary in which it is claimed that Venezuelan and Iranian diplomats negotiated with Mexican hackers to break into White House, Pentagon, and FBI databases, as well as U.S. nuclear facilities. Critical to these allegations are a series of recordings made by one of the hackers, who went undercover and attempted to document the conspiracy.

Appointment Of Al-Qaeda Interim Leader Has Strategic, Symbolic Consequences

May 18, 2011 — Trevor Westra

Numerous reports Tuesday indicate al-Qaeda leaders have chosen former Egyptian special forces commander Saif al-Adel (AKA Muhammad Ibrahim Makkawi) as interim leader of the international Islamist terrorist network. The appointment of al-Adel is significant for many reasons and if confirmed will have a major effect on al-Qaeda’s future look and strategy.

Bin Laden Burial Account Requires Better Explanation

May 4, 2011 — Trevor Westra

One of the more peculiar storylines emerging from this week’s news that U.S. Navy Seals successfully killed the elusive Islamic-terrorist figurehead Osama bin Laden at a fortified compound in urban Pakistan was the surprising manner in which U.S. officials allegedly disposed of his remains. While it is certainly understandable that the Obama administration would want to avoid entombing his dead body, thereby allowing his followers a location which they could turn into a mausoleum for generations of al-Qaeda sympathizers, affording bin Laden a full religious funeral complete with body washing and Arabic rites was a questionable move.

US-Pakistan Partnership Rapidly Unraveling

Apr 13, 2011 — Trevor Westra

The U.S. fight against Islamic militants hiding out in Pakistan’s failed border region suffered another serious setback this week. According to the Wall Street Journal, Pakistan has asked the CIA to halt all drone attacks on its territory – a move that would drastically alter U.S. strategic planning in Afghanistan, if conceded. Officials quoted in the report have also suggested that the Pakistani government is seeking a significant disclosure of classified information on U.S. clandestine ground operations inside the country.

Obama’s Failed Afghan Strategy and the Return of Al-Qaeda

Apr 7, 2011 — Trevor Westra

Al-Qaeda has moved back into Afghanistan, a blockbuster article from the Wall Street Journal has revealed. The report contains details of U.S. airstrikes in September against what military officials are now calling an “al-Qaeda training camp” in Korengal Valley - Afghanistan’s so-called Valley of Death. It is the first time in a number of years that the terrorist network is considered to have established an operating base inside the country.

Egypt Watch: Military To Fight Rising Threat of Radical Islamists

Apr 5, 2011 — Trevor Westra

Egypt’s ruling military leaders are feeling the same pressures that faced former president Hosni Mubarek during his decades-long battle with Islamic radicalism. Only days after more extremist groups declared plans to establish political parties for the country’s coming presidential elections, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has announced that the country “will not fall into the hands of Islamists”.

Yemen’s Tribes Step-up Pressure on US Ally Saleh

Apr 3, 2011 — Trevor Westra

Two warring tribes in Yemen have frozen hostilities and joined the growing movement to topple long-time US military aid benefactor President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The Abeeda and Murad tribes, both from Ma’rib governorate - Yemen’s most central province, announced this week that they have joined together with the thousands of anti-government demonstrators camped out in Sanaa’s al-Tagheer Square.

Turkish Officials Discover Stash of Iranian Weapons Heading to Syria

Apr 1, 2011 — Trevor Westra

Turkey has seized a secret shipment of Iranian weapons heading to Syria, documents submitted to the U.N. Security council and obtained by Reuters reveal. The discovery was made while officials were inspecting an Iranian cargo plane that had landed at Turkey’s Diyarbakir Airport on a technical stop, carrying what it declared as “spare auto parts”.

Iran’s “Armageddon” Interpretation of the Arab Revolts

Mar 25, 2011 — Trevor Westra

An Iranian website is soliciting militants for war, Al Arabiya has reported. The site, which is registered under the regime-licenced “ir” domain, urges recruits to carry out immediate suicide attacks on members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a multilateral military alliance led by Saudi Arabia and currently deployed to the US-allied state of Bahrain.

Is Obama flatfooted by the crisis in Bahrain?

Mar 16, 2011 — Trevor Westra

Political instability continues to rock the Kingdom of Bahrain, home of the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet - a force crucial to the Pentagon’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and tactical deterrent to the threat of a nuclear Iran.

Since the British left the tiny island-state in the 1970s, Bahrain has been ruled by the Khalifa royal family, a Sunni Muslim dynasty dating back to the pre-Islamic Arab tribe of the Annizah.

Radical Islam and its continued stranglehold on Pakistan

Mar 7, 2011 — Trevor Westra

The assassination of Pakistan’s Minister of Minorities, Shabaz Bhatti, who was brutally killed Wednesday on the streets of Islamabad, was described as an attack on “the values of tolerance and respect for people of all faiths and backgrounds” by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. As the only Christian member of the Pakistani government, the Vatican also considered it timely to comment, calling his death an act of “violence against Christians and religious freedom”.