Five years ago, United States special forces shot and killed Osama bin Laden, ending a manhunt that began in earnest after his Al-Qaeda operatives hijacked planes and flew them into buildings in New York and Washington in September 2001. Having originally come to office in the aftermath of global financial meltdown, Obama had put America back on track, extricated its forces from the "dumb war" in Iraq and had seemingly won the smarter war against Al-Qaeda by ordering the mission to kill bin Laden.
A French journalist infiltrated a cell of would-be jihadists, filming them with a hidden camera as they plotted an attack in the name of the Islamic State group, before they were arrested, he told AFP. The journalist, a Muslim using the pseudonym Said Ramzi, carried out the investigation for a documentary entitled "Allah's Soldiers" which gives an insight into the minds of young jihadists, and will be shown in France on Monday night. "They had the misfortune of being born in the era that the Islamic State exists.
One of Saudi Arabia's most powerful firms, the Saudi Binladin Group, has laid off 77,000 foreign workers, a Saudi daily reported on Monday, citing an anonymous company official. Saudi Binladin Group confirmed to AFP that some staff have been let go, but gave no numbers. The report in the Al-Watan newspaper is the latest alleging tens of thousands of layoffs, unpaid salaries and unrest by employees of the firm which built some of the Gulf country's landmarks.
Hundreds of people marched through Los Angeles on Sunday in a May Day rally that took aim at Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump for his anti-illegal immigration platform that includes building a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. The demonstration in America's second most populous city, which has a large immigrant population, came just days after protesters smashed the window of a police car and blocked traffic outside a Trump campaign event in Costa Mesa, California, 40 miles (64 km) southeast of Los Angeles. On Friday, demonstrators blocked the entrance of a hotel hosting the California Republican convention in Burlingame, south of San Francisco, forcing Trump to halt his motorcade and go through a back entrance to deliver his speech.
Legal proceedings against Bergdahl, which had been halted while the classified material issue was being resolved, can now resume, according to a Thursday ruling by the United States Army Court of Criminal Appeals that was made public late on Saturday by Bergdahl's attorney, Eugene Fidell. Bergdahl, now 30, walked away from his post in Afghanistan in 2009 and was captured by the Taliban, who held him prisoner for five years and tortured him. Bergdahl returned to active duty, but after an investigation he was prosecuted by the U.S. military who said his disappearance from his post resulted in a 45-day search that put soldiers' lives at risk.
French and Turkish police fired tear gas at protesters as tensions erupted in both countries during May Day rallies Sunday, while thousands marched across the globe for the annual celebration of worker's rights. Police estimated some 17,000 protesters marched throughout the French capital for a rally riding a wave of anger against planned labour reforms set to come before parliament on Tuesday. The May Day rally was the second protest against the reforms in a week to descend into violence led by troublemakers known as "casseurs" (breakers) who actively seek confrontation with security forces.
Protesters were withdrawing from Baghdad's Green Zone on Sunday after breaking into the fortified area and storming Iraq's parliament in an unprecedented security breach the day before. The move, which lessens the pressure on politicians in Baghdad, came as rare bombings in the south killed 33 people and wounded dozens. "The protest organising committee announces the withdrawal of the demonstrators from the Green Zone," it said in a statement, citing respect for a major Shiite pilgrimage as the reason for their departure.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for rare attacks in Iraq's deep Shiite south on Sunday, twin suicide car bomb blasts in the city of Samawa killing at least 33 people. "The hospitals have received 33 dead," a senior official in the Muthanna health department, which covers Samawa, told AFP. An officer in Muthanna Operations Command confirmed the toll.
Iran's new parliament will have more women than clerics when its members are sworn in this month, a first in the Islamic republic and a sign of the country's evolving politics. Official results Saturday showed that reformist and moderate politicians allied with President Hassan Rouhani won a big victory in second round parliamentary elections. The outcome saw them outnumber their conservative rivals -- many hardliners lost seats -- for the first time since 2004 and capped a remarkable comeback for reformists after years of isolation.