The List

Soccer Wars

Last week's attack on the Togo national soccer team's bus in Angola resulted in the deaths of the driver, a press officer, and an assistant coach, and led to Togo's withdrawal from the Africa Cup of Nations. But the tragedy is hardly the first time that ugly political tension has invaded the beautiful game.

The Football War

Year: 1969

Teams: Honduras, El Salvador

Damage done: Honduras and El Salvador battled in a three-leg World Cup qualifier playoff in June 1969 -- and went to war two weeks later in what is dubbed the Football War. Honduras already resented its neighbor by the late 1960s for the 300,000 illegal Salvadoran migrants who had passed into the country. In the spring of 1969, tensions reached new heights when Honduras began expelling many back over the border.

When the two teams met for a playoff, rampant fan violence -- in which several were killed -- caused media hysteria in both countries, leading to Honduras breaking off diplomatic relations on June 27. (Honduras won the first leg, 1-0, El Salvador triumphed in the second game, 3-0, and finally El Salvador qualified for the 1970 World Cup with a 3-2 win in neutral site Mexico.) On July 14, El Salvador initiated airstrikes on Honduran targets, and its army had invaded as far as 5 miles across the border the following day. Supply shortages halted the Salvadoran attack, and a cease-fire arranged by the Organization of American States came into effect July 20. All in all, 2,000 people were killed in the conflict, many of them Honduran civilians, and tens of thousands of Salvadorans were expelled from Honduras.

Heysel Stadium Disaster

Year: 1985

Teams: Liverpool F.C., Juventus F.C.

Damage done: Thirty-nine fans died (and 600 more were injured), mostly Italians, just before the 1985 European Cup final in Brussels -- and the game was still played only a few hours later.

According to Liverpool fans, some Juventus faithful -- having purchased tickets in the “neutral” section for Belgian fans -- starting throwing missiles projectiles at English fans an hour before game time. In retaliation, a wave of Liverpool supporters rushed the neutral section, causing fans to flee toward a retaining wall, which collapsed, crushing many. Belgian authorities were criticized for deploying an insufficient number of police and for holding the match in an older stadium. Juventus hoisted the cup later that night after winning 1-0. All English football clubs were banned from European competitions for five years, and Liverpool received an additional two-year penalty.

Ethnic Tensions Explode in the Balkans

Year: 1990

Teams: Red Star Belgrade, Dinamo Zagreb

Damage done: "To the fans of this club, who started the war with Serbia at this ground on 13 May 1990,” reads a plaque outside Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb, Croatia. The trouble started after the triumph of pro-Independence Croatian politicians in April 1990 national elections exacerbated ethnic tensions in then-Yugoslavia. The following month, a delegation of violent Red Star fans known as the Delije (“tough guys,” shown left in their later incarnation as a Serbian paramilitary unit), headed by future Serbian war criminal “Arkan” (Zeljko Raznjatovic), traveled to Zagreb for a match between the top Serbian and Croatian sides.

Brutal street fights ensued, and inside the stadium, the Serbian police officers who were assigned to provide security allowed the Delije free rein to attack Dinamo supporters. A counterassault by thousands of Croatians overwhelmed the police and the Delije in the largest pitch invasion in football history. Police reinforcements were called in, but not before Dinamo midfielder Zvonimir Boban famously kicked a policeman to the ground. (Boban later spent eight years at A.C. Milan and captained Croatia to a third-place finish in the 1998 World Cup.) The game was never played, but many of the fan-gangs involved that day later went on to join their respective sides’ paramilitary forces in the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

Egypt and Algeria Clash

Year: 2009

Teams: Algeria, Egypt

Damage done: With a spot in the 2010 World Cup on the line, tensions between the two bitter North African rivals erupted last November. The same sides had been involved in a heated row 20 years before, after Egypt defeated Algeria to make the 1990 World Cup in Italy. In that episode, Algerian star Lakhdar Belloumi blinded the Egyptian team doctor in one eye with a bottle.

Weeks before the 2009 game even took place, both team’s websites were hacked, escalating tensions. Upon arriving in Cairo, the Algerian national team bus was stoned by Egyptian fans, and several players were injured. (Egyptian media claimed the incident was staged.) When Egypt scored a last minute goal to send the game to a playoff in Sudan, Cairo erupted in celebration. Twenty Algerian fans were injured in the chaos, but Algerian media painted a different picture of the aftermath: supporters burned alive, women stripped, fans killed in the streets -- resulting in the looting of Egyptian businesses in Algeria. Following Algeria’s win in the playoff later that month, a new round of violence erupted. Alaa Mubarak, one of Presidnet Hosni Mubarak’s two sons, claimed that assaults on Egyptian supporters in Sudan were premeditated. Both autocratic governments, however, were happy to use the episode to deflect criticism of their own regimes, at least for a short time. The brouhaha died down when the two governments quieted their state-run media coverage.

El Clásico Rivalry

Year: 1902-present

Teams: F.C. Barcelona, Real Madrid

Damage done: One of the world's most famous and longest-lasting political football rivalries, the Barcelona-Madrid battle has been hot since their first bout in 1902. During the Spanish Civil War, the Fascists bombed Barcelona’s club house. Throughout the Franco era, Madrid was seen as the club of the regime, while Barcelona represented Catalonian regionalism. In 1939, the Catalonian language was banned, forcing Barcelona to remove the Catalan flag from its logo. Meanwhile, Franco bestowed favors on Madrid, often pressuring players on the verge of signing with Barcelona to join Madrid instead.

Nevertheless, the Barcelona grounds were one of the only places where Catalan could be spoken throughout Franco’s Era, leading to the club’s motto, “More than a Club.” Tensions are a lot lower in the post-Franco era but players from both clubs can’t take fans for granted. Perhaps most famously, three years after Luis Figo’s 2000 transfer from Barcelona to Madrid, a fan threw a pig’s head at him while he was lining up for a corner kick at Camp Nou Stadium in Barcelona.

The List

Yemen's Most Wanted

Meet the new al Qaeda bad guys that keep U.S. counterterrorism officials up at night.

Nasir al-Wuhayshi

Rap sheet: As leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Wuhayshi has proven to be both a skilled politician and an innovative, often brutal, adversary. Once Osama bin Laden's secretary, Wuhayshi is a member of the younger and more radical generation of Yemen's al Qaeda cadres. In 2006, he broke out of a maximum-security prison, along with 22 other militants, in Yemen's capital city of Sanaa. In January 2009, he spearheaded the unification of al Qaeda's Yemeni and Saudi branches under his control.

Why he's a target: Wuhayshi is the head of al Qaeda in the region -- that alone is enough to put him at the top of any U.S. hit list. Since last year's merger, he has released a number of videos calling on Muslims to rebel against Arab regimes, notably the government of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the Saudi royal family. He has also proved to be a prodigious writer, penning three articles in the latest issue of the jihadi group's magazine, Sada al-Malahim (Arabic for "Echo of the Battles").

But Wuhayshi's efforts have gone beyond propaganda and recruitment. Under his leadership, AQAP attempted to assassinate Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the Saudi deputy interior minister in charge of the kingdom's counterterrorism efforts, last August. More recently, the media wing of AQAP issued a statement taking credit for Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's plot to blow up Northwest Flight 253 in the United States on Christmas Day. The organization claimed the attack was in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes on al Qaeda targets in Yemen.

Anwar al-Awlaki

Rap sheet: Awlaki is ethnically Yemeni, but actually hails from New Mexico. As an imam, he preached in mosques throughout the United States, including in San Diego; Fort Collins, Colorado; and Washington, D.C. (While in San Diego, he was also arrested for soliciting prostitutes.) Technologically savvy, he also has a reputation as an "e-imam," having created a popular website where he doled out advice and posted "sermons" to spread his radical views. 

Awlaki's fluency in English gives him a unique reach in reaching a non-Arabic- speaking audience. He returned to Yemen in 2004, and was arrested by the Yemeni government for his links to al Qaeda in 2006. He spent 18 months in prison, but, following his release, his current whereabouts in Yemen are unknown. Most likely, he resides near his ancestral home in the southern province of Shabwa.

Why he's a target: During his years of proselytizing, Awlaki has contributed to the radicalization of an extensive list of prominent terrorists. When he was preaching in San Diego and Falls Church, Virginia, his sermons were attended by three of the Sept. 11 hijackers. Most famously, he had long-running email correspondence with Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the U.S. Army psychiatrist who went on a religiously motivated shooting spree at the Foot Hood military base last November, killing 13 people. "Nidal Hasan is a hero," Awlaki stated after the attacks. "The fact that fighting against the U.S. Army is an Islamic duty today cannot be disputed. Nidal has killed soldiers who were about to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in order to kill Muslims." He also appears to have had contact with Abdulmutallab.

"He's not just a cleric," noted White House counterterrorism advisor John Brennan last Sunday. "He is in fact trying to instigate terrorism."

Said al-Shehri

Rap sheet: Shehri, a Saudi, was captured in December 2001 in Pakistan, where he claimed to be providing humanitarian relief for Muslim refugees. He was subsequently transferred to the Guantánamo Bay detention facility, where the U.S. charges against him included "participat[ing] in military operations against the United States and its coalition partners," as well as plotting to assassinate an unnamed writer.

Shehri was transferred to Saudi custody in November 2007. While in Saudi Arabia, he spent six to 10 weeks in Saudi Arabia's largest rehabilitation program, the Prince Mohammed bin Nayef Centre for Care and Counseling. His release from U.S. custody was perhaps influenced by his claim, recorded in his official Guantánamo docket, that if released "he would like to return to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, wherein he would reunite with his family ... he would attempt to work at his family's used furniture store if it's still in business."

Why he's a target: Soon after leaving the Saudi rehabilitation program, he surfaced by Wuhayshi's side in the January 2009 video marking the merger of al Qaeda's Yemeni and Saudi wings. As the second in command, he is one of the most influential Saudi figures within AQAP -- and an embarrassment to Saudi Arabia, which proudly touts its rehabilitation program's ability to "cure" Islamist militants.

U.S. officials have accused him of involvement in the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa last September, which killed 16 people. He has also recorded a cell-phone video urging Saudis to donate to AQAP and, in an article for Sada al-Malahim, the jihadi online magazine, called for more targeted assassination attempts like the attack on Prince Mohammed bin Nayef.

Qasim al-Raymi

Rap sheet: Raymi has been associated with al Qaeda in Yemen since well before the creation of AQAP, previously serving as deputy to Wuhayshi for its predecessor group al Qaeda in Yemen. In February 2006, he escaped prison as part of the same jailbreak that freed Wuhayshi. On June 21, 2007, Raymi released the audio statement that announced the formal re-establishment of al Qaeda in Yemen with Wuhayshi at its head. He has successfully evaded authorities ever since, most recently escaping a raid designed to capture him in the southern Abyan province last December.

He also appears to have a healthy appetite for risk. In 2008, observers were surprised to spot him mingling for nearly two hours at a funeral in Sanaa -- apparently unafraid of being apprehended by Yemeni security services.

Why he's a target: As one of Wuhayshi's closest accomplices and the current military commander of AQAP, Raymi has left a long line of victims in his wake. In late June 2007, he released two statements, one of which was a warning to Saleh's government. Then, on July 2, al Qaeda launched a suicide attack on a convoy of Spanish tourists in Mareb province, killing 10 people. The Yemeni government has accused Raymi of being part of the terrorist cell responsible for the attack.

Hizam Mujali

Rap sheet: The Sanaa-born Mujali hails from a family of al Qaeda members: His younger brothers Arif and Yahya are also active in terrorist circles. Hizam Mujali was stopped at a checkpoint in 2003 and, while resisting arrest, shot and killed a Yemeni police officer. He was also part of the infamous 2006 prison break. However, he eventually turned himself back in to the Yemeni government, striking a deal that would allow him to keep his freedom on the condition that he did not rejoin al Qaeda. That condition appears to have recently been broken: The government targeted him in a raid it launched in Arhab Province this past December. Although they captured his brother Arif, Hizam managed to escape.

Why he's a target: Mujali's involvement in terrorism dates back to al Qaeda in Yemen's attacks under the leadership of Abu Ali al-Harithi, who was killed by a CIA drone strike on Nov. 3, 2002. Mujali was tried in a Yemeni court for his involvement in the 15-man cell that launched an attack on the French oil tanker Limburg on Oct. 6, 2002. In an attack that echoed the USS Cole bombing in 2000, a dinghy laden with explosives detonated beside the Limburg, killing one crew member. More recently, the Yemeni military has claimed that Mujali has reconnected with Qassem al-Raymi, with whom he fled after the military's raid in Arhab last December.