Islamic State

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How an Arrest Ended Secret Talks to Save Peter Kassig

Stanley Cohen feels betrayed after covert operation fell through

(Newser) - For weeks before Islamic State militants released a video showing the beheading of Peter Kassig , FBI officials backed a plan to save the US aid worker. In an exclusive, the Guardian reveals New York lawyer Stanley Cohen—who has represented Osama bin Laden's son-in-law —convinced al-Qaeda-linked clerics Abu... More »

ISIS Wants $1M for Body of James Foley

Islamic State now trying to ransom his remains

(Newser) - The Islamic State couldn't get a ransom for James Foley while he was alive, but now the group wants to collect one for his remains, reports BuzzFeed . The website quotes three sources as saying that ISIS will turn over the American journalist's body for $1 million and provide... More »

Feds to US Troops: ISIS May Use Social Media to Find You

Service members urged to rid their accounts of military ties

(Newser) - Members of the US military who don their uniforms in Facebook photos may be putting their lives at risk, according to a new warning from federal authorities. The FBI and Homeland Security have warned current and former service members to rid their social media accounts of any military connections, reports... More »

UN: ISIS Has Enough Firepower for 2-Year Fight

Muslim world urged to denounce 'monstrous' crimes

(Newser) - If the flow of weapons to ISIS was completely cut off today, the militants would still have enough weapons to battle on for up to two years, according to a United Nations report. The report says that while airstrikes can destroy the group's vehicles and heavier weapons, including tanks... More »

Top US General Makes Surprise Visit to Iraq

Martin Dempsey there to assess fight against ISIS

(Newser) - America's top military leader arrived in Iraq today on a previously unannounced visit, his first since a US-led coalition began launching airstrikes against the extremist Islamic State group. The visit by Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, came just two days after he... More »

ISIS to Mint Coin Worth About $700

New currency intended to sidestep 'global economic system'

(Newser) - Who needs a "tyrant's financial system" when you can mint your own money? That's apparently the thinking of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, which plans to mint its own currency of seven coins—two gold, three silver, and two copper, reports CNN . The Telegraph adds that the coins... More »

ISIS Leader Calls for 'Volcanoes of Jihad'

US hasn't yet verified recording purportedly by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

(Newser) - A newly released audiotape suggests that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is OK after recent reports that he'd been injured in a US airstrike. In the 17-minute recording posted on a jihadi website, a man purported to be al-Baghdadi urges his followers to “erupt volcanoes of jihad everywhere"... More »

ISIS Gets Its First Major Affiliate

Egypt militant organization forges alliance with Islamic State

(Newser) - ISIS has garnered its first major international ally in the form of Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, an Egyptian militant group the New York Times calls the country's most dangerous. That organization pledged obedience to ISIS yesterday, the Times reports. Until now, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis has largely targeted only Egypt's... More »

Obama: Here's the Plan for Iraq

President discusses ISIS, immigration, and his love for politics

(Newser) - The latest addition of 1,500 US troops to Iraq "signals a new phase" in the fight against ISIS (or ISIL, or Islamic State), but not one that includes Americans engaging in combat, President Obama says in a wide-ranging discussion with Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation, CBS News... More »

Iraqi Officials: ISIS Leader Wounded in Airstrike

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was hurt, they say, without elaborating

(Newser) - Iraqi officials said today that an airstrike wounded the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi—but Pentagon officials say they have no immediate information on such a strike or al-Baghdadi being wounded. Iraq's Defense and Interior Ministries issued statements saying al-Baghdadi had been wounded, without elaborating.... More »

Airstrikes Likely Hit ISIS Bosses: Officials

Unclear whether top figure was among them

(Newser) - US airstrikes have hit a convoy of trucks which, officials believe, were carrying some ISIS leaders, US officials tell the AP . Rumors have suggested that the group's top figure, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, may have been among the leaders, the New York Times reports; neither Iraqi nor US officials could... More »

Obama Doubles US Presence in Iraq

Authorizes 1.5K more troops for non-combat roles against ISIS

(Newser) - The US is about to double the number of American troops serving in Iraq, reports the Washington Post . President Obama has authorized deployment of another 1,500, though their mission will be to advise and train Iraqi and Kurdish troops in the fight against ISIS, not take part in combat.... More »

Iraq's Goal: Retake Country by End of 2015

US helping plan spring offensive

(Newser) - The US is working with Iraq on a plan for the government to push ISIS out of the Iraqi part of its self-declared Islamic State by the end of next year. As atrocities including the public execution of dozens of men, women, and children continue, a major offensive is being... More »

One by One, ISIS Executes 50 Men, Women, Kids

Continues public executions of Sunni tribe in Iraq's Anbar Province

(Newser) - Islamic State group extremists lined up and publicly shot dead at least 40 Iraqi tribesmen, six women, and four children today, officials said, the latest mass slaying by militants who have killed some 150 members of the tribe in recent days. The killings target the Sunni Al Bu Nimr tribe... More »

Denver Dad: Teens Trying to Join ISIS 'Stupid Little Girls'

He says they didn't truly know what they were doing

(Newser) - One of three suburban Denver girls who authorities say tried to join Islamic State militants in Syria was confused about what her role would be if she had actually made it there, the girl's father said today. "She told me they were going to get there and somebody... More »

1st US Serviceman Dead in ISIS Mission

Marine Lance Cpl. Sean Neal died in 'noncombat' incident

(Newser) - Washington may not have "boots on the ground" in Iraq, but it still recorded the first death of a serviceman in the fight against ISIS—19-year-old Marine Lance Cpl. Sean Neal, the Washington Post reports. The California native reportedly died in Baghdad in what the Pentagon is calling a... More »

Why the Fight for Kobani Matters

Battle over Syrian town emerges as test of US policy: 'New York Times'

(Newser) - It's a safe bet that most Americans had never heard of the town of Kobani , Syria, a few weeks ago. Now, however, a common school of thought seems to be, "As Kobani goes, so goes the war on ISIS." In an editorial today, the New York Times... More »

Father of ISIS Hostage Dies

Paul Cantlie had made appeal for release of son John

(Newser) - Paul Cantlie made an impassioned plea from his hospital bed for his son's life earlier this month, but he died not knowing whether it worked. The 80-year-old is dead from complications of pneumonia, reports the BBC . His son, John Cantlie, is a British journalist who has been held captive... More »

FBI: 3 Teen Girls From Denver Tried to Join ISIS

Girls ages 15 and 16 were caught in Germany, returned home

(Newser) - Three teenage girls from Denver flew overseas in a bid to join ISIS in Syria before being stopped, reports the Denver Post . The girls, ages 15 and 16, apparently were lured by a "slick" online campaign to join militants with the Islamic State, an FBI official tells ABC News... More »

ISIS Fighters May Be Learning How to Fly

Syrian group says Iraqi pilots are teaching them

(Newser) - A group that monitors the Syrian war has some seriously unwelcome news in the fight against ISIS: The militants are learning how to fly fighter jets, reports Reuters . According to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, former Iraqi officers who served under Saddam Hussein have been training ISIS pilots.... More »

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