Islamic State of Iraq and Syria

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Ill. Teen Charged With Trying to Join ISIS

Mohammed Hamza Khan, 19, was detained Saturday on way to Turkey

(Newser) - A Chicago-area teen who federal agents say was trying to travel overseas to join ISIS was arrested at O'Hare International Airport on Saturday evening, reports the Chicago Tribune . Nineteen-year-old Mohammed Hamza Khan, who CNN notes was flying to Turkey, is charged with attempting to provide material support to a... More »

ISIS' New Recruiting Targets: American Women?

Meanwhile, Arab countries agree to help with US airstrikes

(Newser) - America may now be at war with ISIS, but a handful of Americans are joining up with the Islamic extremist group—and not all of them are men. US law enforcement is looking into a recent spate of women allegedly seeking to join the jihad, Reuters reports. In the past... More »

ISIS' Many Monikers Explained

The story and confusion behind ISIS, ISIL, Islamic State

(Newser) - You've likely seen different names thrown around this summer in reference to the group that beheaded two American journalists and wreaked havoc in the Middle East. But which is the right one? Jonah Blank, formerly of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, tells NPR 's Steve Inskeep that the... More »

ISIS Sells Women Into Marriage for $1K Each: Report

The Islamic State considers Yazidi women 'spoils of war': report

(Newser) - The Islamic State has "distributed" about 300 Yazidi women to its jihadist fighters as spoils of war, CNN reports. The Islamic State, or ISIS, kidnapped the women when it attacked Yazidi villages and forced tens of thousands to flee earlier this month, according to a British group monitoring the... More »

Ex-Hostage: 'John' the Jihadist Beheaded James Foley

Hostages dubbed captors 'the Beatles' because of UK accents

(Newser) - A former hostage says he went by the name "John." Now the FBI and British intelligence are trying to identify the UK-born jihadist who led a group of captors in Syria and likely beheaded James Foley. "John" was a smart, educated, fervent believer in radical Islam, an... More »

Clinton Knocks White House 'Failure' in Syria

And suggests she'll run in 2016?

(Newser) - In a new Atlantic interview, Hillary Clinton has underlined her differences with President Obama on foreign policy—particularly when it comes to Syria. Clinton pointed to the administration's limited involvement in Syria as a major factor in the Islamic State's surge to power in Iraq, Politico notes. "... More »

Sword-Swinging 'Hipster Jihadi' Is New ISIS Mascot

Well-educated Egyptian with black-rimmed glasses tweets support for militants

(Newser) - Islam Yaken is a law school graduate who comes from an affluent Egyptian family, speaks three languages, and sports a trendy haircut and thick-rimmed glasses that make him look more like an extra on Portlandia than a Sunni insurgent. But Yaken's vocal support for the Islamic State, or ISIS,... More »

Obama Mulls Airstrikes, Aid to Help Trapped Iraqis

Decision on Yazidi surrounded by Islamic State expected 'imminently'

(Newser) - Both passive and active options are on the table as President Obama decides how to handle the humanitarian catastrophe developing at Iraq's Mount Sinjar , says a senior administration official who spoke to the New York Times . The passive alternative: Airdrops of food and much-needed medicine to the 40,000... More »

UN Official: ISIS Demanding Female Genital Mutilation

Militant Sunni group issues fatwa, official says

(Newser) - A UN official in Iraq shared disturbing news with reporters today: ISIS militants have issued a religious edict declaring that all women in or around Mosul must undergo female genital mutilation, reports Reuters . The fatwa from the Sunni insurgents, who overtook the northern Iraqi city in June, applies to females... More »

Iraq to UN: ISIS Swiped Chemical and Nuke Materials

Militants grabbed 88 pounds of uranium from Mosul University

(Newser) - On Tuesday, Iraq confirmed to the UN that ISIS militants had control of Saddam Hussein’s former chemical-weapons stronghold. Now Iraq is saying that the Sunni insurgents also overran the University of Mosul last month on their way to Baghdad and pilfered nuclear materials used for scientific research, Reuters reports.... More »

Confirmed: ISIS Seized Saddam's Sarin Facility

Militants took over chemical weapons stash, which is likely degraded, on June 11

(Newser) - Saddam Hussein’s former chemical-weapons stronghold outside Baghdad is in the hands of ISIS militants, Iraq said in a letter to the UN yesterday, confirming previous reports. The letter stated that on June 11, "armed terrorist groups" commandeered Saddam's Muthanna facility, which includes two bunkers believed to hold... More »

New Islamic State Leader Issues First Video

Asks Muslims to obey him, advise him

(Newser) - The leader of the group trying to overrun Iraq and Syria in order to form a new Islamic state has made what is believed to be his first public appearance. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi released a video of a sermon he delivered at a mosque in Mosul amid reports that he... More »

Feds: Colorado Teen Tried to Help ISIS Fiance

She met Tunisian militant online

(Newser) - A young nurse in Colorado is in custody, charged with trying to support ISIS militants fighting in Iraq and Syria, authorities say. According to newly unsealed court records, 19-year-old Shannon Maureen Conley told FBI investigators she had met a Tunisian militant online and agreed to be his wife and work... More »

ISIS Crucifies 8 'Moderate' Militants

Meanwhile, Russia sends jets to Iraq

(Newser) - The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria—or as the group now apparently prefers to be called, just the Islamic State —sent a grisly message to other Islamist militants this weekend in Syria by crucifying eight rebel fighters it deemed too moderate, according to a report from the Syrian... More »

ISIS: We've Formed a New Islamic State

All Muslims ordered to obey 'Caliph Ibrahim'

(Newser) - The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has dropped "of Iraq and Syria" from its name because as far as it is concerned, there is no "Iraq" or "Syria"—just an Islamic caliphate stretching from Aleppo to eastern Iraq. The militant group has declared a new... More »

Syria Launches Airstrikes in Iraq: Reports

57 civilians reported killed in hits supposedly on Sunni militant targets

(Newser) - Syria may have just fully inserted itself into Iraq's civil war. Syria launched cross-border airstrikes on several parts of Anbar province yesterday, killing at least 57 civilians and wounding more than 120 more, local officials tell CNN . The officials say they used scopes and other equipment to identify the... More »

ISIS' Big Mistake: Breaking bin Laden's Rules

Al-Qaeda leader urged fighters to avoid butality: William Saletan

(Newser) - Osama bin Laden was, to put it mildly, not a nice guy. But in some ways, he looks like a gentle soul compared to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The group, which al-Qaeda has disowned, breaks all seven of bin Laden's famed rules for effective terrorists, William... More »

ISIS Takes Hold of Iraq's Largest Oil Refinery

Kerry promises 'intense, sustained' US support

(Newser) - After more than a week of fighting, ISIS militants say they are now fully in control of Iraq's main oil refinery. The facility at Baiji, some 155 miles north of Baghdad, supplies around a third of the country's refined fuel and the BBC notes that its capture is... More »

Iraq Loses Control of Western Border

ISIS miltants seize key border crossings

(Newser) - Islamic State of Iraq and Syria fighters have taken another step toward making their name a reality with the weekend seizure of two key border crossings in western Iraq. Though the news that they took four key towns (Qaim, Rutba, Rawa, and Anah) in two days was reported yesterday, the... More »

Can ISIS Be Stopped?

Militants have taken four towns in two days

(Newser) - Officials in Baghdad are increasingly worried that the Iraqi Army is simply incapable of standing up to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which is both better armed and better trained, diplomats and politicians tell the BBC . And the militants provided plenty of evidence for that as their campaign... More »

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