Islamic State of Iraq and Syria

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ISIS Images Show Destroyed Ancient Temple

It appears the 2K-year-old temple of Baalshamin is no more

(Newser) - ISIS released propaganda images today that purport to show militants laying explosives in and then blowing up the 2,000-year-old temple of Baalshamin in Syria's ancient caravan city of Palmyra. The images, posted on social media by supporters of the group, showed militants carrying barrels of explosives, and laying... More »

Jordan Interior Minister: We Will 'Wipe Out' ISIS

Airstrikes continue for 3rd consecutive day

(Newser) - Jordan is going after ISIS militants wherever they are and plans to "wipe them out completely," Jordan's interior minister said, as Jordanian fighter jets struck the group's positions for the third consecutive day today. It was the latest in a series of warnings of harsh retaliation... More »

Family of Hostage ISIS Says Is Dead: We're Still Hopeful

Kayla Mueller's family releases statement

(Newser) - The parents of a 26-year-old woman who ISIS extremists say has been killed in an airstrike in northern Syria have said in a statement addressed to group leaders that the claim of their daughter's death concerned them but they were still hopeful she was alive. ISIS said yesterday that... More »

Turkey Will Let US Use Its Bases to Fight ISIS

As fighting continues in Kobani

(Newser) - Turkey will let US and coalition forces use its bases, including a key installation within 100 miles of the Syrian border, for operations against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, American defense officials said yesterday. But progress in negotiations with Turkey—including Ankara's agreement to train several thousand... More »

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 »

UN Backs $1.2M Inquiry Into Islamic State

Diplomats OK probe of alleged crimes in Syria, Iraq

(Newser) - The UN's top human rights body today overwhelmingly approved the Iraqi government's request for an investigation into alleged crimes against civilians committed by the Islamic State group in its rampage across northeastern Syria and parts of Iraq. Diplomats agreed by unanimous consent to approve a nearly $1.2... 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 »

Pentagon: To Get ISIS, We'd Have to Strike Syria

Chuck Hagel calls Islamic State 'beyond anything we've seen'

(Newser) - In a Pentagon briefing today, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said US airstrikes have helped Iraqi and Kurdish forces regain their footing in Iraq, but he expects Islamic State militants will regroup and stage a new offensive. Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said it's possible to contain the Islamic... 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 »

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