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State Department Boasts of 'Bringing Peace' to Syria

Blog post also praises United States for 'winning fight against violent extremists'

(Newser) - Everyone's entitled to a bit of boasting now and again, but a year-in-review State Department blog post appears to have veered into overstatement territory on Syria, Politico reports. Authored by spokesman John Kirby, the DipNote post , entitled "Pivotal Foreign Policy Moments of 2015," combines the recently trending... More »

Man's 'Pro-ISIS' Christmas Lights Weren't That at All

Look up, folks

(Newser) - Residents of Limerick, Maine, were disturbed when they saw "ISIS" spelled out in Christmas lights on a local's home, and one of them contacted the York County Sheriff's Office to report a possible terrorist sympathizer. Deputies went to investigate and found that the holiday decor did, in... 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

American Held by ISIS Is Former Army Ranger Turned Volunteer

Peter Kassig founded relief organization; parents ask for his release in video

(Newser) - In its latest execution video, ISIS threatened that its next victim would be an American aid worker named Peter Kassig. The 26-year-old is a former Army Ranger from Indiana who served in Iraq in 2007 before being honorably discharged for medical reasons, reports CNN . He enrolled at Butler University upon... More »

ISIS Beheads British Hostage, Threatens American

Alan Henning is the latest victim; US citizen Peter Kassig may be next

(Newser) - ISIS today released another video showing the beheading of a hostage, this time British citizen Alan Henning, reports AP . The video follows the same pattern as the previous three, in which an Islamic State fighter rants against the West. At the end of the video, the militant threatens an American... More »

Iraqi PM: ISIS Plans Subway Attack in US

American officials downplay threat

(Newser) - While speaking to reporters at the UN today, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Ibadi made some news that seemed to catch everybody off guard: He said he had "credible" evidence that ISIS was planning subway attacks in the US and Paris, reports Reuters . US security officials quoted on and off... More »

Obama Makes Serious Mistake on Syria Airstrikes

New York Times says it's a major escalation that needs debate in Congress

(Newser) - The New York Times editorial board thinks President Obama has the US blundering into a new war with the expanded airstrikes in Syria . Before the US gets any deeper into the operation, the president should open this up for a full debate in Congress, says the editorial. It's also... More »

Obama Has a New Role: War President

He should embrace it, writes editor at Politico Magazine

(Newser) - Yes, President Obama came to national prominence on an anti-war platform, or, more specifically, as an opponent of what he saw as a "dumb" war in Iraq. But that was then. Now he "must go from being the president who was elected to end wars—his most treasured... More »

Senate Backs ISIS Bill, but Some Big Names Balk

Rand Paul, Elizabeth Warren in the 'no' camp

(Newser) - The Senate today followed the lead of the House and passed a spending bill that gives President Obama the authority to train and arm Syrian rebels in the fight against ISIS. The measure passed easily, 78-22, but the Hill notes that some potential presidential candidates were in the "no"... More »

Chelsea Manning: Let ISIS Destroy Itself

'Bombs and bullets' only make the group stronger, writes the Wikileaker

(Newser) - It's tempting to go after ISIS with military might, but that strategy will eventually backfire, writes Chelsea Manning from her prison cell at Fort Leavenworth. Based on her stint as an analyst in Iraq, Manning says that using "bombs and bullets," is exactly what the group wants.... More »

Obama: I Repeat, No 'Ground War in Iraq'

But critics are worried the slope is getting slippery

(Newser) - A day after a top US general raised the possibility of US ground troops in the fight against ISIS, President Obama reiterated the promise he's been making of late: "I will not commit you, and the rest of our armed forces, to fighting another ground war in Iraq,... More »

NY Man Was ISIS Recruiter: Federal Indictment

Mufid Elfgeeh also charged with plotting to kill US troops back from Iraq

(Newser) - A man from Rochester, NY, was indicted yesterday on charges of attempting to help three people (two of them FBI informants) travel to Syria to take up arms with ISIS, reports the LA Times . The Justice Department statement further alleges that Mufid Elfgeeh sent $600 to a potential recruit in... More »

US General: We Might Need Ground Troops Against ISIS

Martin Dempsey says special circumstances might come up

(Newser) - President Obama has been adamant that American military intervention against ISIS will not involve US ground troops. But as it turns out, the people who will be doing the actual intervening aren't so sure about that. In testimony today before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Joint Chiefs of Staff... More »

Iraq Envoy Warns Pope of 'Credible' ISIS Death Threats

Says militants could strike during his trips to Albania, Turkey

(Newser) - Pope Francis may have solidified his enemy status when he said last month that ISIS must be stopped . Now Iraq's ambassador to the Vatican is warning that "threats against the pope are credible," and that he could be at risk during his visit to Albania this weekend... More »

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