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ISIS Announces 'Real War'— Against Twitter

Online post threatens co-founder Jack Dorsey, Twitter employees

(Newser) - Twitter's efforts to block ISIS-related accounts appears to have earned co-founder Jack Dorsey a special place on the militant group's radar. An anonymous online post yesterday on a Polish site used by computer programmers featured an image of Dorsey, with crosshairs superimposed over his face and a warning... More »

Iraq Launches Major Anti-ISIS Offensive

Operation aims to recapture Saddam Hussein's hometown

(Newser) - Backed by allied Shiite and Sunni fighters, Iraqi security forces began a large-scale military operation today to recapture Saddam Hussein's hometown from ISIS in a major step in a campaign to reclaim a large swath of territory in northern Iraq controlled by the militants, according to state TV. The... More »

ISIS Releases 19 Syrian Christians

Unclear why; all are 50 or older

(Newser) - The Islamic State group released at least 19 Christians today who were among the more than 220 people the militants took captive in northeastern Syria last week, activists and a local leader said. The news provided a modicum of relief to a Christian Assyrian community that has been devastated by... More »

Suicidal Jihadi John: I'm 'a Dead Man Walking'

Old emails with British journo describe feeling watched by MI5

(Newser) - Before he was ISIS' notorious executioner, Mohammed Emwazi was an upscale Londoner —and one who apparently felt persecuted, according to old email correspondence between Emwazi and journalist Robert Verkaik dating back to 2010 and 2011. In them, published yesterday in the Daily Mail , Emwazi discusses feeling like MI5 is... More »

Pittsburgh Pirates: It's 'Sickening' Jihadi John Wore Our Hat

Team responds after photo surfaces of Mohammed Emwazi

(Newser) - After the Islamic State terrorist known as Jihadi John was unmasked as Mohammed Emwazi, Sky News unearthed a photo of him from his days at the University of Westminster in London. Much to the dismay of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Emwazi is wearing a team hat. "It is absolutely sickening... More »

Scott Walker: I've Taken on Unions, So I Can Handle ISIS

Wis. governor isn't even officially running for president yet, but he seems confident

(Newser) - Scott Walker hasn't officially declared he's running for president, but the Wisconsin governor knows if he were president, he'd be able to handle ISIS. Why? Because he's taken on public unions. In a speech yesterday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (aka the "conservative Woodstock"... More »

How a 'Safari Vacation' May Have Shaped Jihadi John

He complained about UK 'harassment' when he tried to make 2009 trip

(Newser) - Mohammed Emwazi, the British-Kuwaiti man who has been identified as "Jihadi John," had long been known to British security services—and according to the advocacy group Cage , the way they treated him may have contributed to his radicalization. According to the group, when he tried to travel to... More »

ISIS Torches Mosul's Ancient Books

Hundreds more Christians kidnapped in Syria

(Newser) - There are more ways than one to be barbaric, ISIS has demonstrated in Mosul. The militants, who seized the Iraqi city in June last year, have trashed its libraries and, by one estimate, have burned or otherwise destroyed more than 100,000 volumes, some of them rare and ancient, the... More »

'Jihadi John' Identified

ISIS' masked man is Mohammed Emwazi from London

(Newser) - Jihadi John has a real name, and the BBC and the Washington Post report that name is Mohammed Emwazi. The masked executioner in several ISIS beheading videos—including the first one of James Foley —was born in Kuwait, raised comfortably in West London, and has a degree in computer... More »

ISIS Now Has Hundreds of Christian Hostages

Activists say at least 220 people rounded up as militants sweep Syria

(Newser) - ISIS militants have rounded up hundreds of Christian hostages after storming through a chain of villages along a strategic river in northeastern Syria over the past three days, activists said today. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights puts the number of abducted Christian Assyrians at 220, many taken from... More »

Feds Bust 3 Brooklyn Men Trying to Join ISIS

One told feds he wanted to join ISIS, would harm Obama

(Newser) - Three Brooklyn men have been charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a terror group, per a federal indictment unsealed today. As NBC reports, the men—ages 19, 24, and 30—are accused of planning to join ISIS in Syria, though prosecutors say that they also discussed domestic attacks... More »

What's Driving British Teen Girls to Join ISIS?

Aqsa Mahmood went from 'Harry Potter' fan to radical 'poster girl'

(Newser) - Three missing London teenagers appear to have traveled to Syria to join ISIS, despite their parents' impassioned pleas—and one catalyst in the decision may have been a like-minded young woman from Scotland. Aqsa Mahmood, who at 20 is just a few years older than the trio, was once a... More »

Cops Called Over 'IS' Birthday Balloons

It was a strange 21st birthday, Swedish woman says

(Newser) - Police turned up at a Swedish woman's house after a vigilant passer-by spotted balloons that appeared to spell out "IS" for Islamic State—also known as ISIS—in her window. After speaking to her boyfriend, officers quickly determined that the balloons were to celebrate student Sarah Ericsson's... More »

ISIS Kidnaps 70 Christians

Syria fighters overrun several Assyrian villages

(Newser) - ISIS has abducted at least 70 Assyrian Christians, including women and children, after overrunning a string of villages in northeastern Syria, according to two activist groups. The extremist fighters swept through the villages nestled along the banks of Khabur River near the town of Tal Tamr in Hassakeh province around... More »

Kayla Mueller's Family Releases Her Last Letter

It's the 2nd letter they've released to media

(Newser) - Kayla Mueller's family previously released what was billed as her last letter to them, but now they've released another, and this one is reportedly the final communication they received from her before she was killed while an ISIS captive. Today has it in full. "Once again you... More »

Turkish Troops Enter Syria to Evacuate Tomb

Operation shifted ancient remains of Ottoman leader

(Newser) - Hundreds of Turkish troops backed by tanks took part in an overnight operation into neighboring Syria to evacuate dozens of besieged soldiers guarding an Ottoman tomb and remove the remains amid fears the shrine was threatened by ISIS militants. The mission to the tomb of the grandfather of the founder... More »

Christian ISIS Captive Dies a Muslim— Now What?

Photojournalist James Foley apparently converted during captivity

(Newser) - Many Roman Catholics saw journalist James Foley—who was kidnapped, tortured, and beheaded by ISIS —as a symbol of enduring faith under horrible circumstances. Then it came out that he had converted to Islam in captivity. Now what? "The answer is we can’t assess it," says... More »

Kayla Mueller's Dad: US Put 'Policy' Before 'Lives'

Carl Mueller, wife, son interview airing tomorrow

(Newser) - "We understand the policy about not paying ransom," Carl Mueller, father of slain ISIS hostage Kayla Mueller, tells NBC . "But on the other hand, any parents out there would understand that you would want anything and everything done to bring your child home. And we tried. And... More »

Cops Fear 3 UK Schoolgirls Are on Their Way to Syria

British police hope they can intercept girls in Turkey before they find ISIS

(Newser) - Three London teens on their winter break are believed to have skipped town and headed to Syria to join up with ISIS, British police said today, per the BBC . Shamima Begum, 15, and two classmates—Kadiza Sultana, 16, and a 15-year-old friend whose parents asked for anonymity—reportedly got on... More »

World's 'Knee-Jerk' Responses Help ISIS

US, other nations seem to be playing into the group's hands: Kathleen Parker

(Newser) - After the Islamic State beheaded American James Foley, the US struck back with military action. Jordan and Egypt did the same when their own hostages were killed. Unfortunately, we can expect the same scene to be replayed again and again, writes Kathleen Parker in the Washington Post . ISIS is combining... More »

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