One long week after the Paris attacks, as Republican presidential candidates mounted an arms race over who can express the most overt and virulent prejudice toward Muslim Americans, MSNBC's Chuck Todd did something pretty unusual for a cable news host. He invited on an actual Muslim American person, Dalia Mogahed, who also happens to be an expert on Muslim attitudes in the US and globally, to politely ask her about all this.
Bomb ISIS. Go ahead. They deserve it. It certainly satisfies the primal need for visible retaliation after the Paris attacks. It may even do some good in the struggle against terrorism in Europe. Some—but probably not very much.
The first female jihadist suicide bomber to blow herself up on European shores struck this week in St. Denis, France. The pope and King Abdullah of Jordan have both named ISIS’s assault on Paris as the start of World War III. I disagree. Those two horrific World Wars involved states and conventional armies. Until now—and our reaction will determine whether it stays this way—this has been a conflict involving an asymmetric non-state actor, which by its sheer audacity is forcing states to reconsider the precarious status quo of international relations today. I believe it is safer, more accurate, and more productive to name this a global jihadist insurgency. And after the latest events in Paris, it’s time to recognize that this insurgency has reached European soil.
Hillary Clinton on Thursday offered an expansive foreign-policy response to last week’s Paris terror attacks – a strategy for countering ISIL and “radical jihadism” across the globe that represents an intensification of President Obama’s current approach – but not a major break. At a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in Manhattan, Clinton outlined her vision for how America needs to lead the fight to defeat ISIL in Syria and Iraq, as well as how to fight a growing terrorist infrastructure. She also addressed how to harden America’s defenses against threats at home and abroad.
The tide of global rage against the Islamic State group lends greater urgency to ending the jihadis' ability to operate at will from a base in war-torn Syria. That momentum could also force a reevaluation of what to do about President Bashar Assad and puts a renewed focus on the position of his key patrons, Russia and Iran. The Syrian leader has lost much of the country to IS and other groups in the four-year war; half the population has been displaced, many areas have been leveled, and masses of refugees are flooding Europe. Along the way, Assad's brutal military response has made him persona non grata in most of the world.
As ISIS faces a stepped-up air and ground campaign in the aftermath of the Paris attacks, there is a good chance the group will lose more territory in Iraq and Syria. But if history is any guide, ISIS will resort to more terrorist attacks in the West as it loses ground, potentially making it a more dangerous and unpredictable enemy in the months to come.
ISIS can't win. But we can lose. Amidst a week of fear over what the Islamic State can do, it's worth stopping to be clear about what it can't do. It can't invade Paris. It can't launch an air war against the United States. It can't even hold its ground — ISIS expert Will McCants estimates the group has lost between 20 and 25 percent of its territory in recent months.
France is committed to "destroying" the so-called Islamic State group after Friday's deadly attacks, President Francois Hollande says.
France wants to bring the United States and Russia together in a grand coalition dedicated to smashing the Islamic State group, President Francois Hollande told lawmakers Monday in a rare joint session in the Palace of Versailles as authorities worldwide struggled to pinpoint those responsible for the deadliest attacks on French soil since World War II. "The faces of the dead people, of the wounded, of the families don't leave my mind," Hollande declared after France and many allies observed a minute of silence in honor of the 129 killed and 350 wounded when Islamic State attackers targeted a soccer stadium, a rock concert and four nightspots Friday with assault gun fire and suicide bombs.
French warplanes pounded Islamic State positions in Syria on Sunday as police in Europe widened their investigations into coordinated attacks in Paris that killed more than 130 people. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for Friday's suicide bombings and shootings, which have re-ignited a row over Europe's refugee crisis and drawn calls to block a huge influx of Muslim asylum-seekers.
The worst terrorist attack in Europe in over a decade was an “act of war” by ISIS, according to French President Francois Hollande. It’s not clear yet what intelligence Hollande was basing that statement on, but ISIS has also claimed responsibility for the attack, calling it the “first of the storm.”
The City of Light wakes up under siege. The deadliest attack in France since World War II has killed at least 129 people. ISIS claimed responsibilty for the attack and President Francois Hollande said Saturday it is an "act of war." Swaths of Paris are completely empty, with soldiers everywhere. Metro stations in several neighborhoods remain shut, and roads near Le Petit Cambodge, where a gunman open fired on diners, are blocked with red and white police cordons.
The terrorist attacks in Paris have dramatically changed the outlook and focus of Saturday night's Democratic presidential debate. And they could very well alter a Democratic race largely defined by economic and social issues. The debate, beginning at 9:00 pm ET and airing on CBS, will take place in the shadow of Friday's attacks, which killed at least 129 and left 352 others wounded according to French authorities. France has declared a state of emergency and ISIS has claimed responsibility for the deadliest attacks on the country since World War II.
The United States announced on Friday it was "reasonably certain" a drone strike in Syria had killed Jihadi John, a British citizen who became the public face of Islamic State and a symbol of its brutality after appearing in hostage execution videos. U.S. and British officials welcomed the apparent success of the operation targeting Mohammed Emwazi, saying his death, if confirmed, would be a big blow to Islamic State's image and prestige even though Emwazi was not a significant tactical or operational figure in the militant group.
At least 37 people were killed and more than 181 wounded on Thursday in two suicide bomb blasts claimed by Islamic State in a crowded district in Beirut's southern suburbs, a stronghold of the Shi'ite Muslim group Hezbollah. The explosions were the first attacks in more than a year to target a Hezbollah stronghold inside Lebanon, and came at time when the group is stepping up its involvement in the Syrian civil war -- a fight which has brought Sunni Islamist threats and invective against the Iran-backed Shi'ite group.
“The United States is engaged in a war of ideas—and it’s losing.” This refrain feels modern, but it has echoed through most of American history. The argument that the U.S. is losing a war of ideas or narratives to ISIS is only the latest iteration. As Scott Atran recently wrote at The Daily Beast, the various military campaigns against the Islamic State obscure “a central and potentially determining fact about the fight”—namely that it “is, fundamentally, a war of ideas that the West has virtually no idea how to wage, and that is a major reason anti-ISIS policies have been such abysmal failures.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Thursday it was increasingly likely that a bomb brought down a Russian airliner over Egypt with the loss of 224 lives, setting him at odds with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Britain, Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands have suspended flights to and from Sharm al-Sheikh, leaving thousands of European tourists stranded in the Red Sea resort where the plane took off from. A spokesperson for Cameron later said flights from the resort destination to Britain would resume on Friday.
For the second time in six months, black churches are burning. There have been six fires since October 8, all within a few miles of each other around St. Louis. Five have been at predominantly black churches, while the sixth was at a mixed church. Each fire has been set at the door, and while most have done minimal damage—one pastor called them “amateur hour” arsons—one nearly destroyed a building.
When Russia started bombing in Syria last week, it said it was targeting ISIS — a claim it's stuck to pretty consistently in the past week. But this map of Russian airstrikes in Syria so far, put together by the Levantine Group, tells a very different story. The Levantine Group's analysts used a proprietary network of sources, cross-checked with open-source media and information released by the Russian Ministry of Defense, to determine the locations hit by Russian planes. This map shows those strikes overlaid on territory controlled by Bashar al-Assad's regime, by anti-Assad rebels, by ISIS, and by Kurdish forces.
The bad blood between Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin and their so-called dueling speeches at the United Nations on Monday masks a deeper reality: The two presidents are today in more alignment than they have been in years on what to do about the threat from Syria. As a result, some sources suggest that despite the tough rhetoric on the surface between the two countries, there’s a much higher likelihood of an accommodation with Moscow—an accommodation that will prolong Bashar al-Assad’s regime at least for a time and place the U.S. and Russia on the same side against the so-called Islamic State (ISIL).