Emily Schneider

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Nearly five months ago, President Obama spoke to the nation from the White House and declared: "Our objective is clear. We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL (also known as ISIS) through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy."

Since then, the United States has provided advisers to the Iraqi military in its fight with ISIS and has bombed ISIS positions. But in an interview with CNN last week, outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel raised the prospect that the United States might need to expand its involvement.

Over this weekend, ISIS again dominated headlines and TV news coverage around the world with the news that the group claims it had beheaded a second Japanese hostage, journalist Kenji Goto.…  Seguir leyendo »

The hunt is on for Hayat Boumeddiene, the 26-year-old woman wanted over Thursday's fatal shooting of a French policewoman. Early reports suggested she might have escaped Friday from a kosher grocery store in eastern Paris as French authorities mounted a rescue operation to free hostages being held there by Amedy Coulibaly, believed to be her boyfriend. However, CNN reports that no witness has publicly said the woman was actually at the scene of the siege, and now sources are saying she left France before the attack on the policewoman.

Boumeddiene is believed to have left France for Turkey around January 2 with the final destination of Syria, according to French and Turkish sources.…  Seguir leyendo »

Most Americans had never heard of the Khorasan group until this week, when President Barack Obama announced that U.S. airstrikes in Syria had targeted the "seasoned al-Qaeda operatives." U.S. officials said that the Khorasan group was actively plotting to conduct an attack in the United States or Europe.

"We can't say that we definitely disrupted their plots" against the West with the U.S. airstrikes, a senior Obama administration official told one of us, but "there is a decent chance we have" because "their communications are interrupted" and members of the group were killed in the strikes.

The sudden public emergence of the Khorasan group as a threat underlines the fact that the global jihadist movement, which at the time of the 9/11 attacks was largely concentrated in Afghanistan, has morphed and metastasized a great deal since then.…  Seguir leyendo »

In a video uploaded to YouTube on Saturday purportedly by the terrorist group ISIS, various scenes of jihadist propaganda flash across the screen: militants reading verses from the Quran and examining a map of northern Syria, clips of violent clashes and explosions.

But this video had something else in it that previous videos released by ISIS have not: Surveillance footage apparently shot by a drone.

The almost 14-minute video shows aerial views of Syrian Army Military Base 93 near Raqqa province in northern Syria.

ISIS militants attacked the base on August 7, deploying suicide bombers driving truck bombs to soften up resistance in scenes that are also shown in the videotape that was released Saturday.…  Seguir leyendo »

ISIS demanded 100 million euros ($132.5 million) in ransom for the release of James Foley, the American journalist kidnapped and killed by the terrorist group in Syria, according to a spokesman for GlobalPost, the news website for which Foley freelanced.

It was never a serious demand, far exceeding the amounts of money paid for hostages held by jihadist militant groups in the past, which typically ranged up to several million dollars.

But the demand does shine a light on two uncomfortable facts about "Kidnap & Ransom," or K&R, the dark netherworld of professionals who work to negotiate between murderous groups like ISIS and the terrified families whose loved ones have been kidnapped.…  Seguir leyendo »