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A nine-year-old boy plays on his damaged street in Mosul, Iraq in this July 2017 photo. U.S.-backed forces have wrested Mosul from the Islamic State, and the terrorist group lost Raqqa, in northern Syria, last month. Nonetheless the Islamic State is using virtual information sessions to keep its members committed to the cause. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

How the Islamic State uses ‘virtual lessons’ to build loyalty

Despite the fact that the Islamic State is on the run, the terrorist group still manages to inspire, motivate and maintain the social identity and cohesion of its members. Here's how.
Iraqis celebrate the recapture of Mosul from Islamic State. Reuters/Wissm Al-Okili

Mosul is taken back, but Islamic State is not finished yet

While Islamic State might be taking significant blows, including the recapture of the key Iraqi city, there is no reason to expect the violent and radical group will disappear.
Sheen Ibrahim, Kurdish fighter from the People’s Protection Units (YPG), walks together with other YPG fighters in Raqqa, Syria, June 16, 2017. Reuters/Goran Tomasevic

Is it ever a good idea to arm violent nonstate actors?

The US is doing so with increasing frequency around the world – most recently with Kurdish fighters in Syria. A scholar explains what can go wrong, and why this approach is likely to continue.

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