Destruction from an early battle between IS and Iraqi forces in July 2014.
By exploiting weaknesses and divisions, the extremist group has been able to establish a brutal regime in just 12 months.
What possesses a Queensland teenager like Oliver Bridgeman to go to fight in Syria? Online propaganda is not an adequate explanation on its own.
Simplistic views of terrorist recruitment focus on online messages to Western youth. Foreign fighters are coming from many other countries, lured by many means, and we need more sophisticated responses.
Islamic State is not just in the Middle East – it exists in the West’s suburbs and computers.
The West is not only failing to win the war with Islamic State in the Middle East, it is actually much closer to losing it.
The Venice of the Sands.
The destruction of Iraq and Syria's cultural heritage is more than wanton vandalism – it's a grim political project.
Kadiza Sultana, Amira Abase and Shamima Begum left the UK in mid-February.
Record numbers of arrests of young Britons on suspicion of terrorism offences shows the need for a new and effective approach to online jihad.
President Barack Obama and his inner circle follow the assassination of Osama bin Laden, which made headlines worldwide but is seemingly unimportant four years on.
EPA/Pete Souza/White House handout
Memories of the killing of Osama bin Laden are fading, but the legacies of al-Qaeda and the war on terror's many 'own goals' haunt us in the form of multiplying threats and lost civil liberties.
The Iraqi army has not been on point.
Why the Iraqi army keeps losing ground to Islamic State, despite significantly outnumbering its forces.
Displaced Iraqis flee Ramadi as Islamic State forces advance.
With the war in Iraq and Syria going nowhere, the US has tried to spin a botched attempt to capture an IS leader as a success.
Religion can be a force for peace, the goal of these Australian religious leaders, or conflict – the believer and not the religion itself bears the responsibility.
There are religious and non-religious extremists and we should not confuse violent believers with religion itself, which has a long history of peacemaking.
When Australians hear about Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s dire warnings and counter-terrorism raids, they could lose historical perspective on the threat posed by Islamic State.
Dire government warnings and counter-terrorism raids in our suburbs paint a picture of the worst threat Western nations have ever faced. A little historical perspective is in order.
When not employing the description ‘death cult’, Prime Minister Tony Abbott prefers to use the name Da'esh because the group ‘hates being referred to by this term’.
The terrorist group now calls itself Islamic State, but the many names by which it is known reflect both its own evolution and the deliberate choices others make in how they refer to it.
New Zealand citizen Kadhem Chilab Abbas paid with his life by answering Iraq’s call to arms against Islamic State.
The death of a New Zealand citizen who returned to Iraq has led some to query his status as a refugee. We need to be clear about what it means to be granted asylum and the rights of citizenship.
Families cross the Euphrates River seeking the relative safety of Baghdad as Islamic State fighters advance with the goal of creating such violence that people turn from the government to any force capable of restoring peace.
Islamic State is a project built on solid foundations by jihadist theorists with decades of experience. The savagery of terrorism precedes the next stage of a caliphate that delivers longed-for order.
Foreign ministers Julie Bishop and Mohammad Zarif demonstrated a growing rapport between Australia and Iran in reaching agreement on some but not all fronts during her visit to Tehran.
Australia made progress on restoring trade and sharing intelligence on Islamic State in Iraq. Iran was less open to accepting the return of asylum seekers, which may prove a blessing in disguise.
Under the leadership of both Ayman al-Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda has failed to reproduce an event that has shaken the international order since 9/11.
Islamic State's rapid successes in Syria and Iraq stand in stark contrast to al-Qaeda's efforts at global jihad over the past decade.
Like their allies, New Zealand troops served in Afghanistan without the ‘Rolls Royce’ legal agreement now being demanded by some politicians for the upcoming joint mission with Australia in Iraq.
AAP/NZ Defence Force, CPL Sam Shepherd
Australia and New Zealand's joint mission in Iraq is getting underway. But in NZ, the decision to send 143 troops to train Iraqis against Islamic State has faced a divided parliament and public.
Iraqi forces ake up position near Tikrit, northern Iraq.
As the Iraqi's banner assault on Islamic State sputtered, the US stepped in to help – and a third of the ground troops promptly went home.
Given Australia’s involvement in Iraq, Tony Abbott cannot dismiss human rights abuses by Iraqi security forces fighting Islamic State militants.
Australia has a clear obligation under international law to take action to stop abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law by the ISF and Shi’a militia.
A losing battle? Iraqi troops and Shia volunteers near Tikrit.
Iraq rolled into Tikrit with big promises of a major victory against Islamic State. The world is still waiting.
Syrian refugees cross the border into Turkey, one of several states that are already vulnerable to ethnic and demographic tensions.
The flows of refugees from the conflicts in Iraq and Syria are yet another driver of demographic changes that are threatening to destabilise other states long regarded as strong and democratic.