Articles on Islamic State

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The New IRA apologized for killing investigative journalist Lyra McKee during a riot in Derry. Reuters/Charles McQuillan

Why do rebel groups apologize?

Organizations try to hide mistakes and evade responsibility, studies show. But two scholars analyzing militant and terrorist groups say they are willing to acknowledge their mistakes – sometimes.
This term ‘jihad’ can include various forms of nonviolent struggles: for instance, the struggle to become a better person. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

So, what really is jihad?

Violent radicals are often described as jihadists. A scholar explains what the word means and why those using the word to justify terrorism are often misrepresenting their sources.
A Buddhist monk claiming to be the president of the self-styled ‘Protect Sri Lanka’ organisation argues with police personnel barricading the road leading to the president’s official residence in Colombo. EPA-EFE/M.A.PUSHPA KUMARA

Sri Lanka’s Easter Sunday attacks were meant for international audience, but have local consequences

The bombings have been framed as part of ongoing internal conflict, but Sri Lanka was just the stage for a play that could have been performed anywhere in the world.
The Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, one of the landmarks in Brunei. Brunei recently announced punishing gay sex by stoning offenders to death. AP Photo/Vincent Thian

Harsh punishments under Sharia are modern interpretations of an ancient tradition

Some Islamic nations, including Brunei, have harsh punishments under Sharia. In pre-modern times, Sharia was rarely used as criminal law, and standard of proof for any prosecution was very high.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Sri Lanka bombings – a clear signal the group is reforming in other parts of the world after its defeat in Syria and Iraq. M.A. Pushpa Kumara/EPA

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Sri Lanka terror attack. Here’s what that means

The deadly Sri Lanka attacks show a return to the coordinated, sophisticated strikes employed by al-Qaeda in the 2000s, focusing on soft targets with vulnerable institutions.
Three British teenagers, including Shamima Begum, center, left the U.K. to join the Islamic State in 2015. Begum wants to return home now. AP/Metropolitan Police

Is it more dangerous to let Islamic State foreign fighters from the West return or prevent them from coming back?

Many of the men and women who left homes in the West to join ISIS or similar terrorist organizations in Syria and Iraq as fighters or supporters now want to come home. Should they be allowed back?
The aftermath of a 2018 attack by the Taliban in Ghazni city, Afghanistan. Will terrorist attacks like this one be as common in 2019? Reuters/Mustafa Andaleb

Will terrorism continue to decline in 2019?

Terrorist attacks and fatalities peaked in 2014, and have been on the decline since then.
Family members of Sunni men and boys in Iraq accused of supporting ISIS hold up pictures of their arrested relatives. AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo

Iraq’s brutal crackdown on suspected Islamic State supporters could trigger civil war

Iraq beat the Islamic State. Now, its Shia government is jailing and even executing all suspected terrorists – most of them Sunni Muslims. The clampdown may inflame a centuries-old sectarian divide.
Yazidi children hold pictures of Nadia Murad, one of two winners of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, in Duhok, Iraq, Oct. 5, 2018. REUTERS/Ari Jalal

Warriors against sexual violence win Nobel Peace Prize: 4 essential reads

With the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to two leaders who fight against sexual violence as a tool of war, we looked into our archive to find stories about those efforts across the globe.

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