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Articles on Islamic State Group

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A Taliban fighter, wearing U.S. clothing and carrying U.S. weapons, looks through a captured night-vision device. Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Taliban, Islamic State arm themselves with weapons US left behind

Despite efforts to prevent militant groups from getting weapons, they often get their hands on U.S. equipment and use it to attack American troops.
In 2014, the Islamic State group could draw crowds of supporters, like these in Mosul, Iraq. But actual fighting recruits have been harder to come by. AP Photo

Al-Qaida, Islamic State group struggle for recruits

A second plot was planned on 9/11, but there were too few terrorists to carry it off. Twenty years later, al-Qaida and its offshoot the Islamic State group still have trouble attracting recruits.
People look at the remains of an exploded vehicle that the Islamic State used as a suicide bomb, on display in Iran in September 2020. Morteza Nikoubazl/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Who really defeated the Islamic State – Obama or Trump?

President Trump has claimed the Islamic State was completely defeated on his watch – but an analysis of government maps and other reports shows his administration did only half the work.
When people need food aid, like these Nigerians, research finds they are more susceptible to extremist recruitment efforts. Olukayode Jaiyeola/NurPhoto via Getty Images

How the coronavirus increases terrorism threats in the developing world

When people are hungry or not sure where their next meal is coming from, they get angry at their governments. This gives terrorist groups opportunities to recruit new members.
The World Trade Center burns after being hit by planes in New York Sept. 11, 2001. Reuters/Sara K. Schwittek

Why al-Qaida is still strong 17 years after 9/11

An unprecedented onslaught from the US hasn’t destroyed the terrorist organization. What is the secret of its resilience?
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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