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.
After witnessing the rise and fall of many empires, the ancient site of Palmyra is under threat from Islamic State.
Conflict involving Islamic State has raised the prospect of the destruction of Palmyra, a World Heritage site in Syria. It's not the first time the region has been invaded, but it may well be the last.
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.
A Syrian boy sits on the rubble of a demolished house. Many ordinary Syrians just want peace – though not necessarily if that means appeasing their nation’s ruthless leader.
AAP Image/ Care Australia/ Alain Lapierre
While many insist that the West should appease Syria's Assad regime, this ignores the wishes of many ordinary Syrians – who are the key to defeating Islamic State and other extremists in Syria.
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.
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.
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.
Spot the heavyweight.
Pete Souza, via Wikimedia Commons.
Ed Miliband's attack on David Cameron's foreign policy seems to have hit home. But is it deserved?
Not a stellar record.
The Conservatives are livid at Ed Miliband's criticism of Cameron's foreign policy record. Perhaps it cuts too deep.
Never again? A poison gas attack in World War I.
A century since chlorine gas was used at Ypres, beginning the era of chemical weapons, controlling lethal agents is harder than ever.
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.
Iranians, who celebrated in the streets of Tehran following this month’s nuclear agreement, are keen to rebuild relations with the West.
By reaching out to Iran, Australia can help end a long stand-off with the West that prevented solutions to many of the world's most dangerous problems, including Syria's civil war and Islamic State.
Shaping how the war is perceived through disseminating communiques has become a key feature of the Syrian conflict.
While social media was the main forum for Syrian demonstrators to confront Bashar al-Assad’s media machine in 2011, FM radio is now the battleground for Syrian hearts and minds.
Syrians in Jordan protest ongoing chemical attacks.
Months after Syria's chemical weapons stockpile was destroyed, chlorine attacks are continuing – and there's little sign of any war crimes charges materialising.
Does anyone seriously expect Beijing or Moscow to change their behaviour because of a hail of hopeful retweets?