The death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the course of an American operation can only harm the Islamic State. Not only did Baghdadi claim religious authority, which failed to protect him from the Americans; he was also, far more than al-Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden, a field commander, issuing orders to subordinates on the ground on which they fought, and directing his organisation in war. Continue reading →
The speed with which the Islamic State conquered territory after its advent in 2014 and in the years that followed cannot be denied. Nor can the ferocity and threat of its rule. The apparent self-confidence of its theology and the devotion with which fighters – foreign and local – flocked to its cause made it a threat seen across the world. Continue reading →
The capture of El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexander Kotey, two British men attempting to flee Syria for Turkey, was a brief moment for celebration. The men had formed part of a brutal Islamic State (ISIS) cell, dubbed ’the Beatles’, which had executed foreign hostages on camera and become the global face of the terror group. Continue reading →
They formed part of a terrorist cell which publicly executed Western hostages with sickening brutality. Their murders were relayed to the world in propaganda videos which defined the way their jihadist group, the Islamic State (ISIS), was perceived and discussed. Continue reading →
I have always had an instinctive dislike of BuzzFeed, the new, sparky website seemingly entirely powered by faddish political opinions and years-old posts on Instagram which is more or less eviscerating traditional publishing and giving jobs to almost every journalist I can name.
Because this dislike was instinctive – because it was automatic – I decided I had better investigate the whole thing a little more. Continue reading →