Tag: Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)

Pentagon Order to Plan for Escalation in Iraq Meets Warning From Top Commander

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has ordered military commanders to plan for an escalation of American combat in Iraq, issuing a directive last week to prepare a campaign to destroy an Iranian-backed militia group that has threatened more attacks against American troops. But the United States’ top commander in Iraq has warned that such a campaign […]

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Citing Death Penalty, U.K. Court Blocks Giving Evidence on ISIS ‘Beatles’ to U.S.

WASHINGTON — The British government must withhold key evidence from the United States for the trial of two Islamic State detainees because the Trump administration has not provided assurances that the men will not be executed, the British Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday. The detainees were half of a cell of four ISIS Britons who […]

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Al Qaeda Branch in Somalia Threatens Americans in East Africa — and Even the U.S.

Al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia, the terrorist group’s largest and most active global affiliate, has issued specific new threats against Americans in East Africa and even the United States, U.S. commandos, counterterrorism officials and intelligence analysts say. Several ominous signs indicate that the Qaeda affiliate, the Shabab, is seeking to expand its lethal mayhem well […]

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‘He Didn’t Want to Lie in a Grave That Couldn’t Be Visited’

When my father died last April in Baltimore, he had finally given up the desire to be buried next to his parents in a cemetery in Damascus, Syria. That he had time to ponder where to be buried was the burden of knowing for several years that he was dying. It was also the luxury, […]

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Brother of Manchester Bomber Is Found Guilty in Murder of 22 People

LONDON — A jury in Britain on Tuesday convicted the brother of a suicide bomber who killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester in 2017, finding him guilty on all 22 counts of murder for his role in planning and executing the attack. The man, Hashem Abedi, was the brother of Salman […]

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Canadian and Italian Hostages Are Said to Be Freed in Mali After 15 Months

A Canadian woman and an Italian man who were abducted 15 months ago in Burkina Faso have been released in the neighboring country of Mali, according to two officials briefed on the matter. Edith Blais of Quebec and her Italian traveling companion, Luca Tacchetto, went missing in December 2018 in an area of Burkina Faso […]

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Two U.S. Special Operations Troops Are Killed Fighting ISIS in Iraq

WASHINGTON — Two U.S. Special Operations personnel were killed in northern Iraq on Sunday during an operation against Islamic State fighters, military officials said on Monday, marking the first combat deaths of 2020 in the nearly six-year American campaign against the terrorist group. The Americans killed were part of a Marine Special Operations team, according […]

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After Tours in Afghanistan, U.S. Veterans Weigh Peace With the Taliban

On Saturday, the United States and the Taliban signed a historic peace agreement, theoretically bringing to an end the nearly two-decades-long conflict in Afghanistan that killed more than more than 2,400 American service members. As officials prepare to implement the terms of that deal, American veterans who served in the country are left to grapple […]

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On Afghanistan, Trump Gets Taken

Sometimes, foreign policy consists of trying to make lemonade out of lemons. In the case of the recently signed U.S.-Taliban agreement on Afghanistan, President Trump provided the lemons, and the lead U.S. negotiator, Zalmay Khalilzad, and his team did the squeezing. Mr. Trump made clear that he intended to withdraw American forces from Afghanistan — […]

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She Faced Her ISIS Rapist in Court, Then Watched Him Sentenced to Death

BAGHDAD — Iraq has held thousands of trials for members of the Islamic State, but until Monday none had sought to bring justice specifically to the thousands of members of the Yazidi religious minority who were kidnapped, raped and killed. A soft-spoken 20-year old Yazidi woman changed that when she decided to testify in open […]

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Afghanistan War Enters New Stage as U.S. Military Prepares to Exit

WASHINGTON — Intelligence briefers regularly present President Trump with a classified map of Afghanistan, usually the only report on the war he examines, displaying the strikes carried out in recent days and, critically, the number of Taliban and other militants killed. During his presidency, enemy body counts have been the lens through which Mr. Trump […]

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Terrorism Threat in West Africa Soars as U.S. Weighs Troop Cuts

NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania — The Trump administration is split over how to combat terrorists, support allies and thwart global competitors in West Africa. And the mixed messages out of Washington are confusing allies in Europe, who are deeply committed to security in Africa, as well as to military partners on the continent. Secretary of State Mike […]

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Syria’s Drawn-Out Agony

The Syrian civil war has entered its end game and it is as gruesome and fraught as any stretch in the hellish nine-year struggle. As the Syrian troops of Bashar al-Assad, backed by Russia, move to clear the last rebel-held enclave in northwestern Syria, some 900,000 civilian refugees — more than half of them children […]

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Gunmen Kill at Least 24 at Church in Burkina Faso

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — Gunmen killed at least 24 people, including a pastor, in an attack on a church during Sunday Mass in northwestern Burkina Faso, four security sources said on Monday. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the attack, but jihadist groups with links to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State […]

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Russians Pressure U.S. Forces in Northeast Syria

WASHINGTON — Russia is intensifying a pressure campaign on U.S. military forces in northeastern Syria following the American withdrawal from much of that area ahead of a Turkish cross-border offensive last fall, American military and diplomatic officials say. Russian military personnel have increasingly had run-ins with U.S. troops on highways in the region, breaking agreements […]

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We Once Fought Jihadists. Now We Battle White Supremacists.

As a former soldier and F.B.I. agent, we both risked our lives to fight Al Qaeda. But the enemy we currently face is not a jihadist threat. It’s white supremacists — in the United States and overseas. One American group, The Base, peppered a recruitment video with footage of our faces, intercut with shots of […]

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White House Confirms Killing of Terrorist Leader in Yemen

WASHINGTON — The United States killed the leader of Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen, the White House confirmed on Thursday. The confirmation came about a week after The New York Times first reported that the United States believed it had killed Qassim al-Rimi, the Qaeda leader, in January after months of tracing him. The C.I.A. […]

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Iraqis Question U.S. Claim That Iran-Backed Militia Attacked Base

NEPTIS, Iraq — The white Kia pickup turned off the desert road and rumbled onto a dirt track, stopping near a marsh. Soon there was a flash and a ripping sound as the first of the rockets fired from the truck soared toward Iraq’s K-1 military base. The rockets wounded six people and killed an […]

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Russia Exerts Growing Influence in Africa, Worrying Many in the West

WASHINGTON — Nearly 200 Russian mercenaries have deployed in recent months to Mozambique to combat a growing Islamic State offshoot there, even as Moscow is taking initial steps toward building a military port in the Horn of Africa that could become Russia’s first permanent base on the continent. Russia is steadily expanding its military influence […]

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France Judges Dead Jihadists but Refuses to Repatriate the Living

PARIS — The trial this month was exceptional for a country that has resisted repatriating or extraditing terrorism suspects from battlegrounds in Iraq and Syria. A Paris judge heard cases against 24 men and women charged with links to the Islamic State. Witnesses were called. Prosecutors and defense lawyers made their statements. Verdicts were rendered. […]

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ISIS Wife’s Return to Norway Threatens to Bring Down Government

OSLO, Norway — Before the woman left for Syria in 2013, she had grown up on the eastern side of Oslo in a Norwegian-Pakistani family, playing soccer and attending university, according to a recent profile. In Syria, she ended up living in Islamic State territory, marrying twice in the Caliphate and having two children, officials […]

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The Wrong Track for Confronting Iran

In the quick escalation of tensions and attacks between the United States and Iran this month, each side threw down a gauntlet. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo defined America’s goal as to “confront and contain.” Iran’s rulers said they won’t be satisfied until America leaves the Middle East. Confronting and containing Iran may sound wise. […]

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