Wednesday, August 20 2014 1:03 PM EDT2014-08-20 17:03:26 GMT
Activists say Islamic extremists have launched an attack on a major air base in northeastern Syria, aiming to seize the last position held by the Syrian government in a province that is an Islamic State stronghold.More >>
Islamic extremists fired rockets and tank shells Wednesday at a major air base in northeastern Syria, kicking off a long-anticipated offensive to seize the last position held by the Syrian government in a province that is...More >>
Wednesday, August 20 2014 12:04 AM EDT2014-08-20 04:04:38 GMT
Journalist James Foley, captured and held six weeks while covering the uprising in Libya, knew the risks when he went to Syria in 2012 to cover the escalating violence there. It didn't matter. He was a...More >>
Journalist James Foley, captured and held six weeks while covering the uprising in Libya, knew the risks when he went to Syria in 2012 to cover the escalating violence there. It didn't matter. He was a journalist at...More >>
Tuesday, August 19 2014 2:14 PM EDT2014-08-19 18:14:31 GMT
A new report by a respected international research group warns that armed groups in Syria have several hundred portable anti-aircraft missiles that could be diverted to extremists and used to destroy low-flying...More >>
Warnings from an international research group and the Federal Aviation Administration underscore the rising threat to commercial aircraft posed by hundreds of anti-aircraft weapons that are now in the arsenals of armed...More >>
Thursday, August 21 2014 6:14 PM EDT2014-08-21 22:14:12 GMT
Officials from the World Health Organization are visiting two hospitals treating Ebola patients in Liberia, where authorities have sealed off entire neighborhoods in an effort to stop the outbreak.More >>
Government officials handed out bags of rice and sachets of drinking water Thursday to residents of an impoverished slum in Liberia's capital where tens of thousands of people have been barricaded in an effort to stop...More >>
Thursday, August 21 2014 5:04 PM EDT2014-08-21 21:04:28 GMT
The Islamic militant group Hamas says three of its senior military leaders have been killed in an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip.More >>
Israel stepped up its campaign against Gaza's ruling Hamas on Thursday, killing three of the group's senior military commanders in an airstrike that pulverized a four-story home, the second such attack targeting...More >>
Thursday, August 21 2014 4:24 PM EDT2014-08-21 20:24:52 GMT
A Ukrainian official says five troops were killed and 21 injured while fighting pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine in the past 24 hours.More >>
Fierce fighting raged in eastern Ukraine on Thursday in what appeared to be a last-gasp attempt by government troops to snatch back territory from pro-Russian separatists before the arrival of a Russian aid convoy overseen...More >>
Thursday, August 21 2014 4:24 PM EDT2014-08-21 20:24:33 GMT
An international human rights group says on the anniversary of the deadly chemical attack outside Damascus that "justice remains elusive" for the victims and their families.More >>
The year since a chemical attack that killed hundreds near Damascus has been a strikingly good one for President Bashar Assad.More >>
(CNN) – ISIS is knows for using extreme violence, including summary executions, beheadings and massacres. Now, as the group advances on the battlefield in Iraq, it's also extending its reach to new followers in the Middle East.
The call to jihad comes in the form of a propaganda video as militants from ISIS establish a territorial foothold stretching from Syria to Iraq. As the video shows, ISIS hopes it is the beginning of an Islamic caliphate to sweep the region.
It's a message that's reaching extremists in other parts of the world. Three young men traveled to Syria for jihad. They agreed to speak from Idlib, Syria, if their faces were not shown. One man calls himself Abu Anwar. He is British.
"I'm from the South of England," Anwar said. "I grew up in a middle class family. Life was easy back home. I had a job. I had a car. But the thing is: You cannot practice Islam back home. We see all around us evil. We cannot do anything about this because we are living by the laws of cooper."
Abu Anwar and his friends are online, like many young me. The post Instagram photos that make guns and holy war seem cool.
But what they don't show is the brutality. The group has boasted about executing Iraqi soldiers in cold blood. ISIS has committed massacres and acts of terror so extreme that even al Qaeda has disavowed them.
Abu Anwar's family knows he's in Syria.
"They are not happy with them being here, as you can expect." Anwar said. "But when I give them dawa. Islamic propagation, and gradually they see the reality, they hear the reality from me that they don't hear from the BBC."
How many like Abu Anwar are out there? There are thousands from all across Europe, according to estimates. The Soufan Group, a security consulting firm, estimates there are around 700 from France, 800 from Russia and almost 400 in the U.K., not to mention Germany and Belgium.
But analyst say these are only the movements they can track. The actual numbers may be higher. And with ISIS victories in Iraq, authorities fear even more will be drawn to fight.
Moner Mohammad Abusalha, a 22-year-old American known as Abu Huraira al-Amriki was one of them. Authorities say that last month, he packed a truck full of explosives, drove it to a Syrian army position and detonated it, killing himself. Abu Anwar says he was a friend of Abu Huraira's
"He was the best person I have ever met in my life," Anwar said. "He had the best character. Abu Huraira believed this operation would allow him to go in and kill many of the enemy including himself. He told me, ‘if I go on this martyrdom mission, don't go back to England.'"
Abu Anwar says he too wants to carry out a suicide attack, inspired by his friend, what he calls a martyrdom mission. But when asked if he would return to Britain and carry out an attack back home, he said no.
"If I come back home, it will be when I conquer Europe and the black flag of Islam is flying over Downing Street," Anwar said. "I only have the intention of coming back as a conqueror."
For now, Abu Anwar insists the immediate goal is to establish a caliphate in Syria and Iraq. When asked if he will join ISIS in Iraq, he said that he is considering it.
For Abu Anwar, and others like him, the call to jihad is too strong to resist.
Thursday, August 21 2014 5:24 PM EDT2014-08-21 21:24:31 GMT
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says U.S. airstrikes have helped Iraqi and Kurdish forces regain their footing in Iraq, but he expects Islamic State militants will regroup and stage a new offensive.More >>
U.S. airstrikes have helped Iraqi and Kurdish forces regain their footing in Iraq, but the well-resourced Islamic State militants can be expected to regroup and stage a new offensive, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said...More >>
Thursday, August 21 2014 1:15 PM EDT2014-08-21 17:15:01 GMT
For all its horror, the beheading of an American journalist in Syria appears unlikely to change lawmakers' minds about military intervention against Islamic State extremists. It's equally unclear whether...More >>
For all its horror, the beheading of an American journalist in Syria appears unlikely to change lawmakers' minds about military intervention against Islamic State extremists. It's equally unclear whether the Obama...More >>
Thursday, August 21 2014 12:44 PM EDT2014-08-21 16:44:13 GMT
The killing of an American reporter is galvanizing international anger at Islamic State extremists and fueling fears about the flow of foreign fighters joining their ranks. But governments from the Mideast to...More >>
The killing of an American reporter is galvanizing international anger at Islamic State extremists and fueling fears about the flow of foreign fighters joining their ranks. But governments from the Mideast to Europe and...More >>
Thursday, August 21 2014 12:04 PM EDT2014-08-21 16:04:27 GMT
Experts say police and security services are using voice-recognition software and other technology, as well as human tips, as they scramble to identify the militant recorded on a video showing the killing of...More >>
The Islamic militant in a video showing the death of American journalist James Foley took great care to disguise his identity, dressing head-to-toe in black, with a mask leaving only his eyes visible.More >>