Not Surprising that Abu Usama al-Masri Suspected for Flight KGL9268 Downing

As the Islamic State’s (IS) claim for taking down KGL9268—the Russian plane that crashed over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on October 31—seems increasingly plausible by the day, British officials have now identified Abu Usama al-Masri as a “person of interest” in the matter.

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Assessing IS’ Claim of Responsibility for the Russian Plane Downing in Egypt

The downing of KGL9268 is a tragedy riddled with conflicting variables within a weighted geopolitical context: a plane of Russian passengers amid the escalation of Russian forces in Syria; the plane’s downing over an Islamic State (IS)-plagued region; a vague claim of responsibility from IS; and an equally vague statement by a Kogalymavia airline official that the crash was caused by “external influence.”

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Libya Failing

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The murder of twenty-one Christians in Libya by an affiliate of the Islamic State (IS) has brought the sad decline of that country back to international attention. A few months ago, I noted that the ongoing collapse of Libya was not random chaos, nor was it just the result of “militancy” or a lack of governance; rather there was purposeful action by al-Qaeda (AQ)-linked groups pushing the country in a direction that favors violent extremism.

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IS Releases Video Showing the Beheading of Kidnapped Egyptian Christians in Libya

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The Islamic State (IS) released a video showing the beheading the 21 Egyptian Christians it kidnapped in Libya in January 2015. The video showed fighters beheading the prisoners in line on the beach and, after statements from the fighter, showed red-stained waves crashing into the beach.

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