As the fighting continues in Syria and Iraq, much discussion has fallen upon the military response to the Islamic State (IS) and the Western bombing campaign and training efforts. What tends to be overlooked by the media, however, is the unique composition of the forces that make up the Islamic State (IS).
Jihadists and jihadist supporters online have launched a barrage of recruitment messages following a grand jury's decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for his killing of Michael Brown, an 18 year-old black male, in Ferguson, Missouri. Using the hashtag "#FergusonDecision," users characterized the decision as the result of America's racism while claiming jihad and revolution to be fitting responses.
The decision by the U.S. government to double the number of American forces in Iraq suggests that the current strategy against the extremists is not working. The U.S. has carried out numerous airstrikes and is lending support to the Kurds, moderate Syrian rebels, the Iraqi government, and anti-Islamic State (IS) tribal forces, but this has not stopped IS or al-Qaeda’s (AQ) affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra (JN or al-Nusra Front), helped the situation in Syria or Iraq, or ended the threat to the homeland. The persistence of these challenges in the face of U.S. action might require a reconsideration of the level of effort necessary to prevent further atrocities and stop the extremists.
Three French fighters in the Islamic State (IS) urged the Muslims among their fellow countrymen to travel to Iraq or Syria to join the group, and told those unable to do so to carry out lone-wolf attacks in France, suggesting to poison food and water and to drive over victims.