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.
There is a great deal of recent news from Syria, most of it bad. But first, the one bright spot: Kobani, a large city on the border with Turkey that has been under siege by the Islamic State (IS) for several months, has been liberated. A combination of U.S. airstrikes and Kurdish boots on the ground forced IS forces to abandon their attempt to take the city, although not before murdering hundreds (if not thousands) and forcing hundreds of thousands of Syrian Kurds to flee into Turkey.
The speculation that Craig Hicks, who killed three Muslim college students in Chapel Hill, NC on February 10, 2015, may have done so out of anti-religious motivation highlights the dangerous but under-examined threat of domestic terrorism.
Take away the media group watermarks, and mute the spoken anti-Western propaganda, and the Islamic State's (IS) most recent video featuring John Cantlie might look more like a VICE News story: a brave, skinny jean-wearing journalist documenting a rubble-covered warzone. The video, titled "From Inside Aleppo," marks yet another step in one of history's most bizarre climbs to superstardom. In a matter of months, Cantlie, whom IS had originally intended to be a conduit into Western discourse, has surprised both himself and his captors by becoming a champion of the jihadist movement.