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Islamic State

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NEWS
February 27, 2015 | BY DOYLE McMANUS, Los Angeles Times
    For weeks, Republicans have lambasted President Obama for what they claim is a major foreign- policy failure: His refusal to use the term "Islamic" to describe the terrorists of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. "The president and his administration dogmatically refuse to utter the words'radical Islamic terrorism,' " Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said on Fox News. "You cannot defeat an enemy if you refuse to acknowledge what it is. " So I hope Cruz and his colleagues noticed what Obama actually said at last week's White House meeting on - OK, here comes the bland official term - "violent extremism.
NEWS
October 26, 2003 | By Sumana Chatterjee INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
As Iraq writes a new constitution in the coming months, one word will be key: Allah. Some congressional Republicans worry that the country will shed its secular history and officially turn into an Islamic state, with a constitution that says Islam is its national religion. To try to steer Baghdad's constitutional process away from establishing an official Islamic state, two lawmakers, Sen. Sam Brownback (R., Kan.) and Rep. Frank Wolf (R., Va.), tucked freedom-of-religion provisions into the Senate and House versions of legislation that would send almost $87 billion to Iraq.
NEWS
April 6, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
WHO KNEW we had an alleged terrorist wannabe in North Philly, aiming to join the terrorist group the Islamic State? Well, the feds yesterday announced that Keonna Thomas - who lived in the Richard Allen Homes public-housing project - planned to travel to Syria to join, fight with and martyr herself for ISIS, known for its videotaped beheadings of American and British aid workers and other hostages. Thomas, 30, also known as Fatayat Al Khilafah and "YoungLioness," was arrested yesterday morning at her three-story brick-and-stucco rowhouse, which has three small American flags flying from its front white columns.
NEWS
April 20, 2015 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
Trudy Rubin: Next steps in the war against Islamic State. Dispatches from the Mideast, C1.
NEWS
February 28, 2015 | By Michael Matza, Jeremy Roebuck, and Dylan Purcell, Inquirer Staff Writers
A man accused by federal authorities of attempting to funnel fighters and financial aid to the Islamic State had connections to Philadelphia and nearby Delaware. Up until August, Abror Habibov lived in a garden-apartment complex on Greenway Square in Dover and operated a cellphone repair kiosk at Dover Mall, according to police and public records. The business was one of a string of kitchenware and repair kiosks that Habibov, 30, ran at malls in Philadelphia and other cities along the East Coast, according to court filings.
NEWS
April 25, 2015 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
ERBIL, Iraqi Kurdistan - Fifty yards from my hotel, in the largely Christian neighborhood of Ainkawa, a car bomb went off last Friday. You can still smell the acrid smoke where the Nili café was shattered, killing two young men who had stepped out for a smoke not far from the U.S. consulate (which the terrorists didn't reach). But the Barista Coffee shop and Alreef Snack, just doors away, are open and patrons sit at outdoor tables. In fact, Erbil is one of the safest places in Iraq, despite far more security barriers than were visible before the Islamic State threatened the city last summer.
NEWS
January 28, 2015 | BY DOYLE McMANUS
  IN 2011, the U.S. ambassador to Syria, a mild-mannered diplomat named Robert Ford, became the face of American support for the Arab Spring when he boldly visited opponents to the brutal regime of Bashar Assad in the northern city of Hama. In 2014, Ford quit, saying that he could not defend the Obama administration's inconstant support for Syrian rebels. "More hesitation . . . [will] simply hasten the day when American forces have to intervene against al Qaeda in Syria," he warned.
NEWS
December 29, 2014 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
On Christmas Day in 2008, I attended early-morning Mass at the Al Qaleb Al Aqdas (Sacred Heart) Church, in the Karrada district of Baghdad. Although Christians had already become targets in Iraq's civil war and thousands had fled, the Chaldean Catholic church was filled with well-dressed families, and a choir sang near a large Christmas tree. Some worshipers continued on to a Santa Claus show in a nearby park. Those days are long gone. The number of Chaldeans (whose church dates to the early Christian era)
NEWS
September 13, 2014 | By Jeff Gammage, Mari A. Schaefer, and Barbara Boyer, Inquirer Staff Writers
Secretary of State John Kerry says no one should use the word war to describe President Obama's intention to launch airstrikes inside Syria and expand the bombing in Iraq. Military scholar Dominic Tierney says definitions get tricky, "but as we escalate the operation, it gets closer and closer to a reasonable explanation of war. " And people across the Philadelphia region say that whether it's called war, counterterrorism, or something else, they want to see the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, hit hard.
NEWS
May 15, 2015 | By Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Politics Writer
Suddenly, Republicans aiming for the White House find themselves knee-deep in the big muddy. Twelve years after the United States invaded Iraq, the party's presidential hopefuls are rehashing the decision to go to war, after former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said in an interview that aired Monday that he would have made the same decision as his brother, former President George W. Bush. Jeb Bush has since tried to clarify his comments, but he has been dragged into a three-day political quagmire as, one after the other, his likely rivals have said they would not have ordered the 2003 invasion of Iraq, given the erroneous intelligence that Saddam Hussein's regime had weapons of mass destruction.
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NEWS
May 15, 2015 | By Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Politics Writer
Suddenly, Republicans aiming for the White House find themselves knee-deep in the big muddy. Twelve years after the United States invaded Iraq, the party's presidential hopefuls are rehashing the decision to go to war, after former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said in an interview that aired Monday that he would have made the same decision as his brother, former President George W. Bush. Jeb Bush has since tried to clarify his comments, but he has been dragged into a three-day political quagmire as, one after the other, his likely rivals have said they would not have ordered the 2003 invasion of Iraq, given the erroneous intelligence that Saddam Hussein's regime had weapons of mass destruction.
NEWS
April 29, 2015 | BY DOYLE McMANUS
ALMOST two years ago, President Obama announced that he was tightening the rules under which the CIA carries out drone strikes against suspected terrorists in Pakistan, Yemen and other countries. Afterward, civilian casualties did, in fact, fall significantly, according to independent monitoring groups. But Obama's higher standard wasn't enough to avoid the unintended killing of two civilian hostages, one American and one Italian, in a Jan. 15 drone strike in Pakistan. Nor did the new rules protect two other U.S. citizens who had joined al Qaeda from being killed the same week.
NEWS
April 27, 2015 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
ERBIL, Iraqi Kurdistan - At Kurdish forward command headquarters, not far from the Syrian border, President Massoud Barzani is planning the next stage of the battle against ISIS. The headquarters, a collection of white trailers, is nestled in an isolated stretch of green and brown land in the northwest corner of Iraq, where Syria, Turkey, and Iraq meet. On the flight up from Erbil, the helicopter pilot points out hills where there are still skirmishes with Islamic State fighters, but the mood here is very different from eight months ago. In August, the jihadis were moving toward Erbil, the capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, after seizing Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul, only 50 miles away.
NEWS
April 25, 2015 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
ERBIL, Iraqi Kurdistan - Fifty yards from my hotel, in the largely Christian neighborhood of Ainkawa, a car bomb went off last Friday. You can still smell the acrid smoke where the Nili café was shattered, killing two young men who had stepped out for a smoke not far from the U.S. consulate (which the terrorists didn't reach). But the Barista Coffee shop and Alreef Snack, just doors away, are open and patrons sit at outdoor tables. In fact, Erbil is one of the safest places in Iraq, despite far more security barriers than were visible before the Islamic State threatened the city last summer.
NEWS
April 20, 2015 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
Trudy Rubin: Next steps in the war against Islamic State. Dispatches from the Mideast, C1.
NEWS
April 20, 2015 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
I'm heading to Iraq this week and then to Jordan for a closer look at the progress (or regress) of the war on ISIS. I'll be visiting Iraqi Kurdistan, in the north of the country, where Kurdish peshmerga fighters are training to lead an eventual effort to retake Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, which ISIS seized in June and made the headquarters of its so-called caliphate. The day before my departure, a car bomb went off outside the U.S. consulate-general in the Kurdish capital of Erbil, which is only around 50 miles from Mosul.
NEWS
April 6, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
WHO KNEW we had an alleged terrorist wannabe in North Philly, aiming to join the terrorist group the Islamic State? Well, the feds yesterday announced that Keonna Thomas - who lived in the Richard Allen Homes public-housing project - planned to travel to Syria to join, fight with and martyr herself for ISIS, known for its videotaped beheadings of American and British aid workers and other hostages. Thomas, 30, also known as Fatayat Al Khilafah and "YoungLioness," was arrested yesterday morning at her three-story brick-and-stucco rowhouse, which has three small American flags flying from its front white columns.
NEWS
March 16, 2015 | By Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Politics Writer
So far, foreign policy is driving the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, with each potential contender vying to sound more hawkish than the next. Send U.S. ground troops to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria? Bring it on. "We didn't start this war, nor did we choose it. But we will have the will to finish it," former Texas Gov. Rick Perry said at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference. He said the self-styled caliphate, known as ISIS, "presents the biggest threat to national security since communism.
NEWS
March 11, 2015
ISSUE | GARDEN STATE Pollution legacy In the 1940s, my boyhood trips to my grandfather's farm in the Pine Barrens meant holding my breath from Newark to Bordentown because of the stench. North Jersey was a chemical cesspool and remains one to this day ("N.J. settles for millions, not billions," March 6). It will continue to be one unless irresponsible politicians do something about the problem. As President Obama said, each of us is part of the long story of human history, and we should try to get our paragraph right.
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