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Attacks on Egyptian checkpoints signal escalation in Isis capabilities. Islamic State appears to have made small but unprecedented advances in Egypt, killing dozens of soldiers as it attacked multiple military checkpoints and attempted for the first time to control a small pocket of territory in the Sinai desert. Last night, Egypt’s army said more than 100 militants and 17 soldiers were killed in the deadliest fighting in years in the restive province. Wilayat Sinai, a jihadi group that declared allegiance to Isis last autumn, attacked the town of Sheikh Zuwaid, a few miles from Egypt’s border with Gaza and Israel, on Wednesday morning. It overran several army checkpoints and by local accounts had taken control of several buildings. By midday the group said it had surrounded Sheikh Zuwaid’s police station, a move reportedly confirmed by the station’s commander in a phonecall with a local newspaper.

Late yesterday, an army spokesman said the situation in North Sinai was “100 percent under control”. Additional reporting: Manu Abdo. Isis claims responsibility for second Saudi Arabia suicide bombing. In the second attack of its kind in a week, four people have died after a suicide bomber targeted a Shia mosque in Saudi Arabia’s eastern province, fuelling fears of an organised campaign by Islamic Stateto foment sectarian tensions inside the conservative Sunni kingdom. Reports from Dammam described a car bomb explosion at the entrance to the al-Anoud mosque, despite security measures put in place because of last Friday’s incident near Qatif, in which 21 people were killed and 120 injured in the worst attack in Saudi Arabia in a decade. Video clips showed men at prayers inside the mosque reacting in alarm when a loud bang was heard. The Saudi Press agency reported that guards had approached the attacker’s car as it was parking and that the driver then detonated the bomb.

One of the dead appears to have been the bomber. Analysts have described “lone wolf” initiatives encouraged by Isis, though the speed of the claim of responsibility suggested planning and coordination. Skyping with the enemy: I went undercover as a jihadi girlfriend. It was 10 o’clock on a Friday night in spring 2014 and I was sitting on the sofa in my one-bed Paris apartment when I received a message from a French terrorist based in Syria: “Salaam alaikum, sister. I see you watched my video. It’s gone viral – crazy! Are you Muslim? What do you think about mujahideen?” A journalist, I had been writing about European jihadists in Islamic State for about a year. I created a social media account, using the name Mélodie, to investigate why European teenagers were attracted to Islamic extremism. I spent hours scanning feeds filled with descriptions of gruesome plans. I would later learn that he had spent the past 15 years waging jihad all over the world.

I usually kept a low profile on my account. “Walaikum salaam,” I wrote. I also told him I had converted to Islam, but didn’t offer any details. “Of course I have a lot of things to do! Skype was out of the question. Bilel knew nothing about this girl and already he was asking her to join him. “Mélodie?” Islamist fighters drawn from half the world's countries, says UN. More than half the countries in the world are currently generating Islamist extremist fighters for groups such as al-Qaida and Islamic State, the UN has said. A report by the UN security council says there are more than 25,000 “foreign terrorist fighters” currently involved in jihadi conflicts and they are “travelling from more than 100 member states”. The number of fighters may have increased by more than 70% worldwide in the past nine months or so, the report says, adding that they “pose an “immediate and long-term [terrorist] threat”.

The sudden rise, though possibly explained by better data, will raise concern about the apparently growing appeal of extremism. The geographic spread of states touched by the phenomenon has expanded, too. The report notes continuing problems with understanding the processes of radicalisation, but says, despite a concentration on the internet, social networks in conflict zones and western cities play a key role. “Many may reintegrate, abandoning violence. Islamic State NHS-style hospital video posted - BBC News. Islamic State appears to have released a promotional video for its own health service featuring NHS-style branding and an Australian doctor. The video has not been verified but was being circulated by IS-affiliated social media accounts and bears all the hallmarks of previous IS productions. Using an NHS-style logo, it introduces the "ISHS" - or IS Health Service. It appears to have been filmed in Raqqa General Hospital in the Syrian IS stronghold of Raqqa.

The first doctor in the video talks about the establishment of a health ministry that regulates medical facilities across IS territory, including the Raqqa hospital, which he says has been refurbished. A second doctor introduces the intensive care unit, which he says treats victims of military conflict and car accidents. A third speaks about the X-ray department, which includes a women-only unit. He is shown treating newborn babies in incubators, in a section of the video set in the hospital's apparently well-equipped paediatric ward. Former Saddam spy masterminded the rise of Islamic State, says report. One of Saddam Hussein’s former intelligence officers masterminded Islamic State’s takeover of northern Syria after becoming embittered by the US-led invasion of Iraq, according to a report by the German magazine Der Spiegel Documents uncovered in Syria reveal meticulous planning for the group’s structure and organisation, the report says, with the 31 pages of handwritten charts, lists and schedules amounting to a blueprint for the establishment of a caliphate in Syria.

The documents were the work of a man identified by the magazine as Samir Abd Muhammad al-Khlifawi, a former colonel in the intelligence service of Saddam Hussein’s air defence force, who went by the pseudonym Haji Bakr, Spiegel says. The files suggest that the takeover of northern Syria was part of a meticulous plan overseen by Haji Bakr using techniques – including surveillance, espionage, murder and kidnapping – honed in the security apparatus of Saddam Hussein. Islamic State Files Show Structure of Islamist Terror Group. Aloof. Polite. Cajoling. Extremely attentive. Restrained. Dishonest. Inscrutable. Malicious. In fact, not even those who shot and killed him after a brief firefight in the town of Tal Rifaat on a January morning in 2014 knew the true identity of the tall man in his late fifties. Samir Abd Muhammad al-Khlifawi was the real name of the Iraqi, whose bony features were softened by a white beard. But when the architect of the Islamic State died, he left something behind that he had intended to keep strictly confidential: the blueprint for this state.

Until now, much of the information about IS has come from fighters who had defected and data sets from the IS internal administration seized in Baghdad. For the first time, the Haji Bakr documents now make it possible to reach conclusions on how the IS leadership is organized and what role former officials in the government of ex-dictator Saddam Hussein play in it. The Master Plan The Beginnings in Iraq The Implementation of the Plan. Scr_20150410_ISIL_Map_Unclass_Approved.jpg (JPEG Image, 454 × 600 pixels) Isis: Inside the Army of Terror; The Rise of Islamic State – review. Isis feeds first on state dysfunction, second on Sunni outrage. In Iraq, Sunni Arabs are a minority displaced from their privileged position by America’s invasion. Their revanchism is exacerbated by the sectarian oppression practised by the elected but Iranian-backed government. In Syria, Sunnis are an oppressed majority, the prime targets of a counter-revolutionary tyranny headed by mafias but claiming and exploiting Alawi sectarian identity.

Under other names, Isis first grew in Iraq, as it would later in Syria, by exploiting resistance to occupation, American in the first case, that of a delegitimised regime in the other. Drawing on research by the Guardian’s Martin Chulov, Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan show how Syria’s regime once collaborated with Iraqi Baathists and Salafist extremists, helping terrorists move to American-occupied Iraq, where their attacks against Shia civilians eventually precipitated civil war.

Weiss and Hassan have produced a detailed and readable book. The Islamic State’s African Long Con. If forms of government can be likened to operating systems, current variants of democracy are a bit like early, primitive versions of Windows. They are neither optimally functional nor user-friendly — they are buggy, susceptible to malware, and lack desired features. While our democratic systems have brought us far, they appear incapable of solving complex modern problems like recurring global financial crises, rising inequality, climate change, and various forms of resource depletion.

Even the most established democracies are failing to deliver public goods: the U.S. Society of Civil Engineers recently issued a grade of D+ on the condition of U.S. roads, bridges, water systems, schools, and other infrastructure. Not unexpectedly, the approval rating of the U.S. Congress is at a near-historic low of 20 percent. The versions of democracy attempted by newly democratizing nations have been even less effective. Political systems are decision-making systems.

Leading The Fight Against The Islamic State: The Battle for Iraq (Dispatch 10) 'Hunger, displacement, theft … but is there anything worse than beheadings?' It was once a riverside city of more than 200,000 people, the sixth largest in Syria with a rich heritage influenced by the dominant cultures of the various ages – Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Islamic.

But Raqqa, the newfound “capital” of Islamic State, has become a citadel of hunger, monotony and overwhelming oppression, where women must cover up completely, water and electricity supplies are fitful and beheadings are the standard form of punishment. In a settlement of 700 people displaced from Raqqa and now eking out a miserable existence in the Bekaa valley in Lebanon, former townsfolk paint a picture of a city bereft of vitality where the group’s brutal dominion is on full display. “The situation in Raqqa is worse than anything,” said a man who arrived two months ago and asked for his identity to be concealed. “Hunger, displacement, theft, looting.” He added: “How did it change? People’s livelihood was destroyed, not changed. Winter was especially hard for these refugees. ISIS distributing video game that allows players to play role of an Islamist and kill Westerners 

ISIS supporters have modified ARMA III so users can play as the militantsJihadi characters are able to kill Westerners and Syrian regime soldiers Also carry out attacks on characters based on Kurdish pershmerga forces Mod is not an official release by Czech developers Bohemia InteractiveBut jihadis are using it to recruit children and radicalise vulnerable, giving it out for free on gaming forums to those declaring support for ISISISIS supporters have previously used popular video games Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty in their sickening propaganda films By John Hall for MailOnline Published: 10:54 GMT, 3 February 2015 | Updated: 08:17 GMT, 4 February 2015 Twisted ISIS supporters are distributing a sickening video game that allows users to play the role of Islamic extremists on a mission to murder Westerners. Scroll down for video ISIS supporters modify video game to include the jihadis' Loaded: 0% Progress: 0% MinimizeExpandClose.

This Video Game Lets Jihadis Play As ISIS Fighters. ShareTweetShareSendLink Supporters of the Islamic State have found a way to tackle their enemies on Western games. “In the latest version of the game ARMA III,” one ISIS supporter wrote on an official ISIS forum, “there are mods in which a user can play as an ISIS militant, especially against the Peshmerga and Syrian army.” Another anonymous gamer answered, “I will, with the help of Allah, make dozens of copies for this game and distribute it for free to all the brothers that use the name of the Islamic Caliphate.”

ARMA III is an open-world, first-person shooter video game developed for Microsoft users by the Czech studio Bohemia Interactive. ARMA III allows users to make their own various mods—that is, modifications—enabling them to change everything from the appearance of characters to elements of game play. Mods featuring ISIS characters originally appeared in ARMA III so that gamers around the world could fight against the terrorist network.

M.christianpost. February 5, 2015|8:43 am (Screengrab: IJReview.com) Supporters of the Islamic State terrorist organization are distributing a recently modified version of a popular first-person shooter video game that allows gamers to role play as ISIS militants who are on a mission to murder westerners. The Daily Mail reports that supporters associated with ISIS are distributing a modified version of the Czech-produced video game ARMA III, that allows users to pretend to be radical extremist characters based off of Islamic State militants. Although the original ARMA III game takes place in the year 2030 and only allows users to take on the role of NATO forces fighting against coalition forces from Middle Eastern and Asian countries, the new ISIS modification allows players to control militants and specifically rewards players for killing not only westerners but Syrian regime soldiers and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, as well.

Emwazi and the London schoolmates who became militant jihadis | UK news. The extent to which a small group of disaffected Muslim youths from one London neighbourhood were able to forge contacts with senior al-Qaida figures is becoming clearer since one of their number was named as the hooded militant behind the Islamic State (Isis) killings. Mohammed Emwazi, an IT worker from North Kensington, was part of network headed by two men facing prosecution for the 1998 east African embassy bombings in which 224 people were killed and thousands injured, according to evidence heard by the high court in 2011.

Emwazi, 26, was a member of a close-knit group of young jihadis whose links were forged at secondary school and during five-a-side football matches in the west London neighbourhood, rather than at mosques or political meetings, according to one of their number. His family had settled in the area after moving to the UK from Kuwait when he was six years old. According to several of Emwazi’s associates, MI5 tried to recruit him at this time. Isis’s promise of certainty is what lures the likes of Mohammed Emwazi | Jonathan Freedland.

Maybe it was the goalpost that did it. In his last year of primary school, Mohammed Emwazi, the Kuwaiti-born Londoner exposed this week as the man behind the mask of “Jihadi John”, ran headlong into a metal post and was knocked out cold. “We didn’t see him for six weeks,” an old school friend recalled on a radio phone-in, wondering if that event was the turning point. “He was not the same ever since that brain injury. I am telling you, one million per cent: he was not the same.” Well, it’s as good as any of the other theories in circulation – and there have been many. And not just to explain Emwazi’s transformation from a smiling child into the gleeful slicer of throats who has become the global, if masked, face of Islamic State, his alliterative, made-up name better known even than that of the movement’s leader.

The reject narrative has an appeal. It shifts some blame too, from perpetrator to rejecter. The trouble is, in Emwazi’s case the story of rejection doesn’t really stack up. How Islamic State is expanding its empire of terror. Inside the Islamic State ‘capital’: no end in sight to its grim rule. Doug Saunders sur Twitter : "Well, there's that RT @washingtonpost: The Islamic State "caliphate" is in danger of losing its main supply route.

Isis Threatens to 'Flood Europe' with 5,00,000 Libyan Migrants if Attacked in Libya. Isis in Libya: Plan to Infiltrate Italy and Other 'Crusader States' Surfaces. Audrey Kurth Cronin | Don’t Use Counterterrorism to Fight ISIS. On the Impossibility of Fighting ISIS. What ISIS Really Wants. Islamic State's takeover of Nawfaliya highlights increasing risks to oil fields and personnel in Libya's Sirte Basin. New Money: ISIS Is Actually Starting To Make Its Very Own Currency. Isis has fighters 'just waiting for order to attack West', says British grammar schoolboy turned teen jihadist Shabazz Suleman - Crime - UK - The Independent. Isis jihadis aren’t medieval – they are shaped by modern western philosophy | Kevin McDonald.

Beyond Ukraine and Gaza: The Battle for the Soul of the Wider West – Opinion – ABC Religion & Ethics. The Big Questions on ISIS. Viewpoint: ISIS goals and possible future gains. Welcome to the post-Westphalia dystopia. UN claim: ISIS selling, crucifying, burying children alive in Iraq. Saudi Arabia Plunges into an Abyss. Abdullah is Dead. ISIS has an opportunity to flip the Kingdom. Here's how. While ISIS Melts the Map, the Pentagon Fiddles. ISIS targets the Pilots of the Airwar. Russia Hacks its way to Victory. Saudi Arabia's Kryptonite. ISIS isn't the long term problem, Saudi Arabia is. Libye : qui est derrière l'assaut sanglant de l'hôtel Corinthia ? L'EI appelle à des attaques terroristes en Suisse. Charlie Hebdo. Samuel Laurent : «Il y a eu une faille sécuritaire» The Banality of Islamic State | Bloomberg Business. What Obama Needs To Do To Beat ISIS. DocArchive: Bureaucracy and Brutality - Documentaries.

CTC E-Mail Template Two. Even the Islamic State Needs a Bank. Edited Collection – Caliphates and Islamic Global Politics. Isis: the inside story | Martin Chulov. ISIS Now Has Military Allies in 11 Countries -- NYMag. Fighters abandoning al-Qaeda affiliates to join Islamic State, U.S. officials say. Syria: The Epicenter of Future Jihad - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Inside ISIS and the Iraq Caliphate. AQ-ISIS Split: Exclusive War on the Rocks Hangout. The ISIS Story. Five Myths about the Islamic State. The sickness that gave birth to ISIS. No solution without freedom of religion. Carol Malouf on Twitter: 14 year old child suicide bomber Sufian Omar in operation Tabaqa airport yesterday in #raqqa #syria #ISIS.

Meet the Female Recruiters of ISIS -- NYMag. ISIS Opens The World's Biggest Bazaar of Violence. The sickness that gave birth to ISIS. No solution without freedom of religion. Baghdadi Denial Syndrome. ISIS plans to take holy war to China, occupy Xinjiang. ISIS Displaying a Deft Command of Varied Media. How to make Isis fall on its own sword | Chelsea E Manning. ISIS: The Psychology Behind the Black Flag & Consequences of Bombing. Isis militants: Twitter provides one of the few forums in which Saudis can discuss what they really feel - and it says they blame the clergy for Isis - Comment.