background preloader


Facebook Twitter

One woman’s battle to heal her home city of Homs. In Syria, an aphorism contends that “one who has no old has no new”.

One woman’s battle to heal her home city of Homs

Before the dark days of the civil war, it was used nostalgically, as a brake on those – the young, the daring, the dangerously modern – who had no use for the outmoded past: for its narrow streets, crowded souks and tiny workshops. But since 2011, when the troubles began, it has taken on an altogether more painful meaning. With so much of the country destroyed, what will the future look like? People close their eyes, and they wonder: is it even possible to imagine such a thing? Marwa al-Sabouni believes it is – and her eyes are wide open.

“I’m lucky,” she says. “Yes! How did they cope? Into the heart of terror: behind Isis lines. Sunday 7 December 2014 Abu Qatadah, a German-born Muslim convert, who has brokered our visit to the Islamic State, is almost as wide as he is tall, with a thick, reddish-brown beard.

Into the heart of terror: behind Isis lines

My photographer son Frederic and I load our bags into the bed of the white pickup Qatadah and his driver arrived in. The driver’s head and face are so thoroughly wrapped with a large grey shawl that only his eyes and the contours of his nose are visible. He murmurs a greeting in English in a strikingly rhythmic accent. For security reasons, we can’t use the main roads. Qatadah claims business is booming in Isis.

For theft of goods worth more than $40 (£28), a hand is cut off. $40 is the price of a gram of gold. Christians have to pay jizya, a protection tax. Muslims pay a zakat, or religious tax, based on their assets. At the moment, Isis finances itself mostly through assets seized in war, sales of oil and the zakat. It is already dark when we arrive in Raqqa. Tomorrow we’re supposed to be going to Mosul. How ISIS Built the Machinery of Terror Under Europe’s Gaze. The Isis papers: leaked documents show how Isis is building its state. Telling the Truth About ISIS and Raqqa.

On Saturday night, five young Syrians slouched into a dive bar in New York and ordered drinks.

Telling the Truth About ISIS and Raqqa

When the bartender asked if off-brand vodka was O.K., they had to smile. Why ISIS Looks Very Different Today Than A Month Ago : Parallels. An Islamic State supporter waves the group's flag in its de facto capital of Raqqa, Syria, in June 2014.

Why ISIS Looks Very Different Today Than A Month Ago : Parallels

The group had focused on building its caliphate, or Islamic empire, in the Middle East. But it has claimed three major attacks recently, leading to a reassessment of the group and its goals. STRINGER/Reuters/Landov hide caption toggle caption STRINGER/Reuters/Landov. The Georgian roots of Isis commander Omar al-Shishani. Omar al-Shishani may now be one of the most feared jihadists in the Middle East, as a commander in the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis), but his early life was very different.

The Georgian roots of Isis commander Omar al-Shishani

He was born Tarkhan Batirashvili and grew up in Georgia's picturesque Pankisi Gorge. The Secret Life of an ISIS Warlord. Abu Omar al-Shishani has a fierce, gorgeous Chechen bride.

The Secret Life of an ISIS Warlord

He learned intelligence operations from the U.S. And his older brother may be the real genius of ISIS. ‘Star pupil': Pied piper of ISIS recruits was trained by U.S. Abu Omar al-Shishani, a former American-trained noncommissioned officer in the special forces of the nation of Georgia, is now the most important non-Arab figure in the Islamic State group hierarchy.

‘Star pupil': Pied piper of ISIS recruits was trained by U.S.

KILLIS, Turkey — The 15 Chechens looking to cross the border from Turkey to Syria didn’t strike Abdullah as particularly important or unusual. It was early summer in 2012, and as a smuggler based in the Turkish border town of Killis, Abdullah, who’d fled his home village in Syria because of fighting on the outskirts of Aleppo, was used to secretive groups of foreigners — journalists, aid workers and many recently aspiring jihadists — hiring him to cross Turkish military lines at the border while avoiding what was then still a significant Syrian government presence in northern Syria.

The 15 men had reached Abdullah through a network of contacts that were funneling new fighters to northern Syria, and Abdullah recalled they said they were going to Syria to assist in the fight against Assad. How ISIS Expanded Its Threat. The Islamic State has demonstrated a worldwide reach.

How ISIS Expanded Its Threat

Using social media prowess, it recruits fighters and supporters, primarily young people, from around the world. It has also drawn pledges of support or allegiance from about three dozen jihadist groups in at least 18 different countries. The Rise of ISIS. October 28, 2014 FRONTLINE investigates the miscalculations and mistakes behind the brutal rise of ISIS.

The Rise of ISIS

What an Estimate of 10,000 ISIS Fighters Killed Doesn’t Tell Us June 4, 2015, 6:02 pm ET · by Priyanka Boghani A senior U.S. official said this week that airstrikes have killed 10,000 ISIS fighters. So why does the group continue to expand its territory? Coming in March on FRONTLINE February 25, 2015, 2:58 pm ET · by Patrice Taddonio.