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August 27th, 2014
11:43 PM ET

Report: Second American killed in Syria fighting for ISIS

An anti-ISIS group now says there was a second American killed fighting in Syria. The group that released photos of Douglas McCain's passport and his remains made the claim without providing any identification or evidence. U.S. officials estimate that dozens of Americans have tried to join ISIS. What would make them want to travel to Syria, pick up a weapon and fight for a group like that? Jason Carroll looks at the stories of other American jihadis.

Maajid Nawaz was once a member of a militant Muslim group. Today he is the author of "RADICAL: My Journey Out of Islamist Extremism." Anderson spoke to him about how groups like ISIS recruit westerners.

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Filed under: ISIS • Jason Carroll • Maajid Nawaz • Syria
August 20th, 2014
11:35 PM ET

Looking back on the life and work of journalist James Foley

James Foley was kidnapped in November 2012 while reporting on the conflict in Syria. Today we are learning that the U.S. launched a failed attempt to rescue him and other hostages earlier this summer. Foley has now been beheaded by ISIS terrorists. We want to look back on the courageous way in which he lived his life and the work he was so passionate about.

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Filed under: Iraq • ISIS • James Foley
August 13th, 2014
11:12 PM ET

U.S. Special Forces make firsthand assessment of the humanitarian crisis in Iraq

A risky U.S. military mission in Iraq just wrapped up. A group of Special Forces spent 24 hours on Mount Sinjar and found that there are far fewer Yazidis trapped on the mountain than originally believed. They also report that the humanitarian air drops are helping those who are stuck there. Ivan Watson also got a firsthand look at the humanitarian crisis and reports that the situation in the region is still very desperate.

How does this new information from Mount Sinjar change U.S. plans for dealing with the humanitarian crisis and the threat from ISIS? Wolf Blitzer discussed possible strategies with retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona, Quartz Managing Editor Bobby Ghosh and former Delta Force officer Jeff Beatty.

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Filed under: Bobby Ghosh • Iraq • ISIS • Ivan Watson • Lt. Col. Rick Francona
August 8th, 2014
11:07 PM ET

ISIS' brutality caught on video

Warning: this video is violent and may be too difficult for some viewers to watch

It is hard to overstate ISIS' ambition or its thirst for blood. Recently a VICE News filmmaker spent time with ISIS fighters in Syria. He witnesses the grisly end and aftermath of a battle with a Syrian army unit.

What does it take to defeat a force like ISIS, when they are ready to use such brutal tactics? Anderson discussed possible strategies with retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Rick Francona and David Kilcullen, who advised Condoleezza Rice and Gen. Petraeus on counterinsurgency.

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Filed under: Iraq • ISIS • Lt. Col. Rick Francona
August 7th, 2014
11:02 PM ET

President Obama targets ISIS with airstrikes, and their victims with humanitarian airdrops

President Obama has authorized airstrikes in Iraq targeting ISIS. The announcement comes after the U.S. launched an airdrop operation delivering humanitarian relief to thousands of members of a nearly extinct sect known as the Yazidis. ISIS forced them from their homes and into the surrounding mountains to die without food or water. It isn't just the Yazidis on the run from ISIS. Christians, Kurds and other minorities are fleeing ISIS fighters who are armed with weapons stolen from the Iraqi military. Ivan Watson reports from Irbil, Iraq on the latest on events that led up to President Obama's decision to authorize these airstrikes and airdrops.

The Pentagon's airdrop operation in Iraq is both delicate and risky. Anderson discussed the logistics of all this with Retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona, New York Times reporter Stephen Farrell, and former White House Homeland Security Advisor Fran Townsend.

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Filed under: Iraq • ISIS • President Barack Obama
August 7th, 2014
10:54 PM ET

The history of ISIS in two minutes

President Obama authorized targeted airstrikes and a humanitarian relief airdrop after ISIS' latest offensive in Iraq. Over the last few years, ISIS has grown to become one of the world's most brutal and dangerous Jihadist groups. Anderson Cooper looks at how they became so dangerous so fast.

Could ISIS retaliate against the U.S. with an attack on the American homeland? Anderson discussed this ISIS' capabilities with former CIA officer Bob Baer, National Security editor of The Guardian, Spencer Ackerman and Quartz managing editor Bobby Ghosh

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Filed under: Iraq • ISIS • President Barack Obama
July 1st, 2014
12:09 AM ET

ISIS declares "Caliphate," calls on groups to pledge their allegiance

The military success of ISIS has emboldened the radical military group to declare "Caliphate" - an Islamic state spanning large areas from Syria to Eastern Iraq and calling on other muslim groups to pledge their allegiance. The group also posted several propaganda videos online showing evidence of their advances against the Iraqi military. CNN's John Berman speaks with Senior International Correspondent Arwa Damon and Former FBI Supervisory Special Agent Ali Soufan about the latest on ground and how significant is ISIS' claim to leadership of the global Islamist movement.

 


Filed under: al Qaeda • Arwa Damon • Iraq • ISIS
June 26th, 2014
12:51 AM ET

Expert: Highly unlikely Iraqi military will recapture ground lost to ISIS

As the conflict in Iraq continues, both Syria and Iran are reportedly increasing their involvement in the fighting across the border. Syria is allegedly bombing border towns. Iran is flying drones over Iraq and providing guns to the Iraqi government. In an interview with Anderson Cooper, counter-insurgency expert, David Kilcullen, who was advised General David Petraeus in Iraq and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice - says it's "highly unlikely that Iraqi military can recapture a lot of the ground lost" to ISIS - Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Watch the video for more, as Kilcullen explains why he believes the Iraqi military and government will not be able to roll back ISIS' advances.


Filed under: Iraq • ISIS
June 24th, 2014
09:50 PM ET

Former U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford: Iraqi unrest is "not a problem that is going to be solved in one day or one week or one month"

On Tuesday evening, former U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford joined Anderson Cooper to offer his insights on the ongoing unrest in Iraq.

Calling the situation a national security threat to the United States, Ford noted that it's "not a problem that is going to be solved in one day or one week or one month."

However, despite the logisitical and fundamental challenges, Ford tells Cooper the threat from ISIS simply can't be ignored, as "the problem is actually growing bigger."

Watch the video for more, as Ford explains why military intervention is not the best solution.

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Filed under: Iraq • ISIS
June 24th, 2014
12:36 AM ET

ISIS launches online propaganda to recruit foreign fighters

As ISIS – the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria continues their offensive against Iraq's Shiite-led government, militants are looking for new recruits online. Radical Sunni militants recently published a recruiting video, featuring a number of young Jihadists, claiming to be from Britain and Australia -  who are joining the battle. It was part of a major social media campaign of tweets and facebook postings. Anderson speaks with Majid Nawaz, who now fights such efforts. He's a former jihadi himself and author of, "Radical: My Journey out of Islamist Extremism"


Filed under: Iraq • ISIS
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