The Islamic State, a radical religious group that in the past year has violently seized huge chunks of territory in eastern Syria and northern and western Iraq, is widely considered among the world’s most violent and dangerous new terrorist forces. Also referred to as ISIS or IS, the group is known for use of brutal tactics, including mass killings and beheadings of journalists and aid workers, to spread a message of fear and establish a medieval-style religious order throughout the region. But much mystery about the group remains. These resources help explain who exactly the Islamic State is, what it wants and the surprisingly sophisticated media tactics it uses to spread its message and attract new recruits. Continue reading
It’s been over a year since the worst Ebola outbreak in history began to ravage the West African nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. To date, the highly infectious virus has claimed the lives of nearly 10,000 recorded victims. And although the epidemic’s spread has significantly slowed, with patients confined to a shrinking geographic region, there’s still no known cure and more than 100 reported new cases each week, according to the World Health Organization. In the interactive map sequence below, Frontline traces the epidemic’s spread from its suspected emergence with Patient Zero back in December 2013.
New signs of progress recently emerged In America’s seemingly endless nuclear negotiations with Iran, when the financially-strapped Islamic nation agreed to limit its nuclear production and allow outside inspections in exchange for the U.S. lifting its crippling economic sanctions. Continue reading
Thirteen years ago the United States wasn’t officially engaged in any foreign wars. We deported half the number of people we do today. Our surveillance state was a mere fraction of its current size. And — hard as it might be to believe — getting through airport security didn’t involve removing your shoes.
America’s involvement in the War on Terror — spurred by the 9/11 terrorist attacks — resulted in changing attitudes and concerns about safety and vigilance, ushering in a new generation of policies like the USA Patriot Act that prioritized national security and defense, often at the expense of civil liberties. The changes have had ripple effects across the globe, particularly in the Middle East, where American military operations have influenced rebellions and unrest throughout the region.
Four of the most dramatic domestic transformations brought on by the events of 9/11 are detailed below.
UPDATE: Since we first published this piece two weeks ago, embattled Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki agreed (on August 15) — after days of tense standoff that brought the possibility of a military coup — to relinquish power and accept the nomination of Haider al-Abadi as the country’s new leader. Abadi, also a Shiite, belongs to the same party as his predecessor. Additionally, on August 18, President Obama announced that Iraqi special forces and Kurdish fighters, backed by American war planes, had retaken a strategic dam near the northern city of Mosul, which had previously been captured by Islamic extremists. Continue reading