FROM Rukmini Callimachi
Destroying Mosul in order to save it The Islamic State is mostly gone from the ancient city of Mosul after what some veterans call "the toughest urban warfare since World War II." Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has declared victory, but half his second largest city is in ruins. Thousands are dead; more than 700,000 are refugees. Nobody thinks peace is at hand — while ISIS still holds the Syrian city of Raqqa and fosters violence in other places, too. Will the US and other western countries help rebuild Mosul — while Kurds, Turks and other factions struggle for power?
The latest on the Manchester attack and ISIS ISIS has claimed responsibility for the terrorist bombing in Manchester that killed 22. Authorities now have at least five people in custody and they are looking for more. We discuss the latest in the investigation and ISIS’s communication strategy, including the group’s mastery of social media
ISIS claims responsibility for Manchester attack Last night's suicide bombing at a concert by American pop star Ariana Grande killed at least 22 people and hospitalized 59 more in Manchester, England. Condolences are pouring in from all over the world. Chief Constable Ian Hopkins told reporters , "The man suspected of carrying out last night's atrocities is 22-yr old Salman Abedi…. Our priority is to continue to establish if he was acting alone or as part of a wider network." ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack. Rukmini Callimachi reports on terrorism for the New York Times , focusing on ISIS and al-Qaeda.
Terrorism by remote control: Is there any protection? Should President Trump's travel ban on refugees and visitors from seven mostly Muslim countries be re-instated? The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to hear arguments today. The President's massively disruptive travel ban is aimed at refugees and travelers from seven mostly Muslim countries, but nearly all terrorist acts in the US since 911 have been committed by US citizens. Furthermore, there's new evidence that ISIS recruiters and handlers operate remotely — without anybody having to cross any borders at all. Rather than focusing on keeping potential terrorists out of the country, should we focus on those who are already here?
The Orlando Nightclub Massacre: America's Deadliest Mass Shooting Forty-nine people are dead, along with the shooter, and an additional five are in grave condition, as the White House, the FBI and all Americans try to understand Sunday's events in Orlando.
It's Detention and Interrogation All Over Again The US has been killing Islamic State fighters with airstrikes and drones, but now 300 Special Forces are on the ground in Iraq. They're conducting so-called "targeted raids," and taking prisoners. But they're not the only ones. Today, Kurdish Peshmerga reportedly captured a US citizen, Mohammed Jamal Amin from Virginia — who is said to have entered Syria from Turkey and then made his way to Iraq — complicating the issue of what to do with ISIS detainees. Questions about "enhanced interrogation" and Guantánamo Bay are already being raised in the presidential campaign.
ISIS Claims First Attack on US Soil The so-called Islamic State has claimed responsibility for an incident in the United States — Sunday's attack in Garland, Texas , outside a contest to draw cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad. Two suspects killed by police were from Phoenix, Arizona — but ISIS radio is calling them "two soldiers from the soldiers of the caliphate." Rukmini Callimachi reports on ISIS for the New York Times .
New IS Video Shows Jordanian Pilot Burned to Death A video published online by the so-called Islamic State claims to show a captured Jordanian pilot being burned alive. President Obama responded , "Should in fact this video be authentic, it's just one more indication of the viciousness and barbarity of this organization". Jordan has confirmed the pilot’s death, and a spokesman has promised “punishment and revenge.” Rukmini Callimachi covers Islamic extremism for the New York Times.
Are Hostages Paying the Cost of US Policy on Ransoms? Unlike many European countries, the United States refuses to negotiate with terrorists over ransoms to free hostages. The rationale: it encourages more kidnappings. Now new evidence is surfacing that this policy can potentially discourage investigations into terrorists whereabouts. With its "no concessions to terrorist policy" is the US losing rescue opportunities? New York Times foreign correspondent Rukmini Callimachi has been tracking this, her story on the cost of the US ban on paying for hostages ran in yesterday's paper. hostage.
America's Hostage Policy: Is It Time for a Change? The US and Britain refuse to negotiate with terrorists. Paying ransom will only encourage extremists to raise money by seizing hostages. The parents of American journalist James Foley learned that can have unintended consequences when the so-called Islamic State released video of his beheading. But Foley’s former cellmates from France and Spain are alive and well, and ISIS is still holding at least one other American. Now US policy is “under review.” Is that real or political posturing? What are the alternatives? We talk with James Foley’s mother and others.
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.