FROM Graeme Wood
Dabiq Magazine and the ISIS Propaganda Machine The latest issue of Dabiq hit magazine stands this week. Well, not all magazine stands, because Dabiq is published by ISIS. The glossy, English-language quarterly features some typical magazine fare, but with a Jihadi slant. For instance, there’s an advice column for widows of fighters who died for the ISIS cause. Then there’s the more troubling stuff – like an article that praises the San Bernardino attackers, and a fawning obituary for the British man known as Jihadi John, who’s responsible for multiple executions of Westerners. How does this publication fit into the terrorist group’s propaganda machine?
Gangs an Unlikely Source of Order at Pelican Bay Pelican Bay is California’s maximum-security prison on the coast near the Oregon border—recently famous for hunger strikes and allegations of torture. It’s as dangerous as any place of its kind, full of inmates serving life sentences, but it’s prison gangs—not the guards—who keep order. That’s according to Graeme Wood, one of the few outsiders who have been there. He wrote about it for the Atlantic magazine, where he’s a contributing editor.
The Allure of Extremism We’ve just heard what world leaders are discussing in terms of how to deal with the growing threat from ISIL, but here’s the question that lies behind everything that’s happening now: What draws someone to join an extremist group? Terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East are not lacking for recruits—whether it’s fighters from within the continent, or foreign fighters from Western nations joining the effort against their own countries. There are tens of thousands of them, and their ranks are said to be growing with each passing day. Today, a conversation about what these recruits are looking for in their lives, what conditions make them ripe for recruitment, and put simply: What is the allure to join up in violent jihad?
The Soaring Costs of College Tuition If you are a student or a parent of a student headed for college, the numbers are daunting: $240,000 for a private four year college. Even some state Universities can now cost upwards of $80,000. Half of all student federal loans are now in arrears. It all adds up to one question: Is college worth it? And if not, what’s being done to help students struggling with debt, and what alternatives are out there for kids questioning the value of liberal arts education at such a high price? We’ll look at alternative models to the traditional four year college, and question what the value is of a liberal arts education in dollars and cents.
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?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
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.