The struggle for Mali
Following last week’s attack on a luxury hotel in Bamako, Jack Watling and Paul Raymond delve into the ideological schism in Mali that’s become increasingly pronounced since the 2012 occupation by jihadists. “It is a security nightmare for west Africa,” they write in The Guardian, “and increasingly for Europe, which fears the creation of yet another haven for terrorism.”
The Islamic State's 'capital city'
It’s a tale of two Raqqas – one where residents were free, and another that has been proclaimed ISIS’s de-facto capital city, where beheadings are commonplace and women are whipped for not covering up. At great risk, the group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently is trying to get the message out. David Remnick reports for The New Yorker.
The red mercury scam
For decades, ISIS and other terrorists groups have been willing to pay large sums for a lethal substance called red mercury - "the stuff of doomsday daydreams." But as C.J. Chivers explains in The New York Times, the broad consensus among nonproliferation specialists is that this super-weapon does not exist.
From one refugee to another
At first, a 75-year-old German and a 22-year-old Syrian have little in common. But on closer inspection, one is a refugee in today's crisis, and the other, now thriving, also had to leave his home many years ago. The Globe and Mail's Joanna Slater tells the story of an unlikely friendship.