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16 min read

ISIS's Indoctrinated Kids: A Future of Violent Jihad?

The blue-eyed boy with the chubby cheeks still talks about the after-school movies he used to love so much. This was three years ago, when he was just 9 and living on the outskirts of Raqqa, in northern Syria. Sometimes, his father would take him and his little brother to an outdoor makeshift theater downtown, or he’d go with his teacher and classmates. They’d sit on plastic chairs and munch on cookies in front of a big-screen TV shielded from the sun by an umbrella. The films varied, but the plot was always the same: Black-clad members of the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) “liberated” ci
8 min read

A Deadly New Front For ISIS

On what was to be her wedding day, Stephanie Villarosa ate chocolate-flavored rice porridge out of a Styrofoam cup. Under normal circumstances—rings exchanged, fidelity promised, bride kissed—she and her family would have been feasting on lechón, or roasted suckling pig, a delicacy in her fiancé’s hometown of Iligan City on the island of Mindanao. Instead, Villarosa was huddled on an institutional plastic chair about 24 miles south of Iligan, inside Marawi City’s provincial government building, where she was finally safe after hiding in a house for 11 days. Outside, sniper fire crackled over
6 min read

Hezbollah vs. Israel: The Next Middle East War?

Updated | A tall, husky man with a large machine gun stands next to a missile in a field just south of Damascus, Syria. It’s a warm morning in May, and pale yellow butterflies flutter around him. Rabieh is a Hezbollah fighter stationed in the area, and like other Hezbollah members who spoke to Newsweek, he asked to be identified by a pseudonym because he isn’t authorized to speak to the press. "God willing, we will soon liberate Syria and go back to our country,” Rabieh says. "But until that happens, we will stay here until our last breath.” Since 2012, Hezbollah, the Iran-backed Lebanese Shi