Tag Archives: Islamic State

Update: Orlando Shooter Did Have an Expressed Goal

A couple days ago I published a post asking what the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooter’s goal was. In it I mentioned that as far as we knew he made no demands during his 911 calls to the police. As it … Continue reading

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What Was the Goal of the Pulse Nightclub Shooting?

Last week’s terrorist attack against patrons of the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, which claimed the lives of 49 people, has me scratching my head. Although coming to terms with such a tragedy is difficult enough, the most puzzling aspect … Continue reading

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When Merely Mentioning ISIS is Offensive

About six weeks ago I gave a presentation on ontological insecurity, cognitive dissonance, and prophetic violence carried out by the Islamic State. It was an informal setting; several pizzas adorned a round table, and the audience had as much talking … Continue reading

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When Prophecy Succeeds?: The Islamic State Problem as an Imaginary Reality

The main point of this essay is that the Islamic State’s beliefs are so entrenched in its adherents’ identities that defeating them is all but an exercise in futility. There is no way to put the genie back in the … Continue reading

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Migrants and Their Tragedies: Yes We Can Fucking Share

Pope Francis. Love him or hate him, every once in a while he does something rather remarkable. The Catholic Church’s official position on the European migrant crisis has been consistently impressive. From an initial plea to Europe to get off … Continue reading

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The Islamic State Blows Up Sand: Time to Pull Out the Jokes

As many of you know, the Islamic State has resorted to destroying ancient architecture in Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Apparently buildings that predate their prophet are offensive. So, in addition to murdering innocent civilians for not following the … Continue reading

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Google Searches for “ISIS” and “Join ISIS” Compared

The other day I posted about a remarkable surge of people using Google to search for ISIS at a rate that dwarfs the previous 11 years of searches for other terrorist organizations. I discovered this using Google Trends. The visual … Continue reading

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Interest in Islamic State Unprecedented: And Why Do We Care So Much?

[NOTE: Most of this was originally posted to my personal blog yesterday. For this post I’ve made some alterations appropriate to this blog’s theme.] Today I started playing around with Google Trends, a web search analysis of Google searches in real time, … Continue reading

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Sicarii, Assassins, and the Islamic State: A Pattern Emerges

Total holy war and suicide attacks are nothing new. History has kept a long list of organizations popping up, committing atrocities in the name of god, and then suffering absolute defeat—sometimes these campaigns are coupled with ironic consequences for the … Continue reading

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Fares Al-Khodor Is Dead (And So Is a Piece of My Heart)

This post is a combination of personal anecdote, argument, and tragedy. I’m writing this because a young boy I once knew has died, a victim of the protracted and intense fighting in Northeast Syria. Although I’m not blaming anyone for his … Continue reading

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