With a growing number of women across the globe being convinced by online love interests to join the Islamic State's terror spree in Iraq and Syria, a former Syrian elementary school teacher and now ex-Islamic State patrol guard said that females are "duped" into joining the Islamic State, and shared the details of her journey that led her to join and, ultimately, defect from the militant group, in hopes it discourages other women from joining the jihad.
Hoping to expose the underlying truths about the Islamic State and their recruitment of women with a rare insider's perspecitve into the inner workings of the Islamic State foot patrol, a 25-year-old former ISIS patrol officer explained in a CNN interview how she was fooled into joining the Islamic State and why she deserted the group by fleeing into Turkey right before the start of the U.S.-coalition airstrikes in September.
"I don't want anyone else to be duped by [ISIS]," the women speaking under the alias of "khadija" said. "Too many girls think they are the right Islam." more >>
At least 41 children and 48 people in total were killed by two heavy suicide bomb blasts near a school in Homs, Syria, several sources have reported.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is monitoring the mounting number of casualties from the three-year-old Syrian civil war, said that the explosions occurred in the Ekrima neighborhood in Homs. It added that the death toll of 48 people is likely to go up, as there are also a number of seriously injured people.
Official Syrian sources said that a car bomb and a suicide bomber caused the explosions as the children were coming out of school. Fides News Agency said that the children were targeted because many of them belong to the same religious community as the family of President Bashar al-Assad. It added that the attack was one of the heaviest losses of life in terms of children since the beginning of the Syrian conflict. more >>
The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday against an earlier ruling allowing doctors to provide suicide drugs, by throwing out a case against the Swiss government. The woman at the center of the lawsuit was discovered to have committed suicide more than years ago.
"Because the government has an obligation to protect life, not assist in promoting death, we are pleased to see this bad decision thrown out despite the extraordinary circumstances," said Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Paul Coleman. "The lawsuit's claim that a person should be able to do whatever he or she pleases does not override national laws rightfully designed to protect the weak and vulnerable."
The law group, which had filed a brief with the Grand Chamber in 2013, noted that an earlier ECHR ruling against the Swiss government was nullified after the cbhamber discovered that Alda Gross, who had wanted to be provided with suicide drugs, had committed suicide in November 2011. The court was not notified of that fact, however, nor was it made known that the woman used the same poison to take her own life as the type she was attempting to secure legal rights to through the lawsuit. more >>
A Swiss humanitarian aid worker in Syria is facing death threats coming from ISIS-associated Twitter accounts after tweeting the location of a bunker seized by Islamic State near the Turkey-Syria border.
Oscar Bergamin, president of the small humanitarian aid group called Ash-Sham Care, tweeted the coordinates of an ISIS-controlled bunker in the Syrian town of Jarabalus. Bergamin told BBC in a radio interview on Wednesday that he sent the tweet out of frustration because ISIS' control of the bunker enables militants to block aid workers from accessing the estimated 18,000 refugees in the town.
Although Bergamin said he sent the tweet semi-jokingly because the bunker can be seen from Turkey, he did say he sent a tweet asking U.S. and coalition forces to "blow it up." One of the guiding principles of the International Red Cross is for aid workers to remain neutral when it comes to war and conflicts. more >>
A 26-year-old Iranian mother who was set to be executed on Tuesday for killing a man who attempted to rape her has reportedly been granted a last minute reprieve.
FoxNews.com reported that Rayhaneh Jabbari's execution was postponed on Tuesday following protests at Rajaiy Shahr Prison.
"I am currently handcuffed and there is a car waiting outside to take me for the execution of the sentence," Jabbari earlier told her mother while waiting to be sent to the prison facility to be hanged. more >>
The Rev. Canon Andrew White, the "Vicar of Baghdad," says he fears Christianity might soon become nonexistent in the Nineveh province of northern Iraq after Islamic State militants have seized most of the region's churches and established offices inside church buildings.
"To be honest, every single Christian wants to leave," White, the vicar of St. George's Church in Baghdad, the only Anglican church in Iraq, told The Telegraph.
"I used to say to my people: 'Don't you leave. I'm not going to leave you, don't leave me.' But now every one of them wants to leave and the ones who are left tend to be the poorer ones who couldn't get away earlier," he said. more >>