This Week’s Top 5 Islamic State News Stories

By Erik Goepner

  1. Are negotiations with IS inevitable?

Padraig O’Malley, professor at UMASS and veteran mediator of civil conflict, thinks so. “A way in time must be found to talk to Islamic State,” he says. “You simply will not wipe it out. It’ll just re-emerge in a different form.” He goes on to suggest few in the West understand the “phenomenon of Islamic State” and the “degree of its sophistication in attracting young people from all over the world.” For the full story, see

  1. How is IS organized and how does it operate?

Analyzing 144 documents captured between 2005 and 2010, a group of researchers observe that IS (and its predecessor, AQI) takes a “bureaucratic, systematized approach to maintaining power that makes it look in some ways more like a settled government than a fly-by-night band of extremists. Whether under the flag of the Islamic State, or ISIS before that, the group organizes the territory it administers into well-defined geographic units, levies taxes in areas it controls, and manages large numbers of fighters across a sparsely populated territory roughly the size of the United Kingdom.” Read more at

  1. IS training camps spotted in eastern Libya, and they may also have established a new presence near Tripoli. Full story available at

  1. Kurds retake town north-east of Baghdad, reversing IS’ territorial gains in Jalawla. See for more.
  1. For the latest on the incident in Sydney, see the Australian newspapers: The Daily Telegraph ( and The Sydney Morning Herald (


Image Credit: Vice

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