AP Photo

The Islamic State’s attacks in Europe earlier this year made headlines around the world. But there’s another terrorist group that by some estimates has killed more civilians over the past few years than ISIS.

That’s Boko Haram in northern Nigeria, which killed more than 6,000 people last year.

It’s a group known for tactics like using child suicide bombers, striking churches at Christmas and kidnapping schoolgirls, like the 276 taken from the town of Chibok in 2014.

The violence has caused a humanitarian crisis that could lead to more people dying of starvation than bullets. About 2.5 million people have been forced from their homes by its attacks.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at a murderous terror group that has thrived for 14 years despite the efforts of Nigeria and its neighbors to defeat it.

European Press Agency

One of the hardest regions of the globe to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is the Arab world. In Saudi Arabia and Yemen, the punishment for the crime of sodomy is death by stoning, and many other countries impose prison sentences.

Also challenging is the fact that the stigma associated with being LGBT is so great, many people feel they can’t come out even to their family or closest friends.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the uncertain lives of LGBT people in Arab nations.


For many Americans, the Islamic State was first burned in our minds as a threat back in August 2014.

That’s when the terror group released chilling video of American journalist James Foley being beheaded by a black clad man who condemns U.S. airstrikes in Iraq. Foley of course was much more than a victim of terror or a martyr for press freedom.

He was also a son, a brother, a colleague, and a friend.

On this edition of Global Journalist we’re going to talk more about the life of James Foley. We’ll also look at what his death tell us not only about him but about how news organizations operate and how the U.S. government handles hostage situations. 

ALEX HEUER / St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Republican gubernatorial candidate Eric Greitens is selling so-called "ISIS hunting permits" to raise money.


The fight against the Islamic State isn’t just taking place on the ground or in the skies of Iraq or Libya. It’s also on the internet.

The Islamic State has used apps like Twitter, WhatsApp and Telegram to recruit new jihadists, instill fear in opponents and even provoke strangers to launch lone-wolf terror attacks in the U.S. and elsewhere.

But could it also hack our electrical grid or our checking accounts?

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the new war against the Islamic State being fought on laptops and smartphones.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt criticized the president for his lack of leadership during a stop in Kansas City Tuesday. At the same time, President Barack Obama and French President François Hollande held a joint press conference and called for increased cooperation to fight the Islamic State.

“What happens when the United States fails to provide leadership in the world is bad things and more disruptive things fill that leadership vacuum,” says Blunt.

Daniel Case / Wikimedia Commons

 A former Missouri resident now living in California is seeking the dismissal of a federal indictment accusing him of playing a role in an effort to support terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria.

There have been mixed results in the fight against the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or ISIS. Iraqi government forces and their Iranian allies are fighting to retake the central city of Tikrit, but it's unclear how much longer this will take.

Meanwhile, ISIS has established a foothold in Libya. They also recently accepted the allegiance of Boko Haram, a Nigerian terrorist organization.

Matthew Bell

Around 600 people have left Germany in the last year to go fight with extremist groups like the self-declared Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, according to German security officials. And law enforcement authorities are taking various steps to stem the flow.

Another thing Germany is doing to pre-empt the radicalization of young people is expanding Islamic education.

Eight months after a notorious group of fighters in Iraq and Syria became regular characters in the news, NPR still begins most of its reports with words such as these:

-- "Self-declared Islamic State."

-- "Self-proclaimed Islamic State."

-- "The group that calls itself the Islamic State."

Updated at 11:10 p.m. ET

A video has emerged that purports to show militants of the self-declared Islamic State beheading 21 Egyptian Christians kidnapped last week in Libya.

Reuters reports: "In the video, militants in black marched the captives, dressed in orange jump suits, to a beach. They were forced down onto their knees, then beheaded."

Reuters says a caption on the five-minute video reads: "The people of the cross, followers of the hostile Egyptian church."

Updated at 4:19 p.m.

Kayla Mueller, the American woman taken hostage by the self-declared Islamic State, has died, her family and the White House said in separate statements.

Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET

The White House has confirmed that a video released by the self-declared Islamic State that shows the beheading of hostage Peter Kassig, an American aid worker in Syria who was kidnapped in 2013, is authentic.

The radical jihadist group posted the video on social media early Sunday.

President Obama said in a statement that he offered his condolences to the family, describing the beheading as "an act of pure evil."

The psychology of foreign jihadis

Oct 9, 2014
Sherin Zada / AP Photo

This week on Global Journalist, we look, once again, at the Islamic State and the ongoing fighting in the Middle East. Recent videos from the militant group have featured people not from the West fighting for ISIS' cause. To that point, videos depicting the beheading of American journalists and a British aid worker have highlighted a British person who describes what ISIS is fighting for before he executes the group's captives. But what makes someone who was born in the west and was educated in the west decide to fight for a group that wants to destroy the west?

Update at 8:50 p.m. EDT

The militant group that calls itself the Islamic State has released a video that purportedly shows the beheading of British aid worker David Haines.

The authenticity of the video, which appeared online Saturday, has not been independently confirmed by NPR.

The militant Jihadist group ISIS released video of the beheading of journalist James Foley in retaliation, it says, for the U.S. air strikes in Iraq. Foley went missing on Thanksgiving day, 2012, in Syria. In the video Foley is kneeling against a desert landscape, wearing something resembling an orange prison jump suit.  ISIS is threatening to kill another journalist they are holding if air strikes do not stop. Has the role journalists play in war zones changed? Missouri School of Journalism professors Mike McKean, Earnest Perry, and Amy Simons discuss. 

  As the violence escalates in Iraq at the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), there's a steady stream of hawkish pundits on television talking about the need to act.  What do Paul Wolfowitz, Paul Bremer, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have to say today that's different than prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq? Missouri School of Journalism professors Margaret Duffy, Mike McKean and Amy Simons discuss the issue.

ISIS wreaks havoc in Iraq

Jun 19, 2014
Emad Matti / AP Photo


This week on Global Journalist, we look at the increasing turmoil in the MIddle East. The group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, has taken control of two of Iraq's major cities and is moving toward the capital. In Syria, it controls much of the northern part of the country. We'll talk to those covering the conflict about the challenges thereof. We also take a look at free press in Afghanistan. Our guests:

As the U.S. steers warships closer to Iraq and beefs up its embassy's security in Baghdad with nearly 300 troops, a nagging question has resurfaced.

What compelling interests does Washington still have in a nation where all U.S. forces were pulled out 2 1/2 years ago?

Three days after Sunni militants calling themselves the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria seized Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, President Obama paused on the White House lawn and issued a warning.

As the violence escalates in Iraq at the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), there's a steady stream of hawkish pundits on television talking about the need to act.  What to Paul Wolfowitz, Paul Bremer, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have to say today that's different than prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq?

Jack Mirkinson, Huffington Post: “Iraq hawks are still dominating the media debate

President Obama has informed Congress that 275 U.S. Armed Forces personnel will go to Iraq to provide security for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, as a militant Sunni group continues its offensive in the country, seizing control of the northern town of Tal Afar.