Shabab Militants Learning to Kill on a Shoestring (JEFFREY GETTLEMAN of the NYT)

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“In the pecking order of the world’s leading terrorist groups, the Shabab militants, based in Somalia, operate on a shoestring budget. But as the attack on a Kenyan university last week showed, they have become proficient in something terrible: mass murder on the cheap.”

See the full article here.

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How to Win Friends and Influence Iraqis (Foreign Policy)

Shia Militias

“The United States has taken a back seat to Shiite militias and Iranian commanders in the battle for Tikrit. Does that make Washington all but irrelevant in Baghdad going forward?”

See the full analysis here.

Iran Gains Influence in Iraq as Shiite Forces Fight ISIS (NYT)

Shia Militias“More openly than ever before, Iran’s powerful influence in Iraq has been on display as the counteroffensive against Islamic State militants around Tikrit has unfolded in recent days. At every point, the Iranian-backed militias have taken the lead in the fight against the Islamic State here. Senior Iranian leaders have been openly helping direct the battle, and American officials say Iran’s Revolutionary Guards forces are taking part.”

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