Outlaw hero? How else to explain 16-year-old Linda Wenzel’s adventures with ISIS?

by Rashmee

Posted on July 21, 2017


The German teenager stole money from her parents and secretly left her peaceful little town near Dresden to live with ISIS for a whole year. She was recently rounded up in the extremist’s group fallen capital, Mosul, along with a couple dozen jihadists. Why is everyone so surprised? Linda Wenzel was 15 when she left … Continue reading “Outlaw hero? How else to explain 16-year-old Linda Wenzel’s adventures with ISIS?”

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Will tomorrow’s world be realism redux, liberal resilience or radical uncertainty?

by Rashmee

Posted on October 26, 2016


Harvard professor Stephen Walt offers three models of the future and you can take your pick depending on whether you’re an optimist like Winston Churchill or a miserable git. In December 1938, Churchill said, “I am an optimist – it does not seem to be much use being anything else”. But he never, as is famously … Continue reading “Will tomorrow’s world be realism redux, liberal resilience or radical uncertainty?”

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The unfulfilled Dabiq prophecy an omen for ISIS

by Rashmee

Posted on October 23, 2016 / The Arab Weekly


In the excitement over a new prophecy, an unfulfilled old one is receiving less atten­tion than it might. The new prediction comes from Baghdad, Washington, Ankara and Erbil and it is upbeat. We are told that the battle for Mo­sul will fatally damage the Islamic State’s pretensions to having and holding an Islamic state. The … Continue reading “The unfulfilled Dabiq prophecy an omen for ISIS”

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ISIS is right on this point: the Dabiq battle was not the epic one for which it longs

by Rashmee

Posted on October 17, 2016


A basic fact about the battle for Dabiq, the northern Syrian town that ISIS has just lost: as the extremist group says, it was not the apocalyptic struggle between Muslims and non-Muslims allegedly prophesied by Prophet Mohammed. ISIS is right. This was not that particular epic battle. The rebel groups who won Dabiq were not … Continue reading “ISIS is right on this point: the Dabiq battle was not the epic one for which it longs”

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Should we deny ISIL the oxygen of publicity?

by Rashmee

Posted on September 29, 2016 / The National


At the start of the week, an important discussion took place — and I don’t mean the first of the US presidential debates. In London, senior journalists and news managers from major media outlets in three European countries conducted a sober debate on the reporting of terror. Is it time, they asked, 15 years after the attacks … Continue reading “Should we deny ISIL the oxygen of publicity?”

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Can European culture prevent ISIL recruitment?

by Rashmee

Posted on September 22, 2016 / The National


On both sides of the Atlantic, the fight against radicalisation is evolving in unexpected ways. In the United States, a federal judge is considering whether convicted home-grown ISIL supporters can be put on a deradicalisation programme rather than clapped in jail. In Italy, the government is handing out €500 (Dh2,043) of free money to 18-year-olds … Continue reading “Can European culture prevent ISIL recruitment?”

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The question in Sirte #Libya is not whether ISIS will be defeated. What comes after?

by Rashmee

Posted on August 31, 2016


Sitting in Tunis, it’s hard not to pay particular heed to what’s happening over the way – in Libya. More specifically, in Sirte. As the world knows, the tough-bitten Misrata militia, which is aligned with Libya’s UN-backed government of national accord (GNA), is laboring to displace ISIS from Sirte. From August 1, the Misratans have … Continue reading “The question in Sirte #Libya is not whether ISIS will be defeated. What comes after?”

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Are Germany’s new anti-terrorism proposals about politics more than security?

by Rashmee

Posted on August 16, 2016


Germany’s interior minister Thomas de Maiziere has said that dual-nationals will lose German citizenship if they fight for militant Islamist groups abroad. This would make for one immediate security benefit to Germany and mainland Europe: A dual-national who has made that physical and psychological journey (travelling overseas to fight for ISIS/Islamic State) will not be … Continue reading “Are Germany’s new anti-terrorism proposals about politics more than security?”

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Ridicule, the ultimate takedown of Islamic State? Inshallah, one day soon

by Rashmee

Posted on July 27, 2016


Click here for The Bighdaddy show, a collection of short videos satirising the so-called Islamic State and named after its self-styled caliph Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi. In one episode, the protagonist warns: “Don’t forget to like, share and comment or else I swear to God I’ll execute you all”. It goes without saying that’s a … Continue reading “Ridicule, the ultimate takedown of Islamic State? Inshallah, one day soon”

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In America, pro-ISIS digital content is a crime, pro-gun pronouncements a right

by Rashmee

Posted on July 22, 2016


Harvard law professor Noah Feldman asks a deeply troubling question in his Bloomberg View piece. Why should pro-ISIS digital content be considered dangerous to Americans and their society but not pro-gun pronouncements? Click here to read Professor Feldman’s piece in full. It’s a bit dense but here’s a short rundown on the essential argument. Apparently, … Continue reading “In America, pro-ISIS digital content is a crime, pro-gun pronouncements a right”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in eight countries in the past decade. She spent much of 2015 in the UAE and currently divides her time between the UK and Tunisia. Before that, she was in Haiti, the US, Afghanistan and India.