In time of coronavirus, ISIS shows method in its murderous madness

by Rashmee

Posted on March 22, 2020 / The Arab Weekly


ISIS urged its followers to avoid Europe like the plague. The unfolding coronavirus crisis has elements of the surreal, one of which is the extremist group Islamic State’s “travel advice” to its members. In its al-Naba newsletter, the Islamic State (ISIS) urged its followers to avoid Europe like the plague. Literally. The “healthy should not … Continue reading “In time of coronavirus, ISIS shows method in its murderous madness”

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Trump claims the US knows ‘exactly who’ the new ISIS leader is. Really?

by Rashmee

Posted on November 6, 2019


Donald Trump said the US knows “exactly who” the new ISIS leader is. If so, it’s not letting on. In fact, when the extremist group named Abu Ibrahim Al Hashemi Al Quraishi as Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi’s successor, security experts across the world had just one question: who is he? The announcement, on Halloween, threw … Continue reading “Trump claims the US knows ‘exactly who’ the new ISIS leader is. Really?”

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What to make of Russia’s fake news jibe about supporting US op that Trump says killed Baghdadi

by Rashmee

Posted on October 28, 2019


The Russians disputed Donald Trump’s account four hours after his triumphalist October 27 announcement of the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. No thanks due to us, the Russian Ministry of Defence said tersely, after Mr Trump’s announcement – dripping with vulgar self-satisfaction, larded with inappropriate language, and fulsome praise for “Russia, Turkey, Iraq, … Continue reading “What to make of Russia’s fake news jibe about supporting US op that Trump says killed Baghdadi”

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An ‘international’ tribunal for ISIS fighters?

by Rashmee

Posted on May 26, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


Today, Nuremberg could be a style, if not the template, for establishing a proper trial process for 21st-century crimes against humanity. Sweden has begun moves to establish an international tribunal to try Islamic State (ISIS) fighters for crimes they are suspected of having committed in Iraq and Syria. The moves, however, have been limited to … Continue reading “An ‘international’ tribunal for ISIS fighters?”

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After Baghouz, what do you do with ISIS families?

by Rashmee

Posted on March 17, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


Baghouz, the last redoubt of the Islamic State (ISIS), may be about to fall but the real battle against the extremist group may continue for years. It will revolve around an ethically difficult and strategically important question: What to do with the families of ISIS fighters? This is a global cohort. Women and children linked … Continue reading “After Baghouz, what do you do with ISIS families?”

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It’s not enough to wish ISIS fighters dead

by Rashmee

Posted on October 29, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


A British government minister recently addressed the unique international difficulties posed by the Islamic State’s loss of territory and the shrinking of the country it audaciously named after itself. In that harsh line, he laid bare the complexities of the case. With the Islamic State’s defeat, the foreign fighters who pledged their troth to the … Continue reading “It’s not enough to wish ISIS fighters dead”

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ISIS is apparently rather better at governance than expected. Hold that thought

by Rashmee

Posted on October 13, 2017


This really is a hoot. Have a read, if you get the chance of Rand Corporation’s new study “The Economic Impact of Islamic State Governance in Iraq and Syria”. IS (or ISIS or ISIL) wasn’t that bad an economic manager, it says. In fact, says Rand, “local economies that struggled under ISIL control did so … Continue reading “ISIS is apparently rather better at governance than expected. Hold that thought”

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Should Kosminsky’s TV drama on ISIS have been made now?

by Rashmee

Posted on August 27, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


Leaving the United King­dom halfway through the four-night screening of the television drama “The State” ironically put me in an ideal place to comment on award-winning writer-director Peter Kosminsky’s controversial Islamic State (ISIS) series. Then I watched the rest. I can legitimately be ambigu­ous about the good or evil that will come of it but … Continue reading “Should Kosminsky’s TV drama on ISIS have been made now?”

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Nail polish in The (Islamic) State? It got my attention in Peter Kosminsky’s TV drama

by Rashmee

Posted on August 21, 2017


Golden Globe and BAFTA Award-winning director Peter Kosminsky’s much-heralded four-part British television drama series on radicalised Britons entering ISIS/ ISIL/ Islamic State had many gripping moments, but it was the nail polish that stayed with me. An older woman – western or Lebanese? I wasn’t sure which – sported blood red nail polish in the … Continue reading “Nail polish in The (Islamic) State? It got my attention in Peter Kosminsky’s TV drama”

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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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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK