terrorism

All eyes were on 20-year-old Abdullahi Yusuf when he stepped on the stand in federal court last week in Minneapolis to testify for the prosecution in America's largest ISIS recruitment trial.

As Yusuf began to speak, his words provided a rare, behind-the-scenes look at how more than a dozen young men convinced themselves that the way to prove they were good Muslims was to travel to Syria and fight for ISIS.

Imagine this scenario: A young Muslim leaves home to travel to Syria to join ISIS. Thousands of young men from Europe have done exactly that in the past two years.

But here's the twist: Imagine that just weeks after arriving, the young man realizes he's made a terrible mistake. What does he do now?

Airstrikes in Syria's largest city killed more than a dozen people at a well-known hospital, says aid group Doctors Without Borders, adding that the violence claimed one of the last pediatricians working in Aleppo.

"We are outraged at the destruction of Al Quds hospital," the group said in a tweet Thursday, saying that the facility included an intensive care unit and an emergency room.

A friend of the pediatrician who died told NPR's Alice Fordham via Skype that Mohammed Wassim Moaz was "very kind" and that the children in Aleppo "love him very much."

Armed with a 3-D printer and a computer-guided stonecutter, cultural heritage advocates are taking on the jackhammers of the Islamic State and its destructive ideology.

When Islamic State militants seized the Syrian desert town of Palmyra last May, an orgy of demolition began. Using dynamite, fire, bulldozers and pickaxes, the wrecking crew targeted 2,000-year-old Greco-Roman temples, monuments and stone statues. Palmyra's 20-foot-tall Arch of Triumph, a symbolically important monument, lay in ruins.

The city of Boston and the friends and family members of the marathon bombing victims will never forget the day when two explosions ripped through the crowd at the race, killing three people and injuring more than 200. Neither will the family of Sunil Tripathi, but for very different reasons. Their story is told in the documentary film Help Us Find Sunil Tripathi.

For days, the tech media was mesmerized: Rumors were running amok about the mysterious third party that helped the FBI unlock the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone and one particular Israeli security company landed in the spotlight.

As weeks go by, the expectations that the third-party helper or its mysterious technique would be revealed are quickly declining. The theories, however, continue to ripple out.

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Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters

Two years after the Islamist group Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls from a school in Chibok, Nigeria, the girls are still missing.

On Thursday, however, we got our first glimpse of a few of them in a new video — renewing hopes that not only are they missing, at least some are still alive.

When 276 girls were forced at gunpoint from their dormitory beds at a school in Chibok, Nigeria, on April 14, 2014, it sparked the creation of #BringBackOurGirls. The campaign, originating in Nigeria, became a global sensation as it pressured the Nigerian government and world leaders to rescue the girls from their Boko Haram kidnappers.

Nearly five months after a "wanted" bulletin tied him to the Paris terrorist attacks, Mohamed Abrini has been arrested in Belgium. Public broadcaster RTBF also says Abrini may be the "man in the hat" wanted in connection to last month's bombings in Brussels.

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Omar Sanadiki/Reuters

When Syrian teenager Omar ran away from his family, he had no idea what was in store for him. It all started last year, when he was 13, and ISIS came to his hometown of Ras Al Ayn near the Turkish border.

Omar says ISIS fighters seemed like real warriors who would give him a sense of pride and purpose.

The FBI's success in unlocking, without Apple's help, the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists marks a dramatic end to the heated dispute between the Justice Department and the tech giant about the scope of the government's power to compel a company to weaken its digital security for a criminal investigation.

Below are some of the key takeaways — and mysteries — left in the aftermath of the case.

When Pakistani Taliban gunmen stormed a school in December 2014, killing more than 130 schoolboys, it united many Pakistanis in support of a major offensive against the radical group that had been growing more menacing for years.

That military operation, which was already underway, picked up momentum. Violence is down, and Taliban have been weakened in their strongholds in northwest Pakistan, near the border with Afghanistan.

At least 70 people have died in an explosion in the city of Lahore, Pakistan, according to local police. Hundreds more were injured. According to Reuters, the attack was claimed by the Taliban faction Jamaat-ul-Ahrar.

"The target were Christians," said a spokesman for the faction, Ehsanullah Ehsan. "We want to send this message to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that we have entered Lahore. He can do what he wants, but he won't be able to stop us. Our suicide bombers will continue these attacks."

Ted Cruz raised the most money of any Republican presiddential candidate in Washington state.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Along with the horror and sadness evoked by the bombings in Brussels on Tuesday, Seattle's Muslim community is also grappling with feelings of fear and anxiety. 

Once again, they're worried about the possible backlash which can occur after events like this. 

In the aftermath of Tuesday's deadly attacks in Belgium, the world is learning about people who died, including a mother of twin daughters, a university student mourned by classmates, and a public servant who was "a bit of a joker."

The attacks, which were claimed by ISIS, killed at least 31 people and wounded at least 270 others. Head here for the latest news on the manhunt for an accomplice to the attacks.

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