Masked Palestinian Hamas militants watch the televised speech of US President Barack Obama in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip in 2009. AP Photo/Eyad Baba

The horrendous last five years in the Middle East started with joy at the fall of dictators in Tunis and Cairo. Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali’s flight to (...)

According to  Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, eight of the Dutch fighters are reported to have been “executed” in Maadan last Friday, after being accused of “attempted desertion and mutiny”. Photograph: Reuters/Stringer

Families of Dutch jihadists in Syria are desperately trying to verify reports that eight fighters from the Netherlands have been executed by the Isla(...)

US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and US ambassador to France Jane Hartley, pay tribute to the victims of November 13th terror attacks in Paris, at the Place de la Republique. Photograph: Jacques Demarthon/AFP/Getty Images

The French writer and statesman André Malraux allegedly predicted that “the 21st century will be a century of religion or it will not be at all.” Th(...)

Members of Iraq’s elite counter-terrorism service use military vehicles to patrol  Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s Anbar province,  after Iraqi forces recaptured it from the Islamic State  jihadist group this week. Photograph: Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images

Islamic State theologians have issued an extremely detailed ruling on when “owners” of women enslaved by the extremist group can have sex with them, i(...)

A member of the Iraqi security forces  at a government complex in the city of Ramadi  after driving out Isis fighters on Monday. Photogaph: Reuters

Iraqi forces appeared poised to regain control of the city of Ramadi on Monday in what would be their most significant victory against Islamic State, (...)

Members of Iraq’s elite counter-terrorism service who secured  the Hoz neighbourhood in central Ramadi on December 27th.  Photograph: Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images

Iraqi forces captured a government complex in central Ramadi, on Sunday, a predominantly Sunni city, forcing the withdrawal of Islamic State fighters.(...)

In February, the UN Security Council was asked to investigate the deaths of 12 doctors in the Islamic State-held city of Mosul. It was alleged the doctors were killed after refusing to remove organs. Photograph: Mike Segar/Reuters

Islamic State has sanctioned the harvesting of human organs in a previously undisclosed ruling by the group’s Islamic scholars, raising concerns that (...)

Time magazine named German chancellor Angela Merkel its 2015 “Person of the Year” on Wednesday, noting her resilience and leadership when faced with the Syrian refugee crisis and turmoil in the European Union over its currency this year. Photograph: Martin Meissner/AP File

Time magazine named German chancellor Angela Merkel its 2015 “Person of the Year” on Wednesday, noting her resilience and leadership when faced with t(...)

 Tashfeen Malik (left) and Syed Farook. Photograph: FBI/California Department of Motor Vehicles via AP

Islamic State (Isis) said on Saturday that a married couple who killed 14 people in California in an attack the FBI is investigating as an “act of ter(...)

The San Bernadino gunman Syed Rizwan Farook pictured in his Californian  driver’s licence.  The shooting  rampage by Farook and his wife  Tashfeen Malik   left 14 dead. Photograph: California Department of Motor Vehicles/Handout/Reuters

It happens all too often and the response – and lack of any follow-up action to prevent it happening again – is all too familiar. It is easy to list o(...)