It's almost a year since a US-led coalition launched air strikes and increased support of Iraqi and Kurdish military forces in a bid to degrade and destroy the self-styled Islamic State; yet the jihadist group that has conquered a swath of Syria and Iraq has demonstrated resilience despite suffering significant losses.
The United Kingdom's search for Jihadi John, the masked, British-accented fighter who appears in videos and beheading of foreigners condemned to death by the Islamic State, the jihadist group that controls a swath of Syria and Iraq, has highlighted the significance for militants of soccer as a recruitment and bonding tool.
The jihadist assaults in Paris on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket as well as two French police officers have sparked allegations of a failure by French intelligence and security agencies. Jihadists beyond the Middle East are also portrayed as coordinated by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). A closer look suggests those assertions are at best speculation.