As the threat from Islamic State (also known as IS or ISIS or by its Arabic acronym of Daesh) continued to grow, US-led coalition forces intensified their aerial attacks on IS militants and strategic installations in Syria and Iraq, in a concerted effort to destroy and degrade the self-styled caliphate.
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 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.
The Fryberg and Zehaf-Bibeau cases may differ in detail and motivation, yet they both reflect societal problems whether they are concepts of misguided masculinity in which young men feel inhibited in expressing emotion or increased isolation and alienation as a result of prejudice against mental instability.