National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Syria

Islamic State militant ‘Jihadi John’ named by media

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The Islamic State militant known as “Jihadi John,” who has been seen in videos of hostages’ beheadings, was identified Thursday by the BBC and The Washington Post.

Mohammed Emwazi, who is in his mid-20s, is believed to be a Kuwaiti-born British man from west London. The BBC said he was known to British security services, who chose not to disclose his name for operational reasons.

Activists: Islamic State group now holding 220 Christians in Syria

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The number of Christians abducted by the Islamic State group in northeastern Syria has risen to 220, activists said Thursday.

The United Kingdom-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the civilians were kidnapped from 11 villages near the town of Tal Tamr over the past three days by the militants, who control vast swaths of Syria and Iraq.

The abductions, which started Monday, caused thousands of residents to flee and become refugees in nearby cities.

Spotty training, increased violence impact young aid workers

The risk of foreign aid work, especially for young people, has again been thrust into the national spotlight after the death of 26-year-old Kayla Mueller.

Mueller, a foreign aid worker, was confirmed dead Tuesday after being taken hostage by Islamic extremists in 2013 in Syria.

Even as aid organizations have improved security protocols over the past several years, workers can be placed in war-torn areas where safety cannot be guaranteed, said Abby Stoddard of Humanitarian Outcomes, a research and policy group for humanitarian agencies.

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February 27- March 12, 2015

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