As ISIS grows its reach into new countries, the US and its allies are debating whether those affiliates should be attacked. And that decision has a lot to do with who's considered a part of ISIS at all.
Men and women from all over the world have joined ISIS, many are zealots with little or no expertise. Now the group is trying to reach out to those with specific set of skills, and it's adjusting its methods to appeal to to the smart and well-educated.
The news that ISIS has taken Ramadi hits home for veterans like Tom Daly. As a Marine, he helped US forces take the capital of Iraq's Anbar province by building an alliance with Sunni nationalists who are now targets for ISIS fighters.
Extremists behind the siege at a university in Kenya boast a "pioneering" media strategy that has paved the way for other media-savvy terrorists like ISIS. But it's still a chilling experience to get a call from al-Shabad amid a terror attack.
He confounded American commanders in Iraq and all but saved the regime of Bashar al-Assad. But until recently, few people outside of military circles knew the name of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. He's a public and popular figure in his home country now — and just as powerful as ever.
Two gunmen killed more than 20 people in Tunisia on Wednesday, shocking the country that many people have called the Arab Spring's only meaningful success story. And while most of the dead were tourists, a Tunisian journalist says locals are feeling the deaths strongly.
"Today, ISIS is running probably the most effective propaganda machine out there," says one analyst. But while ISIS may have the tools of activism down pat, it's far different from real activist movement in important ways.
The people of Amman have voted, and the city's sanitation workers will now don turquoise-colored jumpsuits rather than their old bright orange uniforms, which closely resemble the outfits ISIS hostages are forced to wear.
A major offensive against ISIS forces is under way in Iraq, and the Iraqi army is getting plenty of support from Iran and its Iraqi Shiite allies. One country that isn't getting involved, however, is the United States.
The Sunni militants who've rampaged through parts of Iraq have reportedly executed many Shiites in Iraq's army. In territories conquered by the militants, Sunnis wonder if they will be the ones to suffer for this violence if Iraq's army recaptures their towns.
Iraq's prime minister is putting aside his differences with Kurdish forces in the north of Iraq as both groups fight militants from ISIS. The United States is also finding an unusual ally in Iran as both countries try to shore up the government in Baghdad.
Nahida Ahmed Rashid began her military career years ago, fighting for the Kurdish separatist cause. Now she's the highest-ranking woman in the Kurdish peshmerga and squaring off with her troops against Islamic militants who've taken northern Iraq by storm.
ISIS militants have persecuted non-Islamic Iraqis as they've taken control of parts of northern Iraq. In some cases, particularly that of the Yazidi sect, escaping ISIS has meant fleeing on a moment's notice and taking huge risks to stay alive.
Iraq has a new problem on its hands: A political showdown between current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his would-be successor. And the wrangling and potential violence are taking place against a backdrop of a massive humanitarian crisis and American intervention in northern Iraq.
The Lebanese border town of Arsal has borne the brunt of the Syrian civil war with thousands of refugees and occasional cross-border strikes. But a major battle between Islamist rebels — including ISIS — and the Lebanese army last week was a major new development.
Move over, al-Qaeda: The militants of ISIS are becoming a huge concern for counterterrorism officials as they gain battlefield experience and recruit new jihadis from as far away as Europe and the United States.
As ISIS forces closed in on the de facto Kurdish capital, residents of the city tried to keep their daily lives going. Now, after an American intervention, the future looks more secure, though some Kurds fear that the aid may carry a heavy price for them.