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Geopolitics

Vengeance, Guilt, Mysticism: The Making Of A Terrorist Mind

Analyzing letters and testimony of ISIS terrorists shows how eye-for-an-eye arguments in defense of Muslim victims meld with monotheistic guilt and a mystic sense of destiny to become offensive weapons in the jihadist strategy.

Vengeance, Guilt, Mysticism: The Making Of A Terrorist Mind
Soren Seelow

PARIS — After each attack ordered or inspired by the so-called Islamic State (ISIS), the group publishes a message with its talking points. Central to its message is the claim that its foreign operations are a response to air strikes by the international coalition in Syria and Iraq. This position, expertly communicated by its propaganda outlets, constitutes ISIS" central argument in justifying the attacks in Paris, Brussels, Manchester and London — and in attracting new recruits.

But how do potential martyrs perceive this message? How do they justify to their loved ones the slaughter of innocent civilians? What convinces them to sacrifice their lives to this cause?

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Ideas

García Márquez And Truth: How Journalism Fed The Novelist's Fantasy

In his early journalistic writings, the Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez showed he had an eye for factual details, in which he found the absurdity and 'magic' that would in time be the stuff and style of his fiction.

Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez reads his book

J. D. Torres Duarte

BOGOTÁ — In short stories written in the 1940s and early 50s and later compiled in Eyes of a Blue Dog, the late Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia's Nobel Prize-winning novelist, shows he is as yet a young writer, with a style and subjects that can be atypical.

Stylistically, García Márquez came into his own in the celebrated One Hundred Years of Solitude. Until then both his style and substance took an erratic course: touching the brevity of film scripts in Nobody Writes to the Colonel, technical experimentation in Leaf Storm, the anecdotal short novel in In Evil Hour or exploring politics in Big Mama's Funeral. Throughout, the skills he displayed were rather of a precocious juggler.

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