ISIS reigns in terror in parts of the Middle East, Ebola threat decreases in U.S.


ISIS reigns in terror in parts of the Middle East

You may have heard the word ‘ISIS’ tossed around, but do you know what it means and what it actually is?

ISIS is an acronym for the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.’ It is one of the major headlines on almost every major news network.

The terrorist group is a split from the Sunni terrorist group al Qaeda, according to CNN. After the U.S. invasion of Iraq during the early 2000s following 9/11, the al Qaeda group in Iraq (AQI), began bombing, beheading, and kidnapping locals.

The group was led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, but he was killed by the U.S. airstrike in 2006. After this, the leadership fell to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

In 2011, once the Syrian government began to collapse in a nation-wide civil war, the terrorist group moved into the region. According to BBC news, by 2013 the Syrian and Iraqi groups had merged, creating the ISIS group.

ISIS performs public crucifixions, mass shootings, and public beheadings. They even video these killings, especially if the person being executed is from the West. ISIS does these things to spark fear in their enemies.

Junior Casey Smial said “I don’t really know a lot about it. I know that what they’re doing is bad but not much more.”

The reason that they are doing this is because they are extremists with strict interpretations of the Koran. They believe that the rest of the world seeks to destroy Islam. They use this to justify attacks on both muslims and non-muslims.

One of the many reasons why ISIS has received so much backlash from foreign governments is that they commit war crimes, such as recruiting child soldiers. ISIS flaunts armies of children. They are training them how to behead, fire machine guns, and plant bombs, according to NBC news. Not only does this add more numbers to their force, but it creates a younger generation of militants that will carry on the fighting.

“I feel bad because innocent people are being used and they are dying for no reason,” junior Mantvydas Urmilivicius said.

ISIS is the richest militant group, with an estimated $2 billion dollars in assets and cash. They use small machine guns, truck-mounted machine guns, and other large weapons. They have also captured tanks and other heavy machinery from the Iraqi and Syrian governments.

ISIS attracts members from all around the world and has radicalized many. The National Counterterrorism Center Director Matthew Olsen says that over 1,000 westerners have joined the ranks of ISIS to fight.

The U.S. and other nations have implemented the use of airstrikes to take out key ISIS leaders and camps. According to the Associated Press, ISIS’s leader, Bakr al-Baghdadi, may have been injured in a recent U.S. airstrike. He has a $10 million bounty on his head.

Mitch Hopkins is a News Editor for The Patriot and


Ebola threat decreases in U.S.

Ebola was dominating headlines. Now it’s scarcely heard.

Over the past month, interest has plummeted with the curing of the two Texan nurses who treated Thomas Duncan, the first Ebola patient in the U.S., according to Google Trends.

Here in Harford County, the bustle of Ebola has died down as well.

“I am not really scared of Ebola. They seem to have it pretty [much] under control,” sophomore Claire Pika said.

Dr. Craig Spencer was the last person in America who had Ebola. He was diagnosed Oct. 23 and released Nov. 11, Ebola-free. He was infected in Guinea while treating Ebola stricken patients. His fiance, Morgan Dixon, remained under mandatory quarantine until Nov. 14. She is now deemed Ebola-free.

Dr. Martin Salia, a Sierra Leone citizen, first showed signs of Ebola on Nov. 6. After testing negatively, he got progressively worse. He tested positive Nov. 10.

On Nov. 15, Dr. Salia was rushed to Nebraska from Sierra Leone. According to an ABC article, the patient “might be more ill than the first Ebola patients successfully treated in the United States, according to the hospital.”

Dr. Salia’s wife, an American citizen, requested her husband’s evacuation from Sierre Leone to the U.S. She agreed to the expected cost of 215,000 dollars for Salia’s medical treatment.

Dr. Salia died on Nov. 17.

Despite this new case, students feel more assured, since infected patients are now free of Ebola. “I feel safer now that I know there were people recently cured,” sophomore Giana Liberatore said.

“New York City is [also] monitoring 357 people for possible Ebola, the vast majority of whom are travelers who arrived in the city within the last 21 days from one of the three West African countries affected by Ebola,” officials said, according to an article from ABC News.

Death rates in the U.S. are at 11 percent, which is drastically less than Africa. Ebola numbers are falling in America. Four people were diagnosed with Ebola in America and ten have been treated, with only one death, Thomas Duncan, according to an ABC article.

In West Africa, the three hardest hit countries are Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. Ebola has infected 13,000 people and close to 5,000 have died, according to an article from The Wall Street Journal. Officials say that, although they are still high, Ebola rates are slowly declining.

According to a BBC News article, Teresa Romero, a Spanish nurse who contracted Ebola, is now cured and Ebola-free.

President Obama recently asked Congress for $6 billion to curb the spread and infection rates of Ebola in West Africa. Additionally, $500 million has been spent to deploy 3,000 troops to Ebola-stricken areas.

Morgan Taylor is a Copy Editor for The Patriot and