Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Identifying the man known as Jihadi John: “The identity of the masked executioner clutching a knife in ISIS beheading propaganda videos was revealed on Thursday. A U.S. intelligence official confirmed to NBC News that a Londoner named Mohammed Emwazi is the person known as ‘Jihadi John’ in the ISIS videos depicting the murders of American and British citizens.”
* Speaking of ISIS: “The Islamic State group released a video on Thursday purportedly showing militants using sledgehammers to smash ancient artifacts in northern Iraq, describing the relics as idols that must be removed. The destructions are apparently part of a campaign by the ISIS extremists who have destroyed a number of shrines – including Muslim holy sites – in order to eliminate what they view as heresy.”
* Kicking the can down the road? “House Republican leaders are eying a stopgap funding bill to avert a shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security and punt the immigration fight for potentially three weeks, GOP sources said Thursday.”
* In related news, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) told reporters this afternoon, “We really, as a governing party, we got to fund DHS, and say to the House, ‘Here’s a straw so you can suck it up.’”
* House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), perhaps struggling with the pressure, was reduced to blowing a kiss at a reporter during a press conference late this morning.
* Ebola: “Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf paid emotional tribute to the American people on Thursday as the United States formally wound up its successful five-month mission to combat the west African nation’s Ebola outbreak.”
* Water matters: “The billion-dollar, five-year gamble to build a new middle-class Palestinian city on a West Bank mountaintop was just about to welcome its first residents when the Israeli government decided this month to withhold a basic necessity: running water.”
* This means, of course, that the president himself is not going to AIPAC: “President Obama will send Susan E. Rice, his national security adviser, and Samantha Power, his envoy to the United Nations, to speak to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee at its conference here next week, officials at the White House said on Thursday.”
* Provocative piece from William Saletan: “If we’re going to start calling out religious and political groups for extremism, we could start at home with Republicans. Too many of them spew animus. Too many foment sectarianism. Too many sit by, or make excuses, as others appeal to tribalism. If Obama were to treat them the way they say he should treat Islam – holding the entire faith accountable for its ugliest followers – they’d squeal nonstop about slander and demagogy. They’re lucky that’s not his style.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.