From Brookings, Mara Revkin on the legal foundations of the Islamic State. Is the Islamic State a state? (and more) Kareem El Damanhoury on the Daesh state: The myth turns into a reality. Hassan Ahmad (UC-Berkeley): Prosecuting ISIS at the ICC. Sahar F Aziz (Texas A&M): Rethinking Counterterrorism in the Age of ISIS. In the age of ISIS, who’s a terrorist, and who’s simply deranged? The difference between ISIS and ISIS-ish: What to make of criminals and social misfits who suddenly take up the ISIS name? How the Islamic State recruits and coerces children: Kids are brainwashed into terrorism. Islamic State defectors hold key to countering group’s recruitment. Andy Greenberg on Google’s clever plan to stop aspiring ISIS recruits. With mosques under surveillance, IS turns to soccer for recruitment. Jihad v soccer: James Dorsey on the Islamic State’s convoluted love-hate relationship.

Scott Atran on ISIS: The durability of chaos. How a secretive branch of ISIS built a global network of killers: A jailhouse interview with a German man who joined the Islamic State reveals the workings of a unit whose lieutenants are empowered to plan attacks around the world. Why Europe can’t find the jihadis in its midst: A small, well-organized ISIS cell has been at work in the heart of Europe for years, recruiting criminals, exploiting freedom of movement, and evading counterterrorism efforts. Inside the head of an ISIS true believer: The so-called Islamic State vows to endure and expand, but under relentless pressure, it’s shrinking — how do its partisans think they can endure?

Mosul: Smuggled diary reveals life of fear under IS. Inside the real US ground war on ISIS: As the US and its allies prepare to launch a major offensive for Mosul, US service members are on the ground in growing numbers — and increasingly in harm’s way. Signs of panic and rebellion in the heart of Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate. Caliphate in peril, more ISIS fighters may take mayhem to Europe. What happens after ISIS falls? Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate is shrinking, but its demise is likely to bring new problems — fresh regional clashes, a revived al Qaeda and more terrorism in the West. The end of the Islamic State will make the Middle East worse: The group's weakening will resurface more potent fault lines. If ISIS loses Mosul, what then? Militants were largely driven from the city during the Iraq War, but they came back — here’s why this time is different.

Forget what Donald Trump says — ISIS is in retreat. Why ISIS is rooting for Trump: Islamophobic politicians make the best enemies.

Claire A. Lockard (Elon): Unhappy Confessions: The Temptation of Admitting to White Privilege. When you’re a protester, the color of your skin is all that matters: Charles Pierce on the difference between Oregon and North Dakota. From NYRB, a review essay on books on the Panama Papers. How Neera Tanden works: Emails released by WikiLeaks reveal the maneuverings of a liberal think-tank president and member of Hillary Clinton’s inner circle. The pudgy dad hypothesis and why older men matter: Kate Douglas reviews How Men Age: What Evolution Reveals about Male Health and Mortality by Richard G. Bribiescas. Alan Blinder has a message to the candidates: Hands off the Federal Reserve. The introduction to Neuroexistentialism: Meaning, Morals, and Purpose in the Age of Neuroscience, ed. Gregg D. Caruso and Owen Flanagan.

FBI agents knew of Clinton-related emails weeks before director was briefed. James Comey broke with Loretta Lynch and Justice Department tradition (and more). James Comey fails to follow Justice Department rules yet again (and more). The more we learn about this situation the clearer it becomes how badly Comey managed it. Former Justice Department prosecutor Peter Zeidenberg on how James Comey’s October surprise is “indefensible”. James Fallows on James Comey and the destruction of norms. Did James Comey break the law? On Clinton emails, did the F.B.I. director abuse his power? If the announcement influences the election, it could be a violation of the Hatch Act. The very political James Comey: The FBI director says he “doesn’t give a hoot” about politics, but when it comes to Clinton and her emails, he’s made a series of political decisions that have jeopardized the integrity of the FBI — and the U.S. election process.

Judge Jeanine: Comey’s announcement “disgraces and politicizes the FBI”. Jamie Gorelick, deputy attorney general from 1994 to 1997, and Larry Thompson, deputy attorney general from 2001 to 2003, on how James Comey is damaging our democracy. Senior Dem aide: Chaffetz tweeted Comey’s letter before Democrats even saw it. Judd Legum fixes Comey’s letter. Jack Goldsmith and Benjamin Wittes on James Comey, Hillary Clinton, and the email investigation: A guide for the perplexed.

Will Hillary Clinton lose the election because of the FBI’s email investigation? Nate Silver on four ways forward for Clinton after the FBI news. How Clinton plans to deal with Comey’s October surprise. As a woman inches closer to the White House, news is dominated by sexual misconduct of her opponent, her husband and her aide’s husband. #LOLnothingmatters: American democracy, the transatlantic alliance and the liberal world order may end because someone called “Weiner” was “sexting”?