On Tuesday, U.S. officials revealed that the couple who carried out last week’s massacre in San Bernardino had both pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in a Facebook posting made at the start of the attack, which killed 14 people

That oath to ISIS and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has been at the center of the U.S. investigation into how and when the shooters, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, were radicalized and whether they were influenced by militants outside the United States. This concept of bayah — an “oath of allegiance” to a leader modeled on the early days of Islam — is only one of the ways ISIS uses religious tradition to gain legitimacy. Read more…

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Inside the insidious and selective version of the Islamic State’s Islam