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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

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world lead

August 26th, 2014
05:47 PM ET

American student missing in Israel

(CNN) - Israeli police have stepped up their search for a New Jersey man who went missing while hiking in a forest outside Jerusalem.

Aaron Sofer was reported missing on Friday by a friend who he was hiking with in the Jerusalem Forest, Israeli Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told CNN.

"We hope to find our brother ... and (we're) just praying hard and doing everything we could do," Sofer's brother Joel Sofer tells CNN.

Sofer, 23, from Lakewood, New Jersey, is a Yeshiva student studying in Israel.

"He's serious about studying," said Joel Sofer. "He's a very good boy."

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August 26th, 2014
05:30 PM ET

State Dept.: Western passport holders fighting with ISIS is a 'growing threat'

(CNN) – An American named Douglas McCain was killed last weekend in Syria, where he was fighting for ISIS (also known as ISIL), two U.S. officials told CNN.

"Reports like this do raise this issue, which is our concern about the growing threat from ISIL, the growing concern we have about individuals who have Western passports, who are able to gain access whether it's the United States or other allies in western Europe," said State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki.
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August 26th, 2014
05:21 PM ET

Op-ed: How U.S. can help Syria drive out ISIS

Editor's note: Robert S. Ford is a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington. He formerly served as U.S. ambassador to Syria and Algeria, and was deputy U.S. ambassador to Iraq. Watch his interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper" in the video above.

By Robert S. Ford

(CNN) - American officials are pondering whether to strike ISIS elements in Syria to better contain the group's fearsome power, following its horrific execution of James Foley and the direct threats it has leveled against the United States.

As they consider how best to confront the organization, there is good news: The United States and its friends have scored some successes against ISIS in the past month. The administration provided material support to Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga and Iraqi special operations forces, and with judicious use of airstrikes enabled them to repel ISIS attacks northwest and northeast of Baghdad.

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August 26th, 2014
04:15 PM ET

Officials: American fighting for ISIS killed in Syria

(CNN) - An American named Douglas McCain was killed last weekend in Syria, where he was fighting for ISIS, two U.S. officials told CNN.

The man's uncle, Ken McCain, said that his nephew had gone to fight as a jihadi and that the U.S. State Department told the family Monday about the death.

Douglas McCain converted from Christianity to Islam several years ago, according to his uncle.

The family wasn't alarmed by his conversion, but they became aware of Facebook posts sympathetic to ISIS, an Islamist militant group, when he traveled to what they believed to be Turkey.

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