Depression is known to cause a pessimistic outlook, an inflexible view of the world, and even suicide. Our research into the root causes of radicalisation - perhaps not surprisingly - found a link between depressive symptoms and sympathies towards terrorist acts. These sympathies being an early marker for risk of radicalisation.
"What is wrong with just praying, fasting, reading Quran, doing a bit of charity and being a good person?" said a member from Portsmouth's Bengali community when news of Mehdi Hassan's demise became known. Clearly for Mehdi Hassan and the others who left for Syria in October 2013, it was not enough.
Contrary to the desires and interests of regional governments, arming and helping the Kurds to fight ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant) in Kobane may be the trigger for the birth of a new nation - Kurdistan. No country in the region wants that but this will be one of the unintended consequences of the break up of Syria and the emergence of ISIL.
With the Middle East at yet another critical juncture and with a sense of common purpose emanating from the region, this is neither the time for straw man moralising or finger pointing. The West should don its realpolitik glasses and use Qatar's status in the area to give a nudge to the consolidation process currently taking place in the Islamic world.
In few places in the world can one week include both artillery fire and riding a speedboat down the Nile. South Sudan is one of those contrasts. The view is amazing - an enormous river, lined with greenery, very few buildings and exotic birds fly alongside the boat. There are no hotels, resorts or many people at all.
AL-Hasakeh/Damascus, 23 October 2014 - While many of Syria's war-torn cities and governorates are grabbing the headlines, the humanitarian situation in the north-eastern governorate of Al-Hasakeh governorate is largely in the shadows. With a population of 1.5 million people - almost half of them children - much of the governorate has been cut off from humanitarian aid for almost two years...
While it may be more comforting to consider these men but lone wolves acting upon their own deranged ideas, that no longer seems to be the case. In this age of social media and easily accessible information in which we live, it is no longer necessary for contact to be made for a message to be passed on.