PARIS — It took just a few hours for the Islamic State group’s opportunistic propaganda machine to take responsibility for the latest bloodshed in Florida and in France, with messages claiming the two attackers as its own. It may take the group longer to sort through the implications of a killer whose backstory of conflicted sexuality and heavy drinking is at odds with a carefully crafted public image of its fighters.
But whether the links were direct or merely aspirational, they were enough to thrust IS to the center of the U.S. presidential race and the debate over the role of Islam in the world. They were enough to cause France to re-examine who should be expelled over links to extremism.
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