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Our Team

Dr. Jonathan Schanzer

Vice President for Research

Areas of Impact:

Turkey, North Africa, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, Arab Spring, Egypt, Islamism, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, Israel, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, Intelligence Community, Palestinian Politics, Iran, Iran - Sanctions

Biography:

Since joining us in February 2010, Dr. Schanzer has been singularly focused on ensuring that FDD delivers not only accurate and timely research, but also research that is useful to decision makers inside the Beltway, across America, and around the world.

Dr. Schanzer brings solid scholarship and public policy credentials to his job of overseeing FDD's research.  He worked as a terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he played an integral role in the designation of numerous terrorist financiers.  A former research fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Dr. Schanzer has studied Middle East history in four countries. He earned his Ph.D. from Kings College London, where he wrote his dissertation on the U.S. Congress and its efforts to combat terrorism in the 20th century.

Since joining us in February 2010, Dr. Schanzer has been singularly focused on ensuring that FDD delivers not only accurate and timely research, but also research that is useful to decision makers inside the Beltway, across America, and around the world.

Dr. Schanzer brings solid scholarship and public policy credentials to his job of overseeing FDD's research.  He worked as a terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he played an integral role in the designation of numerous terrorist financiers.  A former research fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Dr. Schanzer has studied Middle East history in four countries. He earned his Ph.D. from Kings College London, where he wrote his dissertation on the U.S. Congress and its efforts to combat terrorism in the 20th century.

Dr. Schanzer’s books have made unique contributions to the field. He most recently published State of Failure: Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Unmaking of the Palestinian State (Palgrave Macmillan), which argues the main roadblock to Palestinian statehood is not necessarily Israel's intransigence, but the Palestinian Authority's political dysfunction and mismanagement. His 2008 book, Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine (Palgrave Macmillan), is still the only book on the market that analyzes the internecine conflict between the two most powerful Palestinian factions. His 2004 book, Al-Qaeda's Armies: Middle East Affiliate Groups and the Next Generation of Terror (Washington Institute for Near East Policy), was the first to explore the al-Qaeda franchises of the Middle East.  More recently, Dr. Schanzer co-authored a monograph in 2010 with FDD’s executive director Mark Dubowitz titled, Palestinian Pulse: What Policymakers Can Learn From Palestinian Social Media (FDD Press).  Using proprietary technology, this study collected data from thousands of Arabic language websites to reveal the trends, thoughts, and perceptions of Palestinians online, with a focus on those that could impact current U.S. policies. In 2012, he co-authored another cutting edge study, using the same technology, with FDD researcher Steven Miller titled, Facebook Fatwa: Saudi Clerics, Wahhabi Islam and Social Media (FDD Press). This cutting edge study explores the way in which Saudi religious figures disseminate their messages to the wider Muslim world.

Dr. Schanzer has testified before Congress and publishes widely in the American and international media.  He has appeared on American television channels such as Fox News and CNN, and Arabic language television channels such as al-Arabiyya and al-Jazeera. Dr. Schanzer has traveled widely throughout the Middle East, including Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, Morocco, Kuwait, Qatar, Turkey, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories. He speaks Arabic and Hebrew.

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Jerusalem, on a Knife’s Edge

10th November 2014 – Foreign Policy

Jerusalem, on a Knife’s Edge

Jonathan Schanzer

Stabbing attacks and random acts of Palestinian terror have brought the violence in Gaza and the West Bank into the heart of Israel. more...

Analysis & Commentary

20th November 2014 – Cited by Edwin Mora - Breitbart

Report: There are Active ISIS Cells Inside Turkey

Jonathan Schanzer, Merve Tahiroglu

Turkey has contributed to the rise of the brutal Islamic State by turning a blind eye to the ongoing flow of money, weapons, illegal oil, and fighters across its border to the jihadist group in Syria, according to a new report. more...

20th November 2014 – Fox News

Happening Now

Jonathan Schanzer

FDD VP of Research Jonathan Schanzer explains how Turkey's lax border policies enable the Islamic State. more...

20th November 2014 – Quoted by Richard Baehr - Israel Hayom

Mass Murderer Moderate Mahmoud

Jonathan Schanzer

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, under pressure from U.S. ‎Secretary of State John Kerry, uttered a few words on Tuesday that appeared to ‎condemn the barbaric attack by two Palestinians in a synagogue in Jerusalem. more...

20th November 2014 – Cited by Today's Zaman

Turkey Associated with Terrorism Financing, Weapons Smuggling

Jonathan Schanzer, Merve Tahiroglu

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) -- a non-profit, non-partisan policy institute focusing on foreign policy and national security based in the US -- released a report on Wednesday alleging that Turkey has failed to clamp down on terrorism financing, weapons smuggling, illegal oil sales and fighters flooding into Syria from the southeast of the country. more...