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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.

Dr. Schanzer is part of the leadership team of FDD’s Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance, which provides policy and subject matter expertise on the use of financial and economic power to the global policy community.

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 is part of the leadership team of FDD’s Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance, which provides policy and subject matter expertise on the use of financial and economic power to the global policy community.

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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Reported Israeli Raid on Sudan Could Reveal Khartoum’s Duplicity

6th May 2015 – FDD Policy Brief

Reported Israeli Raid on Sudan Could Reveal Khartoum’s Duplicity

Jonathan Schanzer

Sudan may have joined the Saudi-led fight against Iran-backed proxies in Yemen last month, but it also may still be cooperating with Iran to arm the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas in the Gaza Strip. more...

Analysis & Commentary

1st July 2015 – Quoted by Orhan Coskun and Ercan Gurses - Reuters

Talk of Syria Action May be Erdogan’s Latest Gambit to Pressure the West

Jonathan Schanzer

Alarmed by Syrian Kurds' advances against Islamic State, and irked by Western reluctance to tackle Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, President Tayyip Erdogan has once again raised the prospect of a Turkish military intervention in Syria. more...

30th June 2015 – Quoted by Barin Kayaoğlu - Al Monitor

Turkish Corruption Suspect Awarded Business Prize

Jonathan Schanzer

Iranian-born Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab received his country’s top exporter award June 21 from the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM), a pro-government business group. Zarrab received the award in the field of jewelry on behalf of his company, Volgam Gida. In the general exporters’ list, Volgam stood 13th — no mean feat for a company that started only a few years ago. more...

23rd June 2015 – Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

An Example of How Easy it is for an ISIS Fighter to Reach Syria Through Turkey

Jonathan Schanzer

An ISIS fighter captured by Syrian Kurds last month described how easy it was for him to cross Turkey’s notoriously porous border into Syria to join the Islamic State, according to a new video obtained by Al-Monitor. more...

18th June 2015 – Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

ISIS Just Lost ‘Its Most Important Back Door’

Jonathan Schanzer

The Islamic State lost a crucial "back door" into Turkey earlier this week when Kurdish forces ran the militants out of Tal Abyad, cutting off a the terror army's supply route of weapons, cash, and foreign fighters into Syria. more...