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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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Hamas’s Benefactors: A Network of Terror

9th September 2014 – House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Hamas’s Benefactors: A Network of Terror

Jonathan Schanzer

Chairman Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman Poe, Ranking Member Deutch, Ranking Member Sherman, and distinguished members of these subcommittees, on behalf of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, I thank you for the opportunity to discuss with you today the state sponsors of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. more...

Analysis & Commentary

20th October 2014 – Cited by Patrick Brennan - National Review Online

Of Course U.S. Humanitarian Aid Is Making Its Way to ISIS

Jonathan Schanzer

A noticeable share of the humanitarian aid that the U.S. and other Western countries are sending to Syria is being skimmed or intercepted by the Islamic State, Jamie Dettmer of the Daily Beast reports from Turkey. more...

20th October 2014 – AM 760 - Detroit, MI

The Frank Beckmann Show

Jonathan Schanzer

FDD Vice President for Research Jonathan Schanzer comments on the possibility that US humanitarian aid is ending up with the Islamic State. more...

19th October 2014 – Quoted by Jamie Dettmer - The Daily Beast

U.S. Humanitarian Aid Going to ISIS

Jonathan Schanzer

Not only are foodstuffs, medical supplies—even clinics—going to ISIS, the distribution networks are paying ISIS ‘taxes’ and putting ISIS people on their payrolls. more...

17th October 2014 – Cited by Fatih Altayli - Today's Zaman

Would Turkey Be Booted From NATO?

Jonathan Schanzer

One needs to read what is written on Turkey by foreign sources in order to better understand in which direction the country is drifting and how Turkey's position is perceived internationally. more...