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Analysis & Commentary

23rd May 2017 – The Atlantic

The Manchester Attack Shows How Terrorists Learn

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The Manchester Attack Shows How Terrorists Learn

Yesterday’s terrorist attack that struck at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in Britain’s Manchester Arena—leaving 22 people dead and 59 injured, by the latest count—feels perhaps even more callous and personal than other such recent atrocities. As The New York Times noted, the target was “a concert spilling over with girls in their teens or younger, with their lives ahead of them, out for a fun night.” more...

23rd May 2017 – The Washington Times

Iran’s latest unfree and unfair election

Clifford D. May

Iran’s latest unfree and unfair election

News must be new but it needn’t be surprising. The decidedly unsurprising news out of Iran last week: There was an election (of sorts) and the winner was Hassan Rouhani, the incumbent president. An apparently mild-mannered cleric with a beatific smile, he has presided over Iran for four years — a period of egregious human rights violations, the Iranian-backed slaughter in Syria, the taking of American and other hostages, and increasing support for terrorists abroad. Nevertheless, you’ll see him described in much of the media as a “moderate.” more...

22nd May 2017 – Foreign Policy

Qatar Needs to Do Its Part

John Hannah

Qatar Needs to Do Its Part

An important goal of President Donald Trump’s meetings with Arab and Islamic leaders this past weekend was to encourage them to shoulder more of the burden in defending our common interests, particularly in combating the threats from terrorism and Iran. more...

21st May 2017 – The Cipher Brief

China Reaches into its Cyber Toolkit to Wage Economic Warfare

Samantha F. Ravich

China Reaches into its Cyber Toolkit to Wage Economic Warfare

When Beijing got the word that the United States was accelerating the deployment of its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to South Korea as a response to North Korea’s latest missile tests, senior Communist Party officials went, no pun intended, ballistic. The official Chinese news agency Xinhua wrote that the deployment of THAAD will lead to an increased arms race in the region and threatened that more “missile shields of one side inevitably bring more nuclear missiles of the opposing side that can break through the missile shield.” more...

19th May 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

New Iran Sanctions Expose Illicit Networks

Annie Fixler , Behnam Ben Taleblu

New Iran Sanctions Expose Illicit Networks

The U.S. Department of the Treasury designated seven persons and entities for ties to Iran’s ballistic missile program on Wednesday. The sanctions reveal new evidence pointing to Iran’s support for entities involved in Syria’s chemical weapons program, and continuing evidence of illicit procurement networks that aid Tehran’s ballistic missile development. more...

19th May 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Trump Travels to Saudi Arabia to Tackle Extremism

David Andrew Weinberg

Trump Travels to Saudi Arabia to Tackle Extremism

President Donald Trump departs today on his first trip abroad since his inauguration. He will spend the weekend in Saudi Arabia, where his conversations with Muslim leaders are expected to focus on combating terrorism and the extremism that feeds it. more...

19th May 2017 – The Hill

Trump’s steps on Iran show cooperation with Congress is possible

Orde Kittrie

Trump’s steps on Iran show cooperation with Congress is possible

On Wednesday, the Trump administration made clear that its Iran policy review is headed toward the position shared by the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate foreign relations committees that the United States should take a firmer stance against Iran’s non-nuclear malign activities. more...

18th May 2017 – Foreign Policy

How Can Trump Make Peace Without a Partner in Palestine?

Grant Rumley

How Can Trump Make Peace Without a Partner in Palestine?

President Donald Trump visits Israel next week at a supremely awkward moment, amid reports that he shared Israeli intelligence with Russian officials in the Oval Office. Both sides are likely to do their best to bury the issue. more...

18th May 2017 – Foreign Policy

Why Trump’s Iran Sanctions Waiver Should Worry the Mullahs

John Hannah

Why Trump’s Iran Sanctions Waiver Should Worry the Mullahs

As part of the Iran nuclear deal, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), that he inherited from his predecessor, President Donald Trump yesterday was forced to decide whether to renew the U.S. waiver on sanctions targeting Iran’s oil exports. Rather than violate the JCPOA and risk an early diplomatic crisis, the president — who has dubbed the nuclear deal the “worst” in history — swallowed hard and waived. more...

18th May 2017 – The Huffington Post

Catch and Release: Did Qatar Free a Future al-Qaeda Emir?

David Andrew Weinberg

Catch and Release: Did Qatar Free a Future al-Qaeda Emir?

Farouq al-Qahtani al-Qatari, a core al-Qaeda official and senior planner of terrorist attacks from Afghanistan against the U.S. homeland, is now dead. According to former acting CIA director Michael Morrell, Qahtani was one of the few al-Qaeda leaders who “might have [had] what it takes to replace [Osama] bin Laden.” Indeed, Qahtani was the terrorist leader in South Asia Morrell said he worried the most about – even more than al-Qaeda’s current chief, Ayman al-Zawahiri. more...