Analysis & Commentary


26th January 2015 - The Long War Journal

Al Nusrah Front, Western-Backed Rebels Overrun Key Regime Base South of Damascus

Thomas Joscelyn

The Al Nusrah Front and Ahrar al Sham fought side-by-side with Western-backed rebels in a battle to take a key Assad regime base in southern Syria.

26th January 2015 - The Long War Journal

US Drone Strike Kills 3 Suspected AQAP Members

Oren Adaki

The strike is the first reported in Yemen in more than two and a half months, and takes place just days after reports that US counterterrorism efforts in the country have been "paralyzed."

26th January 2015 - The Long War Journal

Boko Haram Takes Key Town in Northern Nigeria, Advances on Maiduguri

Laura Grossman

Boko Haram launched a series of attacks as it continued its campaign to take control of northeastern Nigeria. A number of villages came under fire within hours of an official visit by US Secretary of State John Kerry to Lagos.

26th January 2015 - Cited by Jack Moore - Newsweek

Boko Haram Release Shocking Images of Child Soldier Training Camp

A media group associated with the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram has published two images which reveal a military training camp for children in northeastern Nigeria.

26th January 2015 - Cited by Ahmed Al-Haj - Associated Press

First US Drone Strike in Yemen Since Leader Resigned Kills 3

A U.S. drone strike in Yemen, the first so far this year, killed three al-Qaida fighters on Monday, signaling Washington's determination to keep targeting the global terror network's most lethal branch despite the resignation of the Yemeni president, a top U.S. ally, in the face of a Shiite...

26th January 2015 - US News and World Report

Iran’s Glitter Isn’t Gold

Benjamin Weinthal, Emanuele Ottolenghi

Since obtaining sanctions relief from the West under a twice-extended interim nuclear agreement, Iran has touted the steady stream of visiting trade and political delegations to Tehran.

26th January 2015 - Quoted by Adam Kredo - The Washington Free Beacon

Saudi Arabia’s New King Helped Fund Radical Terrorist Groups

Jonathan Schanzer

King Salman, Saudi Arabia’s newly crowned monarch, has a controversial history of helping to fund radical terror groups and has maintained ties with several anti-Semitic Muslim clerics known for advocating radical positions, according to reports and regional experts.

25th January 2015 - Quoted by Shane Harris, James Kirchick - The Daily Beast

Exclusive: Freed Al Qaeda Agent Was Part of Proposed Swap for Jailed Americans

David Andrew Weinberg

Before he was released from a U.S. maximum-security prison last week, a confessed al Qaeda sleeper agent was offered up in a potential prisoner swap that would have freed two Americans held abroad.

25th January 2015 - Cited by Simon Tisdall - The Guardian

US Changes its Tune on Syrian Regime Change as ISIS Threat Takes Top Priority

Tony Badran

US backing for Syria peace talks hosted by the Russian government in Moscow this week is being seen as further evidence that the Obama administration has quietly dropped its longstanding demand that President Bashar al-Assad step down as part of any settlement.

25th January 2015 - Cited by Julie Pace, Anne Flaherty - Associated Press

Obama: Counterterrorism Operations in Yemen Not Affected

President Barack Obama defended his counterterrorism strategy in tumultuous Yemen Sunday, saying efforts to root out a dangerous al-Qaida affiliate there would not be affected by the political vacuum in the country.

25th January 2015 - Quoted by Sean Savage - JNS

Bucking Stereotypes, Egypt’s El-Sisi Fights Terror and Seeks ‘Revolution’ in Islam

Oren Kessler

As the world continues to grapple with a new wave of Islamic extremism, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has emerged as an unlikely Middle East leader willing to confront terrorism both militarily and ideologically.

25th January 2015 - The Long War Journal

AQAP Releases Infographics Detailing Attacks

Oren Adaki

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has released a report including two infographics that detail its attacks over the past three months. The group claims credit for 205 operations, including the massacre at Charlie Hebdo's offices in Paris.

24th January 2015 - Quoted by Jethro Mullen - CNN

New Saudi King’s Big Challenges: Yemen, Iran and ISIS

David Andrew Weinberg

King Salman of Saudi Arabia has inherited the throne from his older brother and with it a host of pressing challenges in a turbulent region.

24th January 2015 - The National Interest

New Saudi King Won’t Change a Thing

David Andrew Weinberg

Don’t buy the hype. Saudi Arabia’s new king is not a reformer, and his first acts as ruler confirm he will continue the royal family’s tradition of beggar-thy-neighbor energy policies and uncompromising, widespread repression.

24th January 2015 - Quoted by Yadullah Hussain - Financial Post

With King Abdullah’s Death, New Realities May Force Saudi Arabia to Change Oil Policy

David Andrew Weinberg

Despite Saudi Arabia’s best effort to portray an image of continuity, the world’s largest oil exporter is facing new challenges threatening its dominance in oil markets and influence in the Middle East.

24th January 2015 - CNN International

Erin Burnett OutFront

Mark Dubowitz

FDD Executive Director Mark Dubowitz on the mysterious death of Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman.

24th January 2015 - Fox News

America’s News HQ

Mark Dubowitz

FDD Executive Director Mark Dubowitz discusses how Iran will capitalize on instability in Yemen

24th January 2015 - Cited by Deb Riechmann - Associated Press

5 Things to Know: Why Crisis in Yemen Matters to Americans

Yemen's U.S.-backed president stepped down this week after Houthi rebels seized the capital of Sanaa, further destabilizing the region and hampering America's ability to fight al-Qaida and other extremists targeting the West. The country's parliament will meet Sunday, but the government's...

24th January 2015 - FDD Policy Brief

Succession in Saudi; Tehran Triangulates

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Following the death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz on Thursday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and former president, Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani quickly offered their condolences.

24th January 2015 - The Long War Journal

AQAP Issues Guidelines for Suicide Operations

Thomas Joscelyn

Harith al Nadhari, a senior AQAP sharia official, sets forth six recommendations for suicide operations in a newly-released video.

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