Analysis & Commentary

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19th January 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Iran Taps Quds Force Official as Envoy to Iraq

Amir Toumaj

Iran has appointed a high-ranking officer from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) extraterritorial branch, the Quds Force, as ambassador to Iraq. Brigadier General Iraj Masjedi, a senior advisor to Quds Force chief Qassem Soleimani, replaces Hassan Danaeifar (who himself is a Quds...

19th January 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

US bombs 2 Islamic State camps south of Sirte, Libya

Thomas Joscelyn

The Defense Department announced today that the US bombed two Islamic State camps “28 miles southwest of Sirte” last night. The “precision airstrikes” are the first American bombing missions in Libya since Dec. 19, 2016, when the US announced an end to Operation Odyssey Lightning,...

18th January 2017 - Quoted by Jared Malsin - Time Magazine

The Fighting Over Erdogan’s Constitutional Reforms Has (Literally) Begun

Aykan Erdemir

On Jan. 11, members of Turkey’s parliament gathered in Ankara to debate a package of constitutional amendments that includes a dramatic expansion of presidential power. Perhaps it was only fitting that it quickly devolved into a fistfight.

18th January 2017 - Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Honor Alberto Nisman’s sacrifice by continuing his probe of Iran

Toby Dershowitz

On Jan. 18, 2015, Argentine terrorism prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead with a gunshot wound to his head in what was almost certainly murder, not suicide. Whoever murdered him didn’t just want to kill him but rather his body of work. They wanted to bury the revelations he was about...

18th January 2017 - FDD Press

Qatar and Terror Finance

David Andrew Weinberg

Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani abdicated as the emir of Qatar in June of 2013, making his son Tamim the youngest ruler in the Arab world. Hamad’s reign was characterized by persistent negligence toward local U.S.-designated funders of al-Qaeda, but some American officials have expressed hope...

18th January 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

Guantanamo detainee selected for aborted 9/11 hijacking transferred to Oman

Thomas Joscelyn

The Defense Department has released a list of ten now former Guantanamo detainees who were transferred to Oman earlier this week. One of them is Mohammed Al Ansi, a Yemeni who was captured in northern Pakistan in late 2001 and transferred to the detention facility in Cuba in Jan. 2002.

18th January 2017 - The Jerusalem Post

‘German Research Institute Trivializes Holocaust to Attack Israel’

Benjamin Weinthal

Israel's embassy and leading deputies in the German parliament slammed a Max Planck Institute branch for stoking hatred of Israel and Jews with a series of lectures from a pro-Hezbollah US academic who trivialized the Holocaust and is popular among neo-Nazis.

18th January 2017 - The Washington Times

Defining violent extremism down

Clifford D. May

Death, where is thy sting? For Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, it certainly didn’t come from the mainstream media. The 82-year-old former Iranian president died of a heart attack earlier this month. The New York Times called him an “influential voice against hard-liners” and “a main...

17th January 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

Ayman al Zawahiri honors 2 slain jihadis in new video

Thomas Joscelyn

Al Qaeda’s propaganda arm, As Sahab, released a new video from Ayman al Zawahiri yesterday. The al Qaeda leader eulogizes two jihadi veterans who were killed in 2015 and 2016.

17th January 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

Taliban eulogizes Pakistani cleric with al Qaeda ties

Bill Roggio

The Afghan Taliban mourned the death of the leader and founder of a Pakistani Islamic university known to have supported al Qaeda and other jihadist groups in the region. Mawlana Salimullah Khan, the Pakistani cleric, was also the president of Pakistan’s largest confederation of Deobani...

16th January 2017 - The Jerusalem Post

Outrage over German Institute’s Hosting of Pro-Hamas, Hezbollah Speaker

Benjamin Weinthal

The Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in the city of Halle sparked international criticism because the pro-Hezbollah and allegedly antisemitic activist Norman Finkelstein is slated to hold talks on academia and Gaza on Monday and later in January.

16th January 2017 - The Jerusalem Post

Swiss Government Hosts $85,000 Event Aiming to Unify Hamas and Fatah

Benjamin Weinthal

The Swiss government and a Finnish NGO spent almost $85,000 to host a workshop in Geneva to unify the EU and US-classified terrorist organization Hamas with the Fatah party, according to a report on Monday in the daily Basler Zeitung.

16th January 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Easing Sanctions on Sudan Erodes U.S. Leverage

Jonathan Schanzer

The U.S. Department of the Treasury on Friday eased sanctions against Sudan based on improved behavior, and with the expectation that Sudan “sustains [the] positive actions it has taken over the last 6 months.” The move, which comes after months of rumors that Sudan would be removed...

16th January 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Another Palestinian Unity Agreement?

Grant Rumley

A coalition of Palestinian parties released a statement last week calling for the first session in over two decades of the parliamentary body of the PLO, the Palestinian National Council (PNC).

16th January 2017 - The Weekly Standard

Protecting Palestine

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Not long ago, I was talking to a Fatah official about Palestinian aspirations, especially his party’s sharp emotions about Hamas, the Palestinian fundamentalist movement that rules Gaza and would gladly overthrow the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority on the West Bank.

15th January 2017 - Forbes

We Need Serious Libel Laws

Michael Ledeen

In the tumult over the publication of the “Russian” dossier on Donald Trump, I didn’t see the word “libel.” Most of the ink was devoted to asking whether BuzzFeed should have published the ugly thing, thereby finessing a very important matter: how does someone who is slimed in...

15th January 2017 - Lawfare

Terrorists, Insurgents, Something Else? Clarifying and Classifying the “Generational Challenge”

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The Trump administration’s appointments have signaled that it will continue to prioritize the fight against jihadist violent non-state actors (VNSAs)—a broad term that we find far more useful than an exclusive focus on terrorist groups, but a term in desperate need of clarification. In...

13th January 2017 - The Jerusalem Post

German Court Calls Synagogue Torching an Act to ‘Criticize Israel’

Benjamin Weinthal

A German regional court in the city of Wuppertal affirmed a lower court decision last Friday stating that a violent attempt to burn the city's synagogue by three men in 2014 was a justified expression of criticism of Israel’s policies.

13th January 2017 - FDD Research

Should Boeing and Airbus sell planes to Iran Air?

Emanuele Ottolenghi

In January 2016, Airbus inked a deal to sell 118 planes to Iran Air, the Islamic Republic’s flag carrier, and in June of that year, Boeing announced it had reached a deal for the sale of 100 aircraft as well. In September, the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued initial export licenses...

13th January 2017 - The Hill

Meet Venezuela’s new VP, fan of Iran and Hezbollah

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Facing a parliamentary vote to oust him and a call for new elections, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Jan. 4 replaced Vice President Aristóbulo Istúriz with regime loyalist Tareck El Aissami, the governor of Aragua State. El Aissami's appointment comes at a critical time for the...

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