Analysis & Commentary


18th December 2015 - FDD Policy Brief

Thank Russia For Turkey-Israel Rapprochement

Merve Tahiroglu

Turkey and Israel reached an agreement Thursday to normalize diplomatic relations after a five-year freeze in bilateral ties.

18th December 2015 - FDD Policy Brief

Hezbollah Casts Shadow over Lebanon’s Presidential Vote

David Daoud

Lebanon was scheduled for presidential elections on Wednesday, but for the 32nd time in two years, parliament failed to achieve the necessary quorum to select a president.

18th December 2015 - Tablet Magazine

All in the Assad Family

Tony Badran

Everyone loves Christmas in New York City, and Ribal al-Assad, the first cousin of the genocidal Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, is no exception.

17th December 2015 - The Long War Journal

US Continues To Push For Negotiations With Taliban Despite Direct Ties To Al Qaeda

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

The Department of Defense asserts in its biannual Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan report, released earlier this week, that “reconciliation and a political settlement with the Taliban” is a key part of its strategy to end the conflict in Afghanistan.

17th December 2015 - The Long War Journal

Saudi Satellite Operator Drops Hezbollah Channel From Airwaves

Toby Dershowitz

Last week, Arabsat, the satellite operator majority-owned by Saudi Arabia, dropped Hezbollah’s television station from its broadcasts. Arabsat is the latest in a long list of satellite operators to drop the channel, Al-Manar, from its broadcasts.

17th December 2015 - The Hill

Iranian Jets In Syrian Skies, What Could Go Wrong?

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Contrary to news suggesting an Iranian military drawdown in Syria, there is strong evidence that Iran is upping the ante. Not only have Iranian officials vehemently denied they are withdrawing their forces from Syria's killing fields, but, more ominously, according to recent reports...

17th December 2015 - The Long War Journal

San Bernardino Terrorists Allegedly Studied AQAP’s Inspire Magazine, Pledged Allegiance To Baghdadi

Thomas Joscelyn

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced today that it has brought charges against Enrique Marquez Jr., “a longtime friend of Syed Rizwan Farook, the male shooter in the San Bernardino, California” terrorist attack.

16th December 2015 - FOX News

ISIS-Inspired Suspects On Trial For Berlin Embassy Plot

Benjamin Weinthal

Two men who German authorities say were inspired by ISIS went on trial Tuesday for allegedly plotting to blow up Israel’s embassy in Berlin.

16th December 2015 - The Long War Journal

US Military Insists Al Qaeda Is “Concentrated” In Afghan East and Northeast

Bill Roggio

The US military continues to claim that al Qaeda is “primarily concentrated in the east and northeast” of Afghanistan, despite a major operation two months ago that targeted the jihadist group at two established training facilities in the southeast.

16th December 2015 - The Long War Journal

An Al Qaeda Commander Comes Out From The Shadows

Thomas Joscelyn

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) publicly identified one of its founding members for the first time in a video released earlier this month. Ibrahim Abu Salih (also known as Abu al Hassan al Hashimi) has been a jihadist for more than 35 years, but AQAP’s “Guardians of Sharia” is...

16th December 2015 - The Washington Times

Perfect Submission Possible

Clifford D. May

Michel Houellebecq is a sardonic and iconoclastic French novelist, winner of the prestigious Prix Goncourt, and subject of considerable controversy in Europe these days. He deserves to be controversial here in the United States as well.

15th December 2015 - Business Insider

Women Voted in Saudi Arabia This Week

David Andrew Weinberg

Women in Saudi Arabia were permitted to vote and run as candidates for the first time in local elections on December 12th in what news media widely hailed as a historic milestone.

14th December 2015 - Long War Journal

Al Nusrah Front Leader Refuses To Break With Al Qaeda

Thomas Joscelyn

Al Nusrah Front leader Abu Muhammad Julani defended his organization’s role in the al Qaeda network during an interview that aired on Orient News TV on Dec. 12. Julani also claimed that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) is nothing more than a loosely affiliated collection of factions with no real...

14th December 2015 - The Hill

Freed Prisoner’s Plight Underscores Egypt’s Security Failings

Oren Kessler

Egypt and Israel completed a prisoner swap on Thursday that included the release of an Israeli Bedouin whom Cairo had held for 15 years on unsubstantiated espionage charges. Cairo's treatment of Ouda Tarabin, 34, is representative of two preoccupations still plaguing the Egyptian state and...

14th December 2015 - New York Post

Here’s What All Those Terror Terms Actually Mean

Jonathan Schanzer

After the attacks in Paris and California, the debate in America has again erupted over the appropriate lexicon for discussing terrorism. Here’s an extremely abridged, alphabetized list of words and phrases to avoid like a suspicious package in a crowded train station.

14th December 2015 - PJ Media

Is Iran Retreating From Syria?

Michael Ledeen

My friend and terrific reporter, Eli Lake, has reported that American and other Western defense experts believe that Iran is withdrawing troops from Syria. The Saudis’ London outlet says the same, with feebler sources (some FSA guy who says he was listening to Iranian communications).

12th December 2015 - Real Clear World

A Backlash Builds Against Saudi Salafism

David Andrew Weinberg

The recent terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino have once again put Saudi Arabia's brand of Salafi Islam, known as Wahhabism, under the microscope. In both Europe and the United States, some observers are blaming Riyadh's austere religious tradition and state-funded proselytization...

11th December 2015 - The Long War Journal

US Military Fails To ‘Decimate’ Islamic State Leadership Despite Thousands Of Airstrikes

Bill Roggio

The US killed three senior Islamic State commanders in separate airstrikes in the Iraqi-Syrian theater in late November, with a US military spokesman touting the strikes as “an example of how we’re able to decimate networks.”

11th December 2015 - Business Insider

How Iran’s Mafia-Like Revolutionary Guard Rules The Country’s Black Market

Saeed Ghasseminejad

The revolutionary children of the Ayatollah Khomeini, the Pasdaran, were the poor, marginalized thugs of the Shah's era, people with a huge appetite for violence.

11th December 2015 - The Weekly Standard

More of the Same

Thomas Joscelyn

On December 6, Barack Obama addressed the nation from the Oval Office for just the third time in his tenure. The president sought to reassure the American people that he has a strategy for defeating ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), just days after supporters of the...

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