Analysis & Commentary


22nd April 2016 - The Long War Journal

Syrian jihadist group Sham al Islam appoints new leader

Bill Roggio

Harakat Sham al Islam, a Moroccan-founded group allied with al Qaeda and other Syrian jihadist organizations, appointed a new leader after its previous emir resigned due to “his health and work-related issues.” The jihadist group, founded by former Guantanamo Bay detainees, is listed by...

20th April 2016 - The Jerusalem Post

German Bank defends neo-Nazi party and BDS bank accounts

Benjamin Weinthal

The BW Bank in the German city of Stuttgart stood by its business accounts with a neo-Nazi party and a Palestinian group that seeks the destruction of Israel.

20th April 2016 - The Weekly Standard

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

Reuel Marc Gerecht

As has been obvious since his time as the Islamic Republic’s ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammad Javad Zarif is capable of creating a distortion field around him that often renders Americans somewhat giddy.

20th April 2016 - The Wall Street Journal

Saudi Clerics’ Rhetoric — and Implications for Global Security

David Daoud, David Andrew Weinberg

President Barack Obama’s meeting Wednesday with King Salman of Saudi Arabia is to be followed by a summit Thursday with the Arab Gulf monarchs to discuss cooperation against terrorism and other regional threats.

20th April 2016 - Al Arabiya

Why is President Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia important now?

David Andrew Weinberg

US President Barack Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia this week for meetings with King Salman and other leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council appears first and foremost to be about reassurance in the context of alliance maintenance.

20th April 2016 - The Long War Journal

Islamic State fighters retreat from bases outside Derna, Libya

Thomas Joscelyn

Fighters belonging to the Islamic State’s arm in Libya have reportedly withdrawn from their positions on the outskirts of the city of Derna. Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s loyalists were opposed by rival jihadists inside the city. Airstrikes by the Libyan Army, the US and Egypt have also...

20th April 2016 - The Long War Journal

Pakistani Taliban faction kills 7 policemen guarding polio vaccination team

Bill Roggio

A faction of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, or TTP, claimed credit for two attacks in Karachi that targeted policemen as they guarded members of a polio vaccination team. The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan has targeted polio vaccination teams in Pakistan’s major cities in...

20th April 2016 - The Washington Times

A spy’s story

Clifford D. May

After a long and extraordinary career, Gen. Michael Hayden has written “Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror.” Both a memoir and a primer on modern espionage, it also attempts to correct the historical record and maybe settle a few scores. Nothing wrong with...

19th April 2016 - Interviewed by The Cipher Brief

Turkey: An Unreliable Ally?

Aykan Erdemir

As Turkey continues to face a deteriorating security environment, The Cipher Brief sat down with Aykan Erdemir, a former member of the Turkish parliament and a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, to discuss Turkey’s political direction. According to Erdemir, Turkish...

19th April 2016 - The Long War Journal

AQAP says it wanted to debate the Islamic State

Thomas Joscelyn

A jihadist media outfit has released a video and a statement allegedly documenting al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) attempts to debate Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s men in Yemen.

19th April 2016 - The Long War Journal

Taliban kills dozens in suicide assault in Kabul

Bill Roggio

The Taliban targeted a unit responsible for providing security for Afghan officials in a coordinated suicide assault in the Afghan capital today. The Taliban claimed credit for the deadly attack, in which at least 28 people were killed and more that 300 were wounded, according to reports on...

18th April 2016 - The Long War Journal

US transfers 9 Yemeni detainees from Guantanamo to Saudi Arabia

Thomas Joscelyn

The Department of Defense (DOD) announced on Apr. 16 that nine Guantanamo detainees, all from Yemen, have been transferred to Saudi Arabia.

17th April 2016 - The Jerusalem Post

Analysis: Tear down Iran’s anti-democracy wall

Benjamin Weinthal

Since the closure of the Iran nuclear deal negotiations in July, Khamenei has intensified his efforts to block Western influences into Iranian society.

15th April 2016 - The Long War Journal

Taliban destroys Afghan army helicopter in IED attack at military base

Bill Roggio

The Taliban destroyed an Afghan National Army helicopter as it landed on a remote Army base in the northeastern province of Kunar late last month. The Afghan government previously claimed the helicopter was damaged in an “emergency landing,” but the Taliban recorded the attack on video....

15th April 2016 - inFOCUS Quarterly

After Abbas, Le Déluge in the Palestinian Authority

Grant Rumley, Jonathan Schanzer

Palestinian leaders in the West Bank refer to the wave of terror currently gripping Israel as a haba sha'abiya, or a "popular outburst."

15th April 2016 - FDD Policy Brief

Iran’s Center for Illicit Finance

Mark Dubowitz, Annie Fixler

Iranian Central Bank Governor Valiollah Seif is in Washington this week to attend summits at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, make the rounds at think tanks, and meet with U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew.

15th April 2016 - Defense Dossier - American Foreign Policy Council

The Sunni-Shi’ite Proxy War Heats Up

Jonathan Schanzer, Max Peck

Beneath the recent ferment of a highly volatile Middle East lies the region’s deepest geopolitical fault line: the decades-long rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

14th April 2016 - The Jerusalem Post

US Senator: Investigate German bank for anti-Semitic BDS support

Benjamin Weinthal

A leading US Senator called on Wednesday for an investigation into Germany’s second largest bank, Commerzbank, because of possible violations of the Illinois State anti-BDS law that seeks to stop boycotts of Israel.

13th April 2016 - The Long War Journal

US military admits al Qaeda is stronger in Afghanistan than previously estimated

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

A senior US general in Afghanistan recently admitted the US military and intelligence services’ long-held belief that al Qaeda has only 50 to 100 operatives based in the country is incorrect, stating that number must be revised upward.

13th April 2016 - Interviewed by The Cipher Brief

A Dire Situation in Iraq

John Hannah

With Iraq’s political crisis worsening as chaos erupted in parliament on Wednesday over Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi plan to reshuffle his cabinet and combat corruption, The Cipher Brief sat down with John Hannah, a senior counselor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and former...

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