Analysis & Commentary

30th January 2015 - Quoted by Sophia Jones - The Huffington Post

Escaped Syrian Child Soldier: ‘Don’t Join ISIS’

Tony Badran

At age 14, Khaled held his first gun. Fifteen days later, one of the world's most feared extremist groups sent him into battle.

29th January 2015 - Quoted by Kambiz Foroohar, Ladane Nasseri - Bloomberg

Iranian President to Tax-Exempt Groups: Pay Up

Saeed Ghasseminejad

Iran’s economy has been limping badly. The U.S.-driven sanctions imposed because of Iran’s nuclear program have curtailed its oil exports and cut off its banks from global financial networks.

29th January 2015 - Quoted by The Tower

Hezbollah Attack Seen as Effort by Iran to “Expand into the Golan Heights”

Tony Badran

Hezbollah operatives fired Kornet anti-tank missiles at an Israeli army patrol along the Israel-Lebanon border on Wednesday, killing two Israeli soldiers, wounding seven, and prompting Israeli retaliatory artillery fire on southern Lebanon.

29th January 2015 - Quoted by Adam Kredo - The Washington Free Beacon

Iran Targets Netanyahu Children for Assassination

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Iran is encouraging its terror allies to pursue the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s children by publishing personal information about them, including photographs of the kids lined up in crosshairs, and declaring, “We must await the hunt of Hezbollah.”

28th January 2015 - Cited by Michael Helm -

Second Chances for Jihadists Must Stop

Most Americans do not know who Ali al-Marri is and it is my sincere hope that they never find out because of another horrendous attack.

28th January 2015 - Cited by Douglas Ernst - The Washington Times

Hezbollah Brigades Convoy Video Shows American M1 Abrams Tank

A YouTube video of a Hezbollah Brigades convoy seemingly on its way to fight the Islamic State group includes numerous American-made military vehicles.

28th January 2015 - Quoted by Josh Rogin - Bloomberg View

Expect Republicans to Add Teeth to Iran Sanctions Bill

Mark Dubowitz

When the Senate Banking Committee debates and almost certainly approves a new bill to increase pressure on Iran Thursday, some Republican senators are set to try and make the legislation's sanctions tougher.

27th January 2015 - Quoted by Steve Contorno - Politifact

Barack Obama Says America ‘Is Stopping’ Islamic State’s Progress in Iraq and Syria

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

President Barack Obama briefly updated Americans on the state of the Islamic State during his State of the Union address.

27th January 2015 - Quoted by Jennifer Rubin - The Washington Post

Democrats Fold, Of Course, on Iran Sanctions

John Hannah

Unless there is any doubt, the vast majority of Democrats value partisan support for a failed president over support for our own national security and for that of Israel.

27th January 2015 - Quoted by Elena Holodny - Business Insider

Iran Is Ditching The Dollar In Foreign Trade

Jonathan Schanzer

Iran is ditching the dollar. Iran is no longer using the US dollar in foreign-trade transactions and is replacing it with other currencies, the deputy governor at the Iranian Central Bank Gholami Kamyab said, according to Sputnik News.

27th January 2015 - Quoted by Dana Kennedy - The Daily Beast

Crazy Clerics Who Rule the World’s Oil

Jonathan Schanzer

Despite the passing of King Abdullah, Saudia Arabia’s new King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud claims it’ll be business as usual in the controversial desert kingdom where a recent spate of public floggings and beheadings overshadowed the ailing 90-year-old monarch until his death last week....

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 - Quoted by Ahmed Al-Haj, Maggie Michael - Associated Press

US Drone Strikes Resume in Yemen Despite Turmoil

Bill Roggio

U.S. drone strike targeted al-Qaida in Yemen on Monday, signaling Washington's determination to keep fighting the militants despite political paralysis brought on by a Shiite power grab.

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 - 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.

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.


Ali Alfoneh

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Tony Badran

Research Fellow, Levant

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Yaya J. Fanusie

Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance - Director of Analysis

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