Analysis & Commentary

11th February 2015 - Quoted by Eli Lake - Bloomberg View

Foreign Recruits Are Islamic State’s Cannon Fodder

Thomas Joscelyn

Aspiring jihadists looking to join the Islamic State army are often lured to the front lines with promises of changing the course of history and reclaiming a lost Islamic empire.

11th February 2015 - Quoted by Jennifer Griffin - Fox News

Secret Iranian Unit Fueling Mideast Bloodshed With Illicit Arms Shipments

Ali Alfoneh

As conflicts and civil wars rage across the Middle East and North Africa, a shadowy covert cell operating under the Iranian government is fueling the bloodshed.

11th February 2015 - Quoted by Jacob Siegel - The Daily Beast

Iran Is Ready to Take Over Iraq’s Troops

Mark Dubowitz

Tehran says it will start training Iraqi military officers, which could clash with the U.S. mission to train Iraq’s military. How will the jostling for influence shake out?

11th February 2015 - Cited by Antje Schippmann - Bild

Kämpfen 200 000 Terroristen für ISIS?

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Zwischen 20 000 und 31 500 Männer und Frauen sollen sich ISIS in Syrien und im Irak angeschlossen haben. Diese Angabe wurde Ende 2014 vom US-Geheimdienst CIA veröffentlicht. Sie gilt als offizielle Schätzung zur Stärke der Terrormiliz.

10th February 2015 - Cited by The Tower

German Court Rules that Firebomb of Synagogue Was Not Motivated by Anti-Semitism

Benjamin Weinthal

A German court ruled last week that an firebomb attack on a synagogue in the city of Wuppertal in July was motivated by a desire to bring “attention to the Gaza conflict,” not anti-Semitism, Benjamin Weinthal reported Saturday in The Jerusalem Post.

10th February 2015 - Quoted by Lora Moftah - International Business Times

Putin In Egypt: Hero’s Welcome A ‘Slap In The Face’ For Washington

Oren Kessler

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s conspicuously warm welcome in Egypt this week is just the latest example of the dismal state of relations between Cairo and its longtime partners in Washington.

10th February 2015 - Quoted by Adam Kredo - The Washington Free Beacon

Iran’s New U.N. Ambassador Urged ‘Resistance to Israel’

Saeed Ghasseminejad

Iran’s newly appointed ambassador to the United Nations is facing criticism for his anti-Israel views and past comments urging Muslims to “unite around resistance” to the Jewish state.

9th February 2015 - Cited by Patrick Brennan - National Review

An Ancillary Reason Why Hate-Speech and Hate-Crime Laws Are a Terrible Idea

Benjamin Weinthal

They don’t work — shockingly. American conservatives generally oppose laws restricting hateful speech, or raising penalties for crimes that are motivated by hate for a particular ethnic, religious, or racial group, for principled reasons.

9th February 2015 - Quoted by אמיר תיבון - Walla

עוד חוזר הניגון: האם איראן וארה”ב יגיעו הפעם להסכם גרעין?

Mark Dubowitz

פעם נוספת, מתקרבות שיחות הגרעין בין איראן למעצמות לרגעי ההכרעה, אבל בניגוד לפעמים הקודמות, ההתפתחויות הפעם כמעט ואינן מסוקרות בתקשורת הישראלית

9th February 2015 - Quoted by Christian Today

ISIS Cracks Down on Unauthorised Tweets

Thomas Joscelyn

Middle Eastern terrorist organisation the Islamic State (IS) is apparently concerned about the large number of Twitter accounts purporting to represent the caliphate.

8th February 2015 - Quoted by Ariel Ben Solomon - The Jerusalem Post

Yemen Falls to Iran in Regional Proxy War

David Andrew Weinberg

The toppling of the Yemeni government by Iranian backed Shi’ite Houthis has upped the ante in the regional sectarian Sunni-Shi’ite struggle.

7th February 2015 - Cited by Shaun McKinnon - AZ Central

Skepticism Rises Over ISIS Claim About Ariz. Woman

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

As family and friends of Kayla Mueller waited desperately Saturday for news about the fate of the young humanitarian worker from Prescott, her captors' version of events drew increasing skepticism around the world.

6th February 2015 - Quoted by Erik Ortiz - NBC News

Doubts About ISIS Claim That Airstrike Killed Kayla Mueller

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Foreign policy experts are skeptical of ISIS claims that an American woman held hostage was killed in an airstrike — coming just as Jordan launched an air campaign against the terror group in retaliation for the execution of one of its fighter pilots.

6th February 2015 - Quoted by Liel Leibovitz - Tablet

The Palestinian Authority Has No Future Leader

Jonathan Schanzer

As pundits remind us daily, elections in Israel are scheduled for March—and Middle East peace, the health of U.S.-Israeli relations, and the future of the Jewish State all depend on who Israel’s next prime minister will be.

6th February 2015 - Quoted by Armin Rosen - Business Insider

The Fall of Yemen’s Government is a Huge Problem for Saudi Arabia

David Andrew Weinberg

Friday marked the death knell of the internationally-backed post-Arab Spring order in Yemen, whose parliament and government were finally dissolved by the Iranian-allied Houthi rebels who took over Sa'ana in late 2014.

6th February 2015 - Quoted by Lara Jakes, Elias Groll - Foreign Policy

ISIS Says Last American Hostage, a Female Aid Worker, Killed in Jordanian Airstrike

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State militant group said on Friday that its last known remaining American hostage, female aid worker Kayla Mueller, has been killed by a Jordanian airstrike against extremist targets in Syria.

5th February 2015 - Quoted by Lucy Draper - Newsweek

Fledgeling Gaza ISIS Groups Operate Under Watchful Eye of Hamas

Grant Rumley

A Palestinian journalist was reportedly kidnapped and tortured for eight hours in Gaza this week by a group claiming to be part of Islamic State (ISIS), amid signs that the group are gaining support in the enclave and being tolerated, up to a point, by Hamas.

5th February 2015 - Quoted by Jack Moore - Newsweek

West Bank Gun Battle Exposes Growing Resentment Towards Palestinian Authority

Grant Rumley

Unidentified Palestinian gunmen and Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces today became embroiled in one of their biggest gun battles in recent years in the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

5th February 2015 - Quoted by Adam Kredo - The Washington Free Beacon

Iran: The ‘Americans Are Begging Us for a Deal’

Saeed Ghasseminejad

A top Iranian military leader claims that U.S. officials have been “begging us” to sign a nuclear deal during closed door negotiations with Tehran over its contested nuclear program, according to recent comments made to the Iranian state-controlled media....

4th February 2015 - Quoted by Susan Crabtree - The Washington Examiner

Obama to Release National Security Strategy as Urgency Over the Islamic State Grows

Jonathan Schanzer

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s brutal slaying of a Jordanian pilot and concern about the Obama administration’s strategy to confront the extreme terrorist group are ratcheting up expectations for the White House’s long-awaited national security doctrine.


Ali Alfoneh

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Tony Badran

Research Fellow, Levant

Mark Dubowitz

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Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance - Director of Analysis

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