Analysis & Commentary


26th September 2014 - Quoted by Greg Botelho and Chelsea Carter - CNN

Latest Rout Raises Questions About Iraqi Military’s Ability to Defeat ISIS

Bill Roggio

This is what an ISIS rout looks like in Iraq: Up to 300 troops killed. Others missing, possibly dead or having fled. Dozens of military vehicles, from tanks to ambulances, destroyed or seized.

26th September 2014 - Quoted by Mike Eckel - VOA

Battle-Tested Chechens Drive Islamic State Gains

Bill Roggio

Among the legions of foreign fighters who have turned the Islamic State into the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization, the Chechens stand out.

25th September 2014 - Quoted by Josh Rogin and Eli Lake - The Daily Beast

Will Iran Sell Out Al Qaeda for Nukes?

Thomas Joscelyn

The Iranians want to make a deal with the U.S.: They help us fight terror in exchange for nuclear concessions. Tehran could start by giving up the al Qaeda leaders it’s harboring.

25th September 2014 - Quoted by Jamie Dettmer - The Daily Beast

Obama’s Arab Backers May Draw the U.S. Deep Into the Mideast Quagmire

Jonathan Schanzer

There are many conflicts going on in the region—and inside Syria. Attacking ISIS is only part of the game, and the monarchs flying with the U.S. have their own agendas.

24th September 2014 - Quoted by Kristina Wong - The Hill

The Khorasan Group: 5 Things to Know

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The Khorasan Group, an al Qaeda cell in northern Syrian, has gained attention after U.S. airstrikes Monday night targeted the militants.

24th September 2014 - Quoted by Shane Harris - Foreign Policy

Islamic State Beheadings Beget Beheadings

Thomas Joscelyn

Of the many acts of violence perpetrated in Iraq and Syria by the Islamic State, none have captured the imagination or terrified the public like the gruesome videos showing masked terrorists beheading unarmed Western captives.

24th September 2014 - Quoted by Zack Beauchamp - Vox

Why Bombing ISIS Helps al-Qaeda

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

No one was shocked when the US launched airstrikes in Syria against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on Monday.

24th September 2014 - Quoted by Guy Taylor and Maggie Ybarra - The Washington Times

Fears Grow That Obama Has ‘Paper Coalition’ in Arab World

Clifford D. May

The coalition of Arab nations that joined the U.S.-led air campaign in Syria signaled a new war on terror phase in which the Sunni Muslim-led states of the region are showing unprecedented willingness to take on Sunni Muslim extremists in their midst.

24th September 2014 - Cited by Tim Starks - Roll Call

‘Bizarro World’ Indeed: Wall Street Journal Backs Obama on Syria, New York Times Doesn’t

Mark Dubowitz

Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies isn’t wrong: He did wake up in Bizarro World. That said, the split between the editorial pages of the reliably liberal New York Times and reliably conservative Wall Street Journal over President Obama’s bombing campaign in Syria...

24th September 2014 - Quoted by David D. Kirkpatrick - The New York Times

ISIS’ Harsh Brand of Islam Is Rooted in Austere Saudi Creed

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Caliph Ibrahim, the leader of the Islamic State, appeared to come out of nowhere when he matter-of-factly proclaimed himself the ruler of all Muslims in the middle of an otherwise typical Ramadan sermon.

24th September 2014 - Quoted by Alex Rowell - Now Lebanon

ISIS, Nusra and “Khorasan”: What’s the Difference?

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) jihadist faction – or “The Islamic State,” as it has called itself since declaring the establishment of a caliphate spanning eastern Syria and western Iraq in June – has been the target of over 190 American air strikes on the Iraqi side of...

24th September 2014 - Quoted by Adam Kredo - The Washington Free Beacon

Senators Urge Admin to Ban Russia From Global Financial System

Mark Dubowitz

A leading group of senators is pressuring the Obama administration to take greater action against Russian aggression in the Ukraine by sanctioning the Kremlin’s top banks and banning them from using the globe’s premier financial service.

24th September 2014 - Quoted by Jonathan Saul and Henning Gloystein - Reuters

EU Plans for Iran Gas Imports If Sanctions Go

Mark Dubowitz

The European Union is quietly increasing the urgency of a plan to import natural gas from Iran, as relations with Tehran thaw while those with top gas supplier Russia grow chillier.

24th September 2014 - Quoted by Yonah Jeremy Bob - The Jerusalem Post

Why Did Arab Bank Stand and Fight When Iran Ran?

Jonathan Schanzer

The answer probably relates to size, prestige and the bank's different geopolitical setting being the largest bank of close US ally Jordan.

23rd September 2014 - Quoted by Taylor Wofford - Newsweek

What Is the Khorasan Group and Why Is It Being Targeted by the U.S.?

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

In a briefing Monday, President Obama announced airstrikes against the Islamic State—the group more commonly known as ISIS—and Khorasan, which he described as being composed of “seasoned Al-Qaeda operatives” plotting against the U.S.

23rd September 2014 - Cited by Omri Ceren - The Tower

Analysts Blast Proposed Deal on Iran Centrifuge “Plumbing”

Mark Dubowitz

The New York Times revealed this weekend that the United States was “open” to an agreement with Iran that would allow the Islamic Republic to unplug the “plumbing” on its uranium enrichment infrastructure in exchange for wide-ranging sanctions relief, functionally reversing what had...

23rd September 2014 - Cited by the Tower

Expert: “Fundamental Agreement” Between Rouhani and Iranian Hardliners on Nuclear Objectives

Mark Dubowitz

In an interview on Friday with the Foreign Policy Association, Foundation for Defense of Democracies executive director Mark Dubowitz explained that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and the hardliners of the regime have identical goals, with both seeking “the achievement of nuclear weapons...

23rd September 2014 - Quoted by Ariel Ben Solomon - The Jerusalem Post

Jordan Unlikely to Retaliate Against US Over Arab Bank Case

Jonathan Schanzer

Jordan is unlikely to retaliate against the US over the federal court verdict on Monday, which found the country’s Arab Bank liable for providing material support to Hamas and that it must compensate victims of two dozen attacks by the terror group.

23rd September 2014 - Quoted by Armin Rosen - Business Insider

This Week’s Biggest Hit To International Terrorism Might Have Taken Place In A Courtroom

Jonathan Schanzer

A US-led coalition just launched a major salvo against the Islamic State and various Syrian al-Qaeda affiliates, unleashing the largest single-day amount of American ordnance since the 2011 NATO strikes on Libya.

23rd September 2014 - Quoted by Rosie Gray - Buzzfeed

How “Khorasan” Went From Nowhere To The Biggest Threat To The U.S.

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

An Al-Qaeda-connected group that the Obama administration has targeted with airstrikes alongside ISIS was almost totally unknown to the American public until the U.S. started bombing them, though sources say the group has been known to the administration and to Congress for some time.

Experts

Ali Alfoneh

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Tony Badran

Research Fellow, Levant

Mark Dubowitz

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Reuel Marc Gerecht

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cia, iran, iraq

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