Analysis & Commentary


19th September 2014 - Quoted by Jeremy Kahn - The Washington Post

Eager Investors Wait for Door to Open in Iran

Mark Dubowitz

On a May afternoon in Tehran, a Russian in a dark suit sits in the crowded lobby cafe of the Espinas Persian Gulf International Hotel with his Farsi translator, sipping coffee with potential Iranian partners while discussing the price of soy fiber.

18th September 2014 - Interviewed by John Gizzi - Newsmax

ISIS Is Already An Oil-Rich State, Former Cheney Adviser Says

John Hannah

As Western nations are now poised to take action against ISIS, the Islamic terrorists are already “closer to being an actual state than any American should be comfortable with,” John Hannah, the onetime national security adviser to former Vice President Dick Cheney, told Newsmax.

18th September 2014 - Quoted by Louis Jacobson - Politifact.com

Have Three Detainees Swapped for Bowe Bergdahl Now Joined ISIS?

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

A reader recently sent us a link to a rather startling claim -- that three of the five Guantanamo detainees released by the United States in late May in exchange for Taliban prisoner Bowe Bergdahl have now taken up arms for the Islamic State.

18th September 2014 - Quoted by Deborah Haynes - The Times of London

Jihadist in Beheading Video May Have Taken Drugs

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The militant who boasted in a video of beheading the British hostage David Haines slurred his words, in a sign that he may have been intoxicated or stressed, scientific analysis of his voice has suggested.

18th September 2014 - Quoted by Luke Baker and Noah Browning - Reuters

Insight - After Mahmoud Abbas, Who Will Lead the Palestinians?

Grant Rumley

Most Palestinians have known only two leaders: Yasser Arafat, the stubble-chinned firebrand fond of chequered scarves and olive fatigues, and Mahmoud Abbas, a smooth-shaven father figure who favours Western suits and ties.

18th September 2014 - Quoted by Ariel Ben Solomon - The Jerusalem Post

Experts See Qatar Making Tactical Adjustment, Not Dropping Islamist Support

David Andrew Weinberg

Qatar's gesture in deporting seven Muslim Brotherhood members does not represent a major strategic shift, but rather a temporary, tactical adjustment to overcome building pressure on the country, Gulf experts tell The Jerusalem Post.

17th September 2014 - Cited by Julian E. Barnes and Carol E. Lee - The Wall Street Journal

Obama Plans to Tightly Control Strikes on Syria

The U.S. military campaign against Islamist militants in Syria is being designed to allow President Barack Obama to exert a high degree of personal control, going so far as to require that the military obtain presidential signoff for strikes in Syrian territory, officials said.

17th September 2014 - Interviewed by Eric Mandel - The Jerusalem Post

Qatar and Turkey As Supporters of Terrorism

Jonathan Schanzer

Turkey is the eastern flank of NATO. Qatar is an oil-rich Gulf State which houses a major American air base and is the headquarters of the United States Air Force’s Central Command.

17th September 2014 - Quoted by Stephen Dinan - The Washington Times

Like A Sibling Spat for Attention, Islamic State-al Qaeda ‘Competition’ Could Prompt U.S. Strikes

Bill Roggio

Islamic State militants may now be engaged in a competition with al Qaeda to be the successors to Osama bin Laden’s terrorist empire, with disastrous implications for Americans’ safety, top security officials said Wednesday.

16th September 2014 - Cited by The Tower

Breaking: Deal Approved For Gaza Reconstruction

Jonathan Schanzer

The Israelis and Palestinians have agreed to a deal to allow for the reconstruction of Gaza following Operation Protective Edge.

16th September 2014 - Cited by the Project on Middle East Democracy

President Erdogan Would Welcome Exiled MB Members; Analysts Question Turkey’s Foreign Policy

Jonathan Schanzer

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said he would welcome members of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood into the country after Qatar, under pressure from other GCC countries, asked the exiled officials to find refuge elsewhere.

16th September 2014 - Quoted by Paul Alster - Fox News

Qatar’s terror funding makes it more foe than friend to U.S., critics say

David Andrew Weinberg

Qatar has simultaneously been championed as a Western ally in the fight against terror and criticized as the Middle East's chief enabler of radical jihad.

15th September 2014 - Quoted by Jennifer Rubin - The Washington Post

We Called It: Obama Trying to Cozy Up to Iran

Mark Dubowitz

Last week we suspected Dennis Ross, former adviser to President Obama, was trying to wave the administration off from its desire to reconcile with Iran.

15th September 2014 - Quoted by Jamie Dettmer - The Daily Beast

Who Are These ‘Moderate’ Syrians Obama Wants to Pit Against ISIS?

Jonathan Schanzer

There were few modern democrats among the armed opposition to Assad two years ago. There are far fewer now. So who can Obama trust not to turn Western-supplied weapons against us later?

15th September 2014 - Cited by The Tower

Turkey and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

Jonathan Schanzer

This past week has not been kind to Turkey’s reputation as a moderate Islamic state, or to hopes that it would serve as a potential ally against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

14th September 2014 - Quoted by Ron Kampeas - JTA.org

Why Does Qatar Support Hamas?

Jonathan Schanzer

It was the first Persian Gulf state to establish ties with Israel, the first to welcome Israeli students and the only one to allow direct dialing to Israel. Israeli athletes shine on its courts.

13th September 2014 - Quoted by i24

Iran Urges UN to Condemn Israel Over Alleged Drone

Patrick Megahan

Iran appealed to UN's nuclear watchdog seeking a condemnation of Israel's "aggression" in allegedly sending a stealth drone over the Natanz uranium enrichment site last month.

12th September 2014 - Quoted by Brett Logiurato - Business Insider

Obama May Have Just Dealt A Crushing Blow To Russia’s Oil Exploration

Mark Dubowitz

New U.S. sanctions handed down on Friday are designed to effectively "shut off" Russian oil conglomerates from oil exploration projects, U.S. officials said, in a move aimed squarely at Russia's $425 billion-a-year petroleum industry.

12th September 2014 - Quoted by David Jackson and Oren Dorell - USA Today

Obama Team Unveils New Russia Sanctions

Mark Dubowitz

The Obama administration and European allies are expanding their economic battle against Russia, including new sanctions that target its largest bank as well as the financial, energy and defense sectors.

12th September 2014 - Cited by Andrew C. McCarthy - National Review Online

From No Strategy to Sorry Strategy

Benjamin Weinthal, Thomas Joscelyn, Bill Roggio

Two weekends ago, i.e., between President Obama’s admission that he had no strategy for confronting the Islamic State terrorist organization and his adoption of a sorry strategy this week, I contended here that...

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