Analysis & Commentary


23rd May 2015 - Quoted by Jamie Dettmer - The Daily Beast

ISIS and the New ‘Army of Conquest’ in Syria Are Headed for a Showdown

Jonathan Schanzer

Two successive months and two stunning battlefield reversals for the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad—one dealt him in the east by the so-called Islamic State, the other in the north by a new coalition of rebel forces that includes an affiliate of al Qaeda in a leading role....

22nd May 2015 - Quoted by Oren Dorell - USA Today

Libyan Diplomat: Violence Likely If Peace Talks Fail

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Libya faces renewed violence if a June 17 deadline for the conclusion of peace talks next month doesn't unify the country, a move that's needed to help resolve the Mediterranean migrant crisis and the Islamic State threat to Europe, Libya's top diplomat in Washington said.

22nd May 2015 - Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

This Border Post Shows How Turkey’s ISIS Problem Keeps Getting Worse

Jonathan Schanzer

Pipes, ammonium nitrate, and other bomb-making materials are being transported across Turkey's border into Syria by agents of ISIS while Turkish border guards look the other way, Jamie Dettmer of The Daily Beast reports.

21st May 2015 - Quoted by Munzer al-Awad, Mike Giglio - Buzzfeed

Smugglers Say Palmyra’s Artifacts Will Be “Good Business”

Jonathan Schanzer

Much of the world is looking on with horror as ISIS storms the ancient city of Palmyra. Smugglers who trade in the booming black market of Syrian antiquities, though, say they sense a lucrative opportunity.

21st May 2015 - Quoted by Zack Beauchamp - Vox

The Hidden Story of the Bin Laden Documents: They Tell Us How al-Qaeda Really Works

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Who would have guessed that al-Qaeda had a job application so full of corporate jargon — "What objectives would you would like to accomplish on your jihad path?" — that it reads like a gag from Office Space?

21st May 2015 - Quoted by Ivan Plis - The Daily Caller

Delta’s Recent Raid In Syria May Have Revealed An Inconvenient Truth About Fighting ISIS

Jonathan Schanzer

Last weekend’s special forces raid, which killed a midlevel Islamic State commander, has revived the debate on overt U.S. military ground action in Syria and Iraq.

21st May 2015 - Quoted by Jennifer Rubin - The Washington Post

Losses Mount in Half-Baked War Against Islamic State

Jonathan Schanzer

The Post reports: “Concerns for one of the Middle East’s most renowned archaeological sites deepened Thursday after Islamic State militants swept into the historic Syrian city Palmyra, urging residents over mosque loudspeakers to turn in regime collaborators and army soldiers.

20th May 2015 - Quoted by Adam Kredo - The Washington Free Beacon

Saudi Arabia Seeks Top Spot on U.N. Human Rights Council

David Andrew Weinberg

Saudi Arabia is making a bid to head the United Nations’ Human Rights Council (HRC) just days after it posted a slew of new job openings for executioners who would help carry out beheadings amid a massive uptick in state-sanctioned killings in the country.

20th May 2015 - Quoted by Guy Taylor - The Washington Times

Osama Bin Laden Seen as Isolated, Frustrated in Documents

Thomas Joscelyn

Al Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden spent his final years pleading with followers to stay focused on the goal of large-scale attacks against Americans, and avoid getting sucked into the regional wars and Muslim-on-Muslim violence that have come to define so much of the global jihadi...

20th May 2015 - Quoted by The Tower

Expert: Iran’s Holocaust Denial, Echoing Nazi Rhetoric, Exposes Its True Threat To Israel

Emanuele Ottolenghi, Benjamin Weinthal

Iranian Holocaust denial, which echoes Nazi rhetoric, exposes an intent “to [repeat] that same crime,” Emanuele Ottolenghi, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), argued in an article published Monday in Tablet Magazine. Ottolenghi rejected claims that it is...

20th May 2015 -

Renewed Mistrust Between Ukraine and Russia Harms Fragile Truce

Boris Zilberman

Ukraine’s fragile cease-fire with Russian-backed separatists could unravel without both sides agreeing to a long-term truce, foreign policy analysts fear.

19th May 2015 - Quoted by The Tower

Expert: Iran Sees Fall of Ramadi as Chance to Expand, Faults U.S. For Letting Iran “March In”

Jonathan Schanzer

In an appearance on CNN Monday, Jonathan Schanzer, Vice President for Research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, praised the United States for its raids – like the successful raid that killed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) financier Abu Sayyaf in Syria over the weekend...

19th May 2015 - Quoted by Sean D. Naylor - Foreign Policy

New Question About Drone Strike That Killed Missing American

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

More than three weeks after the White House announced that a U.S. drone strike that killed a high-ranking al Qaeda figure had also taken the lives of two Western hostages, experts are still puzzling over why a senior terrorist was sharing a compound with hostages in the first place.

18th May 2015 - Quoted by Jamie Dettmer - The Daily Beast

ISIS Counterpunch Stuns U.S. and Iraq

Jonathan Schanzer

U.S. officials are living in a dream world if they think they have got the so-called Islamic State on the run. Whenever the militants are forced back, they bounce straight back.

17th May 2015 - Quoted by Jamie Dettmer - The Daily Beast

Analysts Say Build on Momentum of Syria Raid To Keep ISIS Off Balance

Jonathan Schanzer, John Hannah

Pentagon officials have been understandably keen to talk-up Friday night’s Delta Force strike deep into the terrain of the so-called Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

16th May 2015 - Quoted by Nancy A. Youssef - The Daily Beast

Pentagon Claims ISIS Is on the ‘Defensive,’ Never Mind That City It Just Sacked

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

U.S. military officials insisted Friday that ISIS was on the “defensive”—even as the self-proclaimed Islamic State was taking over the key Iraqi city of Ramadi.

15th May 2015 - Quoted by Lord Maginnis - The Hill

Gulf States No Longer Trust US Leadership, With Good Reason

Tony Badran

The White House has made a strong effort to downplay the apparent diplomatic snub that is Saudi King Salman’s decision not to attend this week’s Washington summit with Gulf Cooperation Council leaders.

14th May 2015 - Quoted by Pinar Tremblay - Al Monitor

No Questions Asked for Turkey’s Suitcases Full of Cash

Jonathan Schanzer

The Turkish Ministry of Customs and Trade issued new regulations April 15 for entering and leaving Turkey with any amount of cash. The new Customs Code had passed without much public attention until early May, when the news broke with the headlines “Hot money days are over, now starts the...

14th May 2015 - Quoted by Jeff Seldin - Voice of America

Looming Over US-Gulf Allies Talks: A Choice of ‘Poison Pills’

Reuel Marc Gerecht

ore than two weeks before Saudi Arabia sent two of its princes to meet with President Barack Obama at Thursday's Camp David summit, the kingdom announced the arrests of 93 people, all suspected of belonging to the terror group known as the Islamic State.

14th May 2015 - Quoted by Oren Dorell, Kim Hjelmgaard - USA Today

Russian Comments Cast Doubt on Iran Nuclear Deal

Mark Dubowitz

A major difference between Washington and Moscow over a key term of any deal to curb Iran's nuclear program was underlined when a Russian official rejected the plan to immediately restore sanctions if Tehran violates the as-yet-unsigned agreement.


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