Analysis & Commentary


26th May 2015 - Quoted by Zack Beauchamp - Vox

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter’s ISIS Gaffe is Even Worse Than You Think

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Most people take Memorial Day weekend as a time for beaches and family barbecues. US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter spent it being publicly, frighteningly wrong about a key front in America's war against ISIS.

26th May 2015 - PJ Media

US Hostage on Trial in Tehran

Michael Ledeen

To its credit, the Washington Post continues to denounce the Iranian regime’s detention of its Tehran correspondent, Jason Rezaian, and we now learn that the Rezaian family is taking legal action in Iranian courts to gain his freedom. That’s not likely to help Rezaian; after all,...

26th May 2015 - FDD Policy Brief

Defeating the Islamic State’s Suicide Drivers

Patrick Megahan

The Pentagon announced last week that it will deliver 2,000 AT-4 anti-tank rockets to help Iraqi forces combat the Islamic State (IS), after the jihadist group seized Ramadi, the strategically important Anbar province capital. While not a sophisticated or expensive weapon, the AT-4 could...

26th May 2015 - Quoted by Jennifer Rubin - The Washington Post

Obama Blames the Victim, Looks for Excuses on Iraq

Jonathan Schanzer

First, the president did it in an interview last week, asserting, “If the Iraqis themselves are not willing or capable to arrive at the political accommodations necessary to govern, if they are not willing to fight for the security of their country, we cannot do that for them.” The...

25th May 2015 - The Long War Journal

Former Taliban Shadow Governor Appears in New Propaganda Video Depicting Recent Combat in Badakhshan

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

The Taliban released a new propaganda video in late May depicting a recent series of attacks against Afghan security forces in the rugged and remote northeastern province of Badakhshan. The video, which is over an hour long, contains an interview with Qari Fasehuddin, the Taliban shadow...

25th May 2015 - Quoted by Margaret Corker - The Wall Street Journal

How Islamic State’s Win in Ramadi Reveals New Weapons, Tactical Sophistication and Prowess

Bill Roggio

In late April, a commander for Islamic State said his forces were ready to launch an offensive to take Ramadi, and the group called for fighters to redeploy to Iraq from Syria.

25th May 2015 - Quoted by Shane Harris - The Daily Beast

He’ll Tell You Where to Find Gaddafi’s Missing Billions—If He Gets His Cut

Yaya J. Fanusie

In August 2014, Erik Iskander Goaied formed a company to locate what he claims is $150 billion or more in U.S. currency, gold, diamonds, and other assets. This is the loot that Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi had squirreled away outside of Libya before he was deposed in 2011.

25th May 2015 - Quoted by Stewart Bell - The National Post

Canadians May Belong to Al-Qaida’s Highly Secretive Khorasan Faction, Intelligence Report Warns

Thomas Joscelyn

The day after the United States and its Arab allies launched airstrikes in Syria last September, President Barack Obama advised American lawmakers the targets had included “elements of al-Qaida known as the Khorasan Group.”

24th May 2015 - Quoted by The Tower

Human Rights Group: With Capture of Palmyra, ISIS Controls Half of Syria

Jonathan Schanzer

With the capture of the ancient city of Palmyra and the town of Al-Tanaf on the border with Iraq, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) now controls half of the territory in Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

24th May 2015 - The Jerusalem Post

Analysis: Why Iran’s Failure to Protect Religious Minorities Doesn’t Bode Well For Nuclear Deal

Benjamin Weinthal

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s tenure has been marked by intensified persecution and incarceration of Baha’is, Jews, Christians and Sunni Muslims, according to a new report from the US Commission on International Religious Freedom.

24th May 2015 - The Long War Journal

Iranian-Backed Militias Lead Iraqi Counteroffensive to Retake Ramadi

Bill Roggio

Iranian-backed Shiite militias, including Hezbollah Brigades, a US-listed Foreign Terrorist Organization, are leading the Iraqi government’s counteroffensive to regain control of Ramadi, which was lost to the Islamic State last week. The militias are now eclipsing Iraq’s security forces...

23rd May 2015 - The Long War Journal

Osama Bin Laden’s Files: Taliban Mourned Senior Al Qaeda Leader as US Attempted Negotiations

Thomas Joscelyn, Bill Roggio

Newly-released documents seized from Osama bin Laden’s compound reveal that the Taliban expressed its condolences to al Qaeda for the death of one of its top leaders who was killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan in May 2010. The letter of sympathy and unity was issued during the same...

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 - FOX News

Happening Now

Thomas Joscelyn

FDD Senior Fellow Thomas Joscelyn critiques the rollout of the Bin Laden documents.

22nd May 2015 - The Long War Journal

2 French Suicide Bombers Used in Islamic State Assault on Haditha

Bill Roggio

The Islamic State used two French suicide bombers in today’s coordinated assault on the western Iraqi town of Haditha. One of the bombers has been featured in the past in an Islamic State propaganda film calling for more French recruits.

22nd May 2015 - The Arab Weekly

Afghanistan: The Next Battlefield?

Ali Alfoneh

“We will maintain a presence in Af­ghanistan, even after the end of our current mis­sion,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced. The Atlantic alliance, he said, will have a “light footprint,” with “a military component”.

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 - The Wall Street Journal

Opinion Journal

Thomas Joscelyn

Foundation for Defense of Democracies Senior Fellow Tom Joscelyn on the intelligence recovered from Osama bin Laden’s compound.

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Ali Alfoneh

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Tony Badran

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Mark Dubowitz

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Yaya J. Fanusie

Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance - Director of Analysis

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