Analysis & Commentary


22nd March 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

Pakistani Taliban confirms senior al Qaeda commander killed in Afghanistan

Thomas Joscelyn, Bill Roggio

The Pakistani Taliban (Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan) confirmed in a statement today that Qari Muhammad Yasin, a senior al Qaeda military commander, was killed in a US drone strike. The bombing took place in the Laman area of the eastern Paktika province on Mar. 19. The statement confirming...

22nd March 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Turkish NGOs Under Fire for Alleged Hamas Support

Jonathan Schanzer

Turkey’s ties to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas are once again in the spotlight. Israeli authorities claimed this week that two charities with close ties to the ruling elite in Ankara were providing financial and military support to the Gaza-based Islamist faction.

22nd March 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

A Temporary Thaw in Egyptian-PA Relations

Grant Rumley

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi hosted his Palestinian Authority counterpart Mahmoud Abbas this week in Cairo for the first official summit between the two leaders in nearly a year.

22nd March 2017 - The Jerusalem Post

Latest Iranian Threat: Drones in Yemen

Jonathan Schanzer

Iran is increasing its support for Houthi forces in Yemen through the transfer of new technology and advanced weaponry. That is the conclusion of a new report by Conflict Armament Research, a UK-based organization that identifies and tracks conventional weapons.

22nd March 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

U.S. Sanctions Bahrainis Linked to Iran-Backed Group

Tzvi Kahn, David Andrew Weinberg

The State Department on Friday designated two Bahrainis with ties to Iran as Specially Designated Global Terrorists, thereby denying them access to the U.S. financial system, freezing their U.S. assets, and prohibiting American citizens from conducting transactions with them.

22nd March 2017 - The Washington Times

Trump’s pivot to North Korea

Clifford D. May

America can do anything but America can’t do everything, at least not within a four-year time frame. That suggests that the American president — any American president — needs to prioritize.

21st March 2017 - Foreign Policy

Rouhani, the Deceiver

John Hannah, Saeed Ghasseminejad

In two months’ time — on May 19, to be exact — Iran will hold presidential elections. As things currently stand, odds are that the incumbent, Hassan Rouhani, will win a second term.

21st March 2017 - Quoted by John Power

What Tillerson’s Asia Trip Means for North Korea

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called time on the Obama administration’s North Korea policy while offering little specific about a new White House strategy during a three-nation tour of Asia dominated by Pyongyang’s advancing nuclear and missile development.

21st March 2017 - Quoted by Alan Neuhauser - U.S. News and World Report

What Sparked the ‘Laptop Ban’

Thomas Joscelyn

The Trump administration didn't refer to a specific threat when it abruptly announced Monday that it would begin banning laptops, tablets and other electronic devices from aircraft cabins on U.S.-bound flights from certain airports in the Middle East and North Africa.

21st March 2017 - Quoted by Victor Cha - Foreign Affairs

Making China Pay on North Korea

Anthony Ruggiero

On February 18, the Chinese Commerce Ministry announced a ban on coal imports from North Korea, raising hopes that Beijing may finally be ending its support for its communist ally and neighbor. The ban went into effect immediately and will remain in place until the end of the year. China...

21st March 2017 - The Jerusalem Post

German BDS Events Canceled in Frankfurt and Bonn

Benjamin Weinthal

After a wave of objections to a boycott-Israel event scheduled for next week in Bonn, Germany, the Jewish community there on Monday announced its delight with cancellation of the gathering and a widely criticized antisemitic talk that was to be given at it.

21st March 2017 - The Jerusalem Post

Iran Accused of Planning Attack on Head of French-Israel Business Group

Benjamin Weinthal

Iran's Quds Force plotted with the aid of a paid Pakistani man to surveil --and possibly assassinate--the head of the French-Israeli chamber of commerce, according to revelations from a Monday court proceeding in Berlin and German media reports.

20th March 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

Insurgents launch new offensive in outskirts of Damascus

Thomas Joscelyn

Jihadists, Islamists and rebels affiliated with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) launched an offensive in the eastern outskirts of the Syrian capital yesterday. The sudden attack began in the Jobar district of Damascus and then spread into a nearby area.

20th March 2017 - MilitaryEdge.org

Israel Shows Its Edge as Arrow Sees Action for the First Time

John Cappello, Patrick Megahan

The Israel Defense Force (IDF) confirmed that the Syrian armed forces fired surface-to-air missiles (SAM) against Israeli Air Force (IAF) jets late Thursday evening. The S-200 missiles were fired in response to the IAF aircraft striking Hezbollah targets in Syria, and one of those S-200...

20th March 2017 - Fox Business

Countdown to the Closing Bell

Clifford D. May

FDD President Clifford D. May comments on the meeting between Trump and Merkel.

20th March 2017 - Quoted by Hassan Dai - The Hill

On Iran, President Trump is sending mixed signals

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Two months into the Trump presidency, uncertainty and confusion about U.S. foreign policy in general, and its policy in the Middle East in particular, continue to puzzle experts and decision makers around the globe. Regarding Iran, the administration has been sending mixed signals, making it...

20th March 2017 - Quoted by Adam Abrams - JNS.org

Jordan’s approach on terrorists brings ties with Israel into question

Jonathan Schanzer

On the surface, Israel and Jordan appear to have peaceful, productive and sometimes even friendly relations. Their 1994 peace treaty and deepening economic ties—including a 15-year, $10 billion natural gas deal inked in 2016—seem to indicate that all is well between the neighbors.

19th March 2017 - Quoted by Natalie Johnson - The Washington Free Beacon

Expanded Internet Access in Muslim World Could Spur Next Islamic ‘Culture War’

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The expansion of Internet access across the Middle East and North Africa will open communications channels for marginalized social and political groups, including those that criticize the Islamic faith, potentially sparking a culture war across the Muslim world, according to a new report....

19th March 2017 - The Cipher Brief

After Nuclear Deal, Iran Looks to Profit in Syria

Tony Badran, Saeed Ghasseminejad

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran’s powerful, ideological military force, is one of the country’s most influential institutions, with major stakes in key sectors of the economy and supervision of Tehran’s vast network of militias and terrorist proxies in conflicts throughout...

18th March 2017 - The Jerusalem Post

Germany MPS Investigate Pro-Hezbollah Academic Finkelstein

Benjamin Weinthal

In a dramatic widening of an academic antisemitism scandal at the Max Planck Institute for the promotion of lectures delivered by a pro-Hezbollah instructor, German Green Party lawmakers began a parliamentary inquiry on Friday into Dr. Norman Finkelstein’s talks.

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