Analysis & Commentary


17th June 2016 - Forbes

What ISIS Is Banking On

Yaya J. Fanusie

As jihadist groups gain control of cities across the Middle East and Africa, preventing their access to the global financial system is increasingly critical to regulators.

16th June 2016 - Quoted by Jeff Seldin - Voice of America

Islamic State Caliphate Staring Into ‘Death Spiral’

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

For the United States and its coalition partners, it is the sound of progress – the dull roar of engines as Iraqi Humvees kick up dust and dirt on the outskirts of Fallujah. In the distance, smoke rises as Iraqi forces push on with a slow but steady advance.

16th June 2016 - Quoted by Jeff Seldin - Voice of America

US Efforts Doing Little to Dent Islamic State’s Global Reach

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Despite losing critical ground in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State terror group has no intention of slowly fading away, and instead it has been shifting its focus to ensure it remains the world's top terror organization, according to a top U.S. intelligence official.

15th June 2016 - Quoted by Louis Jacobson - Politifact

Donald Trump suggests Barack Obama supported ISIS, but that’s a conspiracy theory

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

In a series of comments designed to cast doubt on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump has charged that the Obama administration has actively supported the Islamic extremist group that became ISIS.

14th June 2016 - Quoted by Donna Abu-Nasr - Bloomberg

In War and Now Finance, Losses Mount for Iranian Ally Hezbollah

Jonathan Schanzer

Iran may be emerging from the grip of western sanctions, but one of the most formidable militant groups it funds is paying the price.

14th June 2016 - The Long War Journal

IRGC officer college mourns comrade killed in Syria

Amir Toumaj

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its allies, particularly Iraqi militia Harakat al Nujaba, have been heavily engaged in combat against Jaish al Fath and Jabhat al Nusra (al-Qaeda’s Syria branch) in southern Aleppo in the past two weeks, with the IRGC losing at least 13 men...

13th June 2016 - The Jerusalem Post

Should there be a new push to outlaw all of Hezbollah in the EU?

Benjamin Weinthal

A US Congress hearing on Wednesday spotlighted Hezbollah's role in an international narcotic trafficking operation that enables the Lebanese Shi'ite group to advance its terrorist goals.

13th June 2016 - The Journal of International Security Affairs

An Opening for Al-Qaeda

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Since the Islamic State (IS) made its dramatic military advance in Iraq more than a year ago—capturing Mosul and other key cities and declaring the caliphate’s re-establishment—analysts have been near-unanimous that the group’s emergence has devastated its parent organization,...

11th June 2016 - The Long War Journal

Turkistan Islamic Party leader criticizes the Islamic State’s ‘illegitimate’ caliphate

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

The Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) has released another message attributed to its emir, Abdul Haq al Turkistani. The audio address, which was posted online on May 30, is the latest indication that Abdul Haq is still in charge of the group.

9th June 2016 - Quoted by Russ Read - The Daily Caller

US Tax Dollars Will Help Subsidize Iran’s Massive Military Build Up

Saeed Ghasseminejad

A $1.7 billion U.S. government payment to Iran will be included in the Islamic Republic’s 90 percent military spending increase for the country’s 2016-2017 budget.

9th June 2016 - Quoted by Nancy A. Youssef - The Daily Beast

CIA and Pentagon Bicker While Russia Wipes Out U.S.-Backed Rebels

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

U.S.-backed opposition forces in Syria’s largest city are facing a ferocious Russian-led assault, raising fears that the rebels could be eliminated in a matter of weeks.

8th June 2016 - The Long War Journal

The Islamic State’s prolific ‘martyrdom’ machine

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State claims to have executed 489 “martyrdom operations” in Iraq, Syria and Libya during the first five months of 2016. The figure comes from monthly data published by Amaq News Agency, a propaganda arm of the so-called caliphate that releases infographics summarizing the...

7th June 2016 - Quoted by Ariel Ben Solomon - The Jerusalem Post

Istanbul bombing another sign Syria, Iraq war spreading to Turkey

Aykan Erdemir

The war raging in neighboring Syria and Iraq continues to destabilize Turkey as spillover violence and increased fighting with the Kurds risks plunging the country into deeper instability.

6th June 2016 - The Long War Journal

Senior al Qaeda religious official in Syria returns to social media

Thomas Joscelyn

A senior al Qaeda religious official in Syria has returned to social media in the past 24 hours after a prolonged absence. The jihadist known as Abu Sulayman al Muhajir has launched a new Telegram channel and Twitter feed.

4th June 2016 - The Long War Journal

Al Nusrah Front and allies launch new offensive in Syria’s Aleppo province

Thomas Joscelyn

The Jaysh al Fateh (“Army of Conquest”) coalition, which was cofounded by Al Nusrah Front and its closest allies, has launched a new offensive in the southern part of Syria’s Aleppo province.

3rd June 2016 - Quoted by Lee Smith, Jenna Lifhits - The Weekly Standard

Sanctioned Terrorist Addresses National Press Club Audience Via Skype

Tony Badran

Thursday morning Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's political and media adviser, Bouthaina Shaaban, spoke via Skype to an audience at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

2nd June 2016 - FDD Press

Russian Hybrid Warfare: How to Confront a New Challenge to the West

Pasi Eronen

In 2013, General Valery Gerasimov, chief of Russia’s Armed Forces, publicly unveiled a fresh idea. In what came to be called the Gerasimov Doctrine,1 he described “new-generation” warfare – pre-emptive operations employing a mixture of nonmilitary and military measures to achieve...

2nd June 2016 - Quoted by Jay Solomon - The Wall Street Journal

Allies of Syrian President Assad Seek an Opening in Washington

Tony Badran

A senior official of the Syrian regime made a rare and controversial appearance before a U.S. audience on Thursday, calling for a united front with the Obama administration in the fight against Islamic State and other international terrorist groups.

1st June 2016 - Quoted by Pamela Engel - Business Insider

A new US plan against ISIS might be ‘dangerously counterproductive’

Thomas Joscelyn

US-backed forces are finally moving toward Raqqa, ISIS' de facto capital in Syria.

1st June 2016 - Quoted by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross - The Daily Beast

Big Win Over ISIS Could Mean a New War

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Troops fighting ISIS appeared to on the verge of another victory over the self-proclaimed Islamic State Wednesday, as they moved into a city that has served as the main thoroughfare for ISIS foreign fighters and weapons.

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