Analysis & Commentary


13th May 2018 - FDD's Long War Journal

Analysis: Shabaab advertises its al Qaeda allegiance

Thomas Joscelyn

Since late April, Shabaab has released a series of videos emphasizing its place in al Qaeda's global network. Two of the videos were recorded by the group's emir, Abu Ubaydah Ahmad Umar, a normally reclusive figure. Abu Ubaydah refers to the Taliban's emir as the "Commander of the Faithful"...

13th February 2018 - FDD Policy Brief

Tillerson Goes to Turkey amid Sanctions Talk in Washington

Aykan Erdemir, Merve Tahiroglu

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is scheduled to visit Turkey on Thursday amidst a breakdown of trust between the U.S. and its longtime NATO ally. Analysts are warning about “a real danger of a clash between U.S. and Turkish forces” in northern Syria. In Washington, lawmakers are calling...

10th February 2018 - FDD's Long War Journal

US terror designations expose 3 international facilitators for Islamic State

Thomas Joscelyn

The US Treasury Department has further exposed the Islamic State's international network by designating three facilitators as terrorists. The men have operated in the Philippines, Somalia, Turkey and elsewhere. One of them operates a business in Turkey that has acquired drone components for...

25th January 2018 - FDD's Long War Journal

Analysis: US Treasury Department reveals new details about the Taliban’s network

Thomas Joscelyn

The US Treasury Department designated six Taliban-Haqqani figures as terrorists today. Treasury's identifying information locates five of the six -- including three senior Taliban finance officials and the deputy leader of the group's military commission -- inside Pakistan. At least two of...

4th January 2018 - The Atlantic

The Biggest Sanctions-Evasion Scheme in Recent History

Jonathan Schanzer

Yesterday, Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla was found guilty in a Manhattan courtroom for a range of financial crimes.

4th January 2018 - Quoted by Abdullah Ayasun - The Globe Post

Turkey’s Removal of Opposition Mayor Signals Further Clampdown

Aykan Erdemir

Turkish Interior Ministry has removed mayor of Besiktas, a secular stronghold of main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) in Istanbul, on charges of corruption and links to Gulen Movement, a move that would stir up social resentment among disgruntled secular segments of the society....

22nd December 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

This Christmas, Remember Imprisoned Pastor Andrew Brunson

Boris Zilberman

Pastor Andrew Brunson will be spending his second Christmas in a Turkish jail, unfairly held by the Erdogan government on manufactured charges. This past October, a delegation from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) visited Pastor Brunson. Brunson, who has lost...

15th December 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

Long Island woman allegedly used Bitcoin to fund ISIS

Thomas Joscelyn

Zoobia Shahnaz allegedly defrauded financial institutions as part of a scheme to fund the Islamic State. She is also accused of seeking to join the so-called caliphate this past summer. Shahnaz was stopped for questioning at JFK International Airport on July 31, but not arrested until this...

6th December 2017 - Quoted by Bill Powell - Newsweek

Why The Trump Team May Be Worried About A Billion-Dollar Money Laundering Case

Aykan Erdemir

Over nearly six years, Zarrab had smuggled up to $1 billion of gold into Iran in exchange for cash, violating sanctions against Tehran, which the U.S. put in place in response to the country’s nuclear program. Zarrab had also arranged to sell Iranian oil and gas (another sanctions...

5th December 2017 - Quoted by Matthew R.J. Brodsky - The Weekly Standard

With Syria Strikes, Israel Atempts to Send a Message to Trump and Putin

Tony Badran

When it comes to Syria, Israel has a message and the government hopes a wider audience is listening. It was delivered in the form of two strikes inside Syria over the last week. By itself, an Israeli strike inside Syria is nothing extraordinary.

5th December 2017 - Quoted by CAMERA

The Hill Omits Turkey’s Support for Hamas

Jonathan Schanzer

A Hill dispatch about Turkey threatening to cut ties with Israel, omitted key information about Ankara’s support for Hamas, a U.S.-designated terror group committed to the Jewish state’s destruction ("Turkey: Recognizing Jerusalem as Israeli Capital Would Be 'Red Line' for Muslims," Dec....

5th December 2017 - Quoted by Jamie McIntyre - The Washington Examiner

Can the US-Turkey marriage be saved?

Jonathan Schanzer

The United States and Turkey, nominally close NATO allies, are looking more and more like an old, bickering married couple who can’t agree on much of anything, but are putting on a brave face for the sake of the children.

28th November 2017 - Quoted by Ayla Jean Yackley - Al-Monitor

Turkey’s Alevis on edge after homes vandalized

Aykan Erdemir

Members of the Alevi religious community are on edge after vandals targeted several homes in eastern Turkey, recalling earlier violence against the country’s largest minority and rousing fears that a surge in nationalism is stoking ethnic tensions.

25th November 2017 - Quoted by Dave Clark - Agence France Presse

Turkey support key as US seeks to hold on in Syria

Aykan Erdemir

The Islamic State group may be on the run from its last bastion in Syria but the United States is gearing up for a longer stay in the country.

20th November 2017 - Quoted by Chuck Ross - The Daily Caller

CNN’s Turkish Media Problem

Aykan Erdemir

To survive as a major news outlet in Turkey these days, TV networks and newspapers must stay on the good side of the NATO nation’s authoritarian president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his ruling Justice & Development Party.

19th November 2017 - Quoted by Thomas Seibert - The Arab Weekly

Russia emerges as major partner for Turkey’s Syria policy

Aykan Erdemir

- In a sign of an emerging alli­ance two years after Turkish- Russian relations plunged into crisis, Ankara is banking on Moscow to help Turkey reach its main goals regarding the conflict in Syria.

18th November 2017 - Quoted by Ahval News

Turkey supported both sides of the Syrian conflict, analyst says

Turkey provided money and arms for anti-Assad militants in Syria, while also helping Iran, Assad’s backer, to evade U.S. sanctions, BuzzFeed quoted a foreign politics expert as saying.

18th November 2017 - Quoted by Ahval News

Turkey supported both sides of the Syrian conflict, analyst says

Aykan Erdemir

Turkey provided money and arms for anti-Assad militants in Syria, while also helping Iran, Assad’s backer, to evade U.S. sanctions, BuzzFeed quoted a foreign politics expert as saying.

17th November 2017 - Quoted by Mitch Prothero - BuzzFeed

Danger For Turkey’s Erdogan Grows From New York Money Laundering Case

Aykan Erdemir

From 2011 to 2013, even as Turkish officials were declaring their financial and military support for the anti-Assad rebels in Syria, top officials closely linked to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were helping the Syrian regime’s then most powerful backer, Iran’s Islamic...

13th November 2017 - Quoted by Joel Gehrke - The Washington Examiner

Turkey’s Erdogan: US, Russia should leave Syria

Aykan Erdemir

American and Russian military forces should withdraw from Syria, according to the leader of a key NATO ally.

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