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Collective Suicide

In a daring suicide attack barely a hundred yards from the Frontier Constabulary (FC) Headquarters in Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP, formerly the North West Frontier Province), a 15-year-old boy blew himself up, killing the FC chief, Sifwat Ghayoor, along with three

Israel: hope for the best, prepare for the worst

First published as “Israel: hope for the best, prepare for the worst,” Longitude, The Italian Monthly on World Affairs, May 2011, pp. 59-66. Not often does Israel finds itself a passive bystander amid Middle East turmoil. But as history shows, whether or not the Jewish state is

Arab Reactions to Bin Ladin’s Demise

First published in Tel-Aviv Notes, Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Tel Aviv University.   On June 16, 2011, Ayman al-Zawahiri was named Usama Bin Ladin’s successor as al-Qa‘ida’s leader. His appointment was not taken for granted and had to be approved

Anders Behring Breivik’s political platform

First published in the CST Blog When Anders Behring Breivik set out to commit mass murder last Friday, he left behind a huge amount of material explaining his motivations, intentions and preparations: mainly in the form of a 1,516-page written manifesto and a 12 minute video.

The Noise before Defeat

The US strategy in Afghanistan has seen a decade of unrelenting failure. The US has sought to repackage the killing of Osama bin Laden and other al Qaeda-Taliban leaders as a grand strategic success and a prelude to an ordered withdrawal from Afghanistan. The truth

Should Israel apologize to Turkey? And to Egypt?

In recent days, there has been heavy American pressure at the highest level on Israel to apologize to Turkey for the deadly results of the May 2010 “humanitarian” flotilla led by the Turkish Islamist organization IHH, in which nine Turkish citizens were killed during their

Cargo Containers in Transit – The Iranian Threat

Iran has been transferring in recent years large amounts of weapons to well-known terrorist groups in Lebanon and Gaza by various means. One of the ways Iran has found to be very effective is using maritime containers which ship through intermediate ports on their way

Teetering on the Brink

Despite the US-Pakistan relationship approaching its nadir, and Pakistan’s continuing domestic crises, there is little to suggest that Pakistan is going correct course and to improve, in the foreseeable future, its current rank, as the 12th among the countries approaching state failure. Indeed, available indices

Pakistan – Drone Success

Continuing it’s highly controversial but indisputably successful covert drone operations in Pakistan’s tribal area, the US, in one of its deadliest drone strikes, killed 24 suspected terrorists and injured another 10 at the Gorwaik village of the Dattakhel area in the North Waziristan Agency (NWA)

Reflections on the State of the world

If the United States and Europe do not rediscover themselves anew, it will be very difficult for them to win the ideological war against Russia. The United States and Europe can and must prove that only open societies have the potential and the ability for

The Jihadi Threat to Israel

Israel and the West have a common stake in ensuring that the deep divisions among jihadis remain in place. “There are some 30,000 jihadi fighters in Syria alone. They see this as the perfect opportunity to act against Israel”. Published in the Jerusalem Report, June

The Rising Threat in Ma’an, Jordan

Recent activity in Jordan’s southern governance capitol, Ma’an, raises concern as to the emergence of radical Islam and its implication in-light of recent gains by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS). Recent months have seen an increase in Jihadi rhetoric over the

The Jihadist Governance Dilemma

After making astounding territorial gains in its war against the Iraqi government, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – which has refashioned itself “the Islamic State” – declared that it had reestablished the caliphate. The group’s gains put a spotlight on several questions related

Can Hamas be Defeated?

The best alternative would be for the Palestinian Authority, with Egyptian support, to retake control of Gaza First published by the Jerusalem Report

Tunnels as war crime

Tunnels were used by the British Army during World War I, the Vietcong in Vietnam, Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, and even the rebels during the current conflict in Syria, tunnels have not been seen as a key strategic threat in decades – until they formed

The Gaza Wake-Up Call

Israel is not free from mistakes. Just as in previous wars and military operations, the IDF and Israel will investigate their actions after the current battle in Gaza comes to an end. Israel will draw operational conclusions, including those with moral implications. However, you my

“Protective Edge” – Insights

Does the strategic, long-term threat posed by Hamas constitute an existential threat or not? I choose to leave the question open to the discretion of the reader. If a decision maker is convinced that the cumulative threat is indeed existential and manages to convince the

Hezbollah Terrorism Returns to Latin America

On February 26, 2014 and March 13, 2014, General John F. Kelly, Commander of the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), presented SOUTHCOM’s 2014 posture statement to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees respectively. Kelly maintained that “Iran’s involvement in the Western Hemisphere is a matter for concern”

The School Massacre in Peshawar (Pakistan)

At least 148 people, most of them children (132), were killed when Taliban gunmen attacked the Army Public School in Peshawar. The overwhelming majority of the victims were pupils at the school. Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack. Pakistan needs a comprehensive counter-terrorism

Iran is arming West Bank terrorists

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking at the weekly Israeli cabinet meeting on December 28, said Iran was increasing its efforts to arm the Palestinians in the West Bank, a move, he emphasized, was encouraged by the Palestinian Authority envoy to Tehran. First published in Times

Cartoons, Dissent, and Human Rights in Iran

Cruel anti-Semitic attacks are “never solely about Jews,” Ruth Wisse wrote in the Wall Street Journal last week. Jews are the most vulnerable targets at hand to destroy the narrative of democracy that despots disdain—free speech, press, and religion. Such images are particular irritants to

Jihadi Terror in Europe

Is Europe now ready to take the necessary political, legal and operational decisions to counter the terrorists? First published in the Jerusalem Report

Made-in-Israel success stories at IDC

This past semester, I taught in an Israeli university for the first time, teaching American history at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, while on leave from McGill University. Best known for hosting an annual anti-terrorism conference, the IDC is the Start Up Nation’s startup

Oh my beloved Italy, please wake up!

Even Italy, a country that has historically been fairly immune to the phenomenon, is now starting to realize the real potential threat stemming from the radicalization of its Muslim community. First published in the Jerusalem Post

Counter-terrorism, tracking and transliteration

US President Barack Obama expressed last June his concern about a possible influx into the US of European extremists who’d returned from Syria, taking advantage of the fact that they don’t need a visa to enter his country. He also mentioned that over 100 Americans

The complex situation on Israel’s Syrian border

My article “The Strategic Imperative to Deny an Iranian/Hezbollah Base on the Golan Border” dealt with the attempt by Iran and Hezbollah to build a new strategic base in the northern Syrian Golan Heights and was posted on my Times of Israel blog at

Washington’s Third Option Against a Nuclear Iran

Being a nuclear threshold state and a rouge regime is toxic: Tehran is both. Iran’s 1979 Revolution instructs its leaders to resist compromises, especially now because they expect Washington wants to cut any deal. But in case there is diplomatic stalemate, it is important for

An Agreement with Iran – Now What?

In light of the agreement reached between the world powers and Iran on the subject of nuclear development on Iranian soil, and prior to the signing of the final agreement, it is important to clarify several key insights with respect to a change in the

The Garissa University Massacre

At least 148 people were massacred and 79 were wounded when Al-Shabaab, a Somalian Islamist group, attacked a Kenyan university in the northeastern town of Garissa, on April 2, 2015. Kenya’s interior ministry said the dead included 142 students, three policemen and three soldiers

Malaysia – Hamas Military Cooperation

Malaysia has a consistent anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinian foreign policy. Malaysia, Turkey and Qatar were the main supporters of Hamas during itswar against Israel in July – August 2014. Malaysia is a strategic ally of the United States in the war against terrorism (like Turkey and

Suicide Attack Against Shiite Mosque in Kuwait

At least 27 people have been killed and 227 others wounded in a suicide bombing that took place during Friday prayer at a Shiite mosque in Kuwait City. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, which was the first attack on a Shiite mosque in Kuwait,

The June 26 Saint-Quentin-Fallavier (France) Attack

On June 26, 2015 at 9:28 am, Yassin Salhi (a driver for a delivery company) entered the Air Products Gas Company in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier (next to Lyon), one of the largest industrial neighborhoods in Europe. Salhi, who was known by the guards and had all necessary

Al-Qaida’s leadership crisis

Al-Qaida’s power has been steadily waning over the past six months. This decline is due to a series of targeted killings, carried out by the U.S., of its senior operatives, such as its leader in Yemen Nasir al-Wuhayshi, as well as the growing rivalry with

Sinai Province Group Beheads Croatian worker in Egypt

Tomislav Salopek, a 31-year-old Croatian was reportedly abducted in western Cairo in July 2015 and beheaded by the “Sinai Province” group, the Egyptian branch of ISIS, formerly known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis. Ardiseis Egypt, a unit of French firm CGG, which specializes in oil and