Fdd's overnight brief

January 26, 2022

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News


Iran’s hardline President Ebrahim Raisi said on Tuesday a revival of Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal is possible if the United States removes sanctions that have crippled the Islamic Republic’s economy. – Reuters 

Talks to revive a 2015 nuclear deal between Western powers and Iran are approaching a dangerous impasse, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

Jailed French tourist Benjamin Briere, who was sentenced to eight years in prison for spying on Tuesday, is in state of shock, his Iranian lawyer told Reuters, adding that they would appeal against the verdict within 20 days. – Reuters 

The economy is the top challenge for Iran’s ruling clerics, who fear a revival of protests that have erupted since 2017 by lower and middle-income communities angry at growing poverty. And yet hardline President Ebrahim Raisi has vowed not to link the economy to nuclear negotiations with world powers, even though the talks could lift most U.S. economic curbs through the revival of a 2015 pact limiting Tehran’s atomic programme. – Reuters 

After a trial that lasted just five minutes, Iranian authorities sentenced human rights activist Narges Mohammadi to more than eight years in prison and 70 lashes, according to her husband. – Newsweek 

Lahav Harkov writes: With three members who sought a more robust approach than Malley’s out of the delegation, it’s unlikely that the “diversity of views” the State Department promised remains. Meanwhile, Washington is broadcasting that it is going to give Tehran plenty of time and leeway so that Biden can say he kept his promise to revive the Iran deal. – Jerusalem Post 

James M. Dorsey writes: Theoretically, the dynamics of the Ukraine crisis and the prospects of failed Vienna talks could mean that a long-term Russian-Iranian cooperation agreement could get legs quicker than its Chinese-Iranian counterpart. Negotiating with a Russia heavily sanctioned by the United States and Europe in an escalated crisis in Ukraine could level the playing field as both parties, rather than just Iran, would be hampered by Western punitive measures. – Algemeiner 

Amos Harel writes: While the risk of war between Russia and Ukraine has risen to the top of the global agenda, another conflict in a different region is getting worse and could have broad international repercussions, too. The two conflicts are indirectly connected and could influence critical strategic issues concerning Israel. – Haaretz 


An accident aboard an aircraft carrier in the South China Sea injured seven American sailors and led to the pilot ejecting from his F-35 fighter jet on Monday, the Navy said in a statement, calling it a “landing mishap.” – New York Times 

The last day of talks between the Taliban and western diplomats has begun in Oslo with a bilateral meeting with Norwegian government officials focused largely on the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. – Associated Press 

Shabana Basij-Rasikh writes: And much like the United States in the 1980s, I, too, want to educate Afghan freedom fighters. But my students are Afghan girls. I have a different curriculum in mind. I have a country with a future worth fighting for. – Washington Post 

Keith Preble and Bryan Early write: If Afghanistan becomes an ungovernable failed state because the United States fails to provide support in the form of direct foreign aid, it will be a humanitarian tragedy and run counter to the foreign policy and national security interests for which the United States sanctioned the country in the first place. Absent robust U.S. aid, the Taliban-government may also seek closer relations with U.S. adversaries in the region, like China or Iran. – War on the Rocks 


The evidence of a resurgence of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq is mounting by the day, nearly three years after the militants lost the last patch of territory of their so-called caliphate, which once stretched across vast parts of the two countries. The fact that ISIS was able to mount these coordinated and sophisticated attacks in recent days shows that what had been believed to be disparate sleeper cells are re-emerging as a more serious threat. – New York Times 

The U.S.-backed Syrian Defense Forces said Wednesday that it had freed 23 of its members from Islamic State militants inside a besieged prison in the Syrian town of Hasakah, as a days-long standoff that included U.S. ground troops appeared to be drawing to a close. – Washington Post 

Fears are growing for hundreds of children in a Syrian prison seized by Islamic State inmates, after six days of clashes with Kurdish-led fighters seeking to regain control of the facility, the United Nations children’s agency said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

ISIS’s official A’maq News Agency published a claim on January 21 acknowledging that the organization’s fighters had launched a “massive attack” on the Ghuwayran prison “with the aim of freeing the prisoners within.” After midnight on January 23, 2022, A’maq published an update, dated January 22, claiming that more than 200 SDF members, including the administrator of the prison and several field commanders, had been killed in clashes at the prison and in the surrounding areas, and that ISIS fighters had succeeded in freeing more than 800 prisoners, many of whom left the prison in several batches on January 20-21. – Middle East Media Research Institute


Two Palestinians, one armed with a grenade, were detained by Israel Defense Force soldiers after infiltrating into southern Israel overnight from the Gaza Strip, the military said Wednesday morning. – Times of Israel 

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres decried the resurgence of antisemitism in comments Tuesday night at a service commemorating victims of the Nazi Holocaust, and he urged people around the world to “stand firm against hate and bigotry anywhere and everywhere.” – Associated Press 

The Netherlands has canceled a 2.2 million euro contract with the “Union of Agricultural Work Committees” (UAWC) – a Palestinian NGO – over ties to Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), according to a report by the organization NGO Monitor. – Jerusalem Post 

Israel is working to defuse tensions between the US and Russia, amid a simmering border crisis between Russia and the Ukraine, Galei Tzahal reported Wednesday morning. – Arutz Sheva 


Iraq’s top court on Tuesday confirmed the re-election of Mohammed al-Halbousi as parliament speaker, following appeals against its conduct, paving the way towards the formation of a new government. – The Arab Weekly 

Bullet holes riddle the concrete watchtower of a remote Iraqi army outpost north of Baghdad, a sign of the jihadist Islamic State group’s night-time attack that killed 11 soldiers. – Agence France-Presse 

Ali Ahmed Rahim writes: Moreover, the Iraqi government should amend the anti-trafficking law to ensure that human traffickers, and complicit government officials, are prosecuted, convicted, and severely punished. Finally, the Iraqi government must improve the country’s dire economic situation and provide more job opportunities for young people and especially girls, who are the main victims of human trafficking. – Washington Institute 

Arabian Peninsula

Twice in the past week, Yemen’s rebels have launched attacks with missiles and drones on the United Arab Emirates, a major escalation for one of the world’s most protracted conflicts. The attacks underscore how the war that has ground on for over seven years in the corner of the Arabian Peninsula can flare into a regional danger. One of this week’s attacks targeted an Emirati military base hosting U.S. and British forces. – Associated Press 

Qatar’s ruling emir will hold talks with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House on Jan. 31 on a range of issues that will include global energy security, the White House said on Tuesday, amid concerns about gas supplies to Europe. – Reuters 

Israeli President Isaac Herzog will travel to the United Arab Emirates on Jan. 30-31, his office said on Tuesday, seeking to strengthen Gulf ties at a time of heightened regional tension as world powers try to revive a nuclear deal with Iran. – Reuters 

The prime minister of the autonomous Kurdistan Region went to the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday for important meetings. Masrour Barzani leads the Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq, which plays a key role in making the region stable and prosperous. – Jerusalem Post 

The Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen are threatening escalated attacks against the UAE and Saudi Arabia if their demands are not met. Operations over the past two weeks have achieved their goals, they said, adding that worse acts could take place in the future, Iran’s Tasnim News Agency reported. – Jerusalem Post 

The United Arab Emirates has quietly and unofficially asked Israel about acquiring missile defense systems to help protect it from Houthi missile attacks, Israeli sources here tell Breaking Defense. – Breaking Defense


Air strikes last week on a detention centre in Yemen killed around 90 people and wounded more than 200, the Houthi administration’s health minister said on Tuesday, providing an updated toll after rescue efforts ended. – Reuters 

Ahmed Charai writes: The United States has now given more than $3.4 billion in humanitarian assistance to Yemen since the conflict began in 2015. This assistance will save many lives, but the truth is that no amount of aid will durably improve conditions until Yemen’s conflict ends. Blocking access to key weapons and technology from Iran, however, might increase the incentives for the Houthis to come to the negotiating table in good faith. To accomplish this, the U.S. Defense Department should position sufficient military resources in the region and provide commanders with clear instructions to prioritize the interdiction effort. – The National Interest 

Mary Beth Long and Emily Milliken write: Finally, if for no other reason, the administration must recognize that the safety and security of American military, business, and citizens are at risk. America shares security concerns with our Gulf partners who are increasingly under deadly attack by our mutual adversaries. A timely redesignation of the Houthis as terrorists coupled with immediately improved missile defense and counter-drone measures in the Gulf is a good start toward enhancing our mutual security. – Defense One

Saudi Arabia

Israel’s top diplomat said on Tuesday it hopes to build on its 2020 U.S.-brokered accords with four Muslim nations and establish diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia and Indonesia, but such deals would take time. – Reuters 

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday ordered the restoration of full diplomatic ties with Thailand and said the countries agreed to trade ambassadors, closing the chapter on three decades of mistrust and hostility between the nations that stemmed from a sensational jewelry heist. – Associated Press 

Middle East & North Africa

The Biden administration on Tuesday approved a massive $2.5 billion arms sale to Egypt despite ongoing concerns over human rights. – Associated Press 

Egyptian officials, American scholars and foreign diplomats gathered on Monday at a luxury hotel on the banks of the Nile to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the first time such an event has ever been held in Egypt. – Jewish Insider 

Libya’s parliament, in a push to replace interim Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah, on Tuesday published criteria governing candidates for the post. – Agence France-Presse 

Lebanon signed a U.S.-backed deal with Jordan on Wednesday that aims to ease crippling power shortages by transmitting electricity across neighbouring Syria, after Washington assured Beirut it should not fear its sanctions on Damascus. – Reuters 

David Schenker writes: In any case, the chances of elections affecting Lebanon’s current trajectory are questionable at best—Hezbollah has shown that it has higher regard for bullets than ballots. Yet a pause in the Hariri dynasty could provide an opportunity for new Sunni leaders who are less accommodating to Iranian tutelage and more inclined to reform. After years of deterioration that has left Lebanon on the verge of becoming a failed state, it is obvious that the current political elite in Beirut are not up to the task of making the changes needed to reverse course. – Washington Institute 

Masih Alinejad writes: The women of the Middle East can speak for themselves. Recently, I launched a campaign on social media using the hashtag #LetUsTalk. I simply put up two photographs: One showed me as a child in hijab. The other showed me as I am today, an adult who is free to choose how I wish to live. I urged women from the Middle East and Afghanistan to tell their own stories about how sharia laws restrain and harm women and girls. Hundreds have already shared their stories. Let’s not impose further burdens on their ability to do so. – Washington Post

Korean Peninsula

North Korea began the new year by convening a meeting for the ruling Workers’ Party during which very little was said about the United States. That ominous silence didn’t last long. – New York Times 

North Korea seemed to disappear from the web for a period on Tuesday, an NK News reporter first noticed. Insider also found that several North Korean sites appeared to be down. – Business Insider 

U.S. President Joe Biden has picked a longtime career diplomat and former North Korea sanctions enforcer as ambassador to South Korea, a diplomatic source in Seoul said on Wednesday. – Reuters 


Hong Kong’s security chief said on Wednesday that his government would strengthen laws against espionage as part of extra national security legislation now being drafted. – Reuters 

U.S. House of Representatives leaders on Tuesday unveiled a bill aimed at increasing U.S. competitiveness with China and supporting the U.S. chip industry, including $52 billion to subsidize semiconductor manufacturing and research. – Reuters 

President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia and China shared common values and that both rejected the diplomatic boycott by some Western countries of the 2022 Winter Olympics that open in Beijing on Feb. 4. – Reuters 

Taiwan will not send any officials to the Beijing Winter Olympics but its athletes will attend as normal, the government said on Tuesday, adding a call for China not to use politics to “interfere” with the event or “belittle” the island. – Reuters 

Human rights activists and some academics in China have had their WeChat messaging app accounts restricted in recent weeks, multiple people affected have told AFP, as Beijing cracks down on dissent before the Winter Olympics. – Agence France-Presse 

Joshua Rovner writes: How long will the balance of power favor the United States? How long will Chinese leaders cooperate with Washington from a position of relative weakness? If the answer to either question is “not very long,” then the administration will have to take a clearer stand. – War on the Rocks 


Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday confirmed he had invited Myanmar’s junta chief to a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), on the condition he makes progress on a peace plan he agreed to last year. – Reuters 

Taiwan has shared its concern about the tensions in Europe amid Russia’s amassing of forces along the Ukrainian border, while the American public appears reluctant to risk military lives on Kyiv’s behalf. – Newsweek 

Lithuanian officials, seeking to defuse a row with China, are discussing whether to ask their Taiwanese counterparts to modify the Chinese translation of the name of Taiwan’s de-facto embassy in Vilnius, two sources told Reuters. – Reuters 

Indonesia and Singapore signed on Tuesday a bilateral extradition agreement, a move that Jakarta expects to help authorities in their effort to bring to justice people accused of stashing offshore billions of dollars in state money. – Reuters 


So far, Mr. Putin has left Western leaders guessing about whether he would stage a major invasion of Ukraine and provoke a possible breakdown in ties with the West, or whether he would be satisfied with wringing a few concessions from an expansive list of demands he has put forth. These include that NATO guarantees that it won’t give membership to Ukraine. – Wall Street Journal 

The U.S. is prepared to impose export controls on critical sectors of the Russian economy if Russian President Vladimir Putin invades Ukraine, and is working to soften market shocks if Russia withholds energy supplies in retaliation, officials said. – Wall Street Journal 

As the United States issued warnings last month about the Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders and President Biden threatened President Vladimir V. Putin with sanctions if he launched an invasion, researchers noticed an uptick in social media posts accusing Ukraine of plotting a genocide against ethnic Russians. – New York Times 

French President Emmanuel Macron said he would seek clarification over Russia’s intentions towards Ukraine in a phone call with President Vladimir Putin on Friday amid rising fears of an attack by the Kremlin on its former Soviet republic. – Reuters 

Russian warships entered the Barents Sea on Wednesday to rehearse protecting a major shipping lane in the Arctic, its Northern Fleet said on Wednesday, as Moscow stages sweeping military exercises involving all of its fleets. – Reuters 

Britain is not ruling out sanctions targetted at Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin in person if Russia invades Ukraine, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said on Wednesday. – Reuters 

Russia has conducted another round of joint naval exercises with China at a time when tensions over the Ukraine crisis have pushed Moscow to openly consider accelerating its decision to ditch the U.S. dollar in favor of its national currency when dealing with top trade partner Beijing. – Newsweek 

David Ignatius writes: “There is a threat of real war here in the middle of Europe,” Ukraine’s deputy foreign minister Emine Dzheppar told me last week in Kyiv. “We are the country to fight back.” Ukraine may pay a terrible price initially for this resistance, but if the West stays united in opposing Putin, he’ll lose his bid for regional dominance, just as his Soviet predecessors lost the Cold War. – Washington Post 

Max Boot writes: But what happens in Europe has profound implications for Asia, too. If we don’t ensure that Russia pays a high price for its aggression against Ukraine, that will send a message to China that it can attack Taiwan with impunity. By countering Russia’s power grab, we send a signal that right, not just might, still matters in the world. – Washington Post 

Bruce W. Jentleson writes: The point is not to be intimidated by such counter-strategies but also not to ignore them and over-project Russian vulnerability. Sanctions need their own version of war gaming: We do this/they do that. They can’t be turned to just because military force seems a worse option. They have to be strategized for their own effectiveness. They can’t just be barked, they have to bite. – Washington Post 

Andreas Kluth writes: Putin the KGB man obviously relishes the anxiety he’s causing in much of the world, believing that fear always redounds to his power. But his game is breathtakingly cynical and dangerous. In effect, he’s put a cat in a box, then stuffed it with a Geiger counter, a radioactive particle and a detonator. For the time being, the world is wondering whether or not this set-up explodes, and Putin loves it. But he’s forgetting that the cat could turn out to be not Ukraine or NATO but him. – Bloomberg 

Tom Rogan writes: Well, while the Biden administration has struggled to understand the Russians’ energy extortion strategy, the United States has means of response. […]This is largely a consequence of inadequate investment and productivity in the Russian oil industry over many years. U.S. sanctions limiting Russia’s access to high-quality oil infrastructure products and oil servicing companies would further degrade Russia’s energy infrastructure. That’s the way to play Putin at his own game. – Washington Examiner 

Ilan Berman writes: The aggregate result of these measures is nothing short of an “assault on the truth” on the part of the Russian government. It is a project that serves a clear geopolitical purpose, allowing the Kremlin to shape the narrative surrounding its foreign adventurism and obscure the true political and economic state of affairs within its own borders. That’s why, for Russia’s government, the information space has become a battlefield whose control is now a cardinal priority. – 19FortyFive


The United States warned Tuesday that it could impose some of its toughest-ever sanctions on Russia, as it moves to prepare European allies for a Kremlin-initiated fuel crisis amid rising tensions over a renewed invasion of Ukraine. – Washington Post 

As tensions over the Russia-Ukraine conflict soared this week, the United States ordered the departure of all family members of U.S. Embassy personnel, citing the “threat of Russian military action.” It also told nonessential staff that they could leave. The move prompted U.S. allies such as Britain and Canada to follow suit and temporarily withdraw some staff amid a buildup of Russian troops and weapons on Ukraine’s borders. – Washington Post 

Senior representatives of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine are to meet in Paris Wednesday in a bid to revive the stalled Ukraine peace process, as analysts warn that Russia’s military escalation near Ukraine’s borders is moving into a more advanced stage. – Washington Post 

The Biden administration announced on Tuesday that it was working with gas and crude oil suppliers from the Middle East, North Africa and Asia to bolster supplies to Europe in the coming weeks, in an effort to blunt the threat that Russia could cut off fuel shipments in the escalating conflict over Ukraine. – New York Times 

The United States and its NATO allies are moving to bulk up their military commitments in the Baltics and Eastern Europe as the standoff with Russia over Ukraine deepens. […]And then there is Germany. In recent days Germany — Europe’s largest and richest democracy, strategically situated at the crossroads between East and West — has stood out more for what it will not do than for what it is doing. – New York Times 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the situation is “under control” on Monday while the country’s National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov said the same day, “We don’t see any grounds for statements about a full-scale offensive on our country.” – Washington Examiner 

The European Commission could propose freezing European Union structural funds for Hungary and Poland over concerns for the rule of law before a Hungarian parliamentary election on April 3, Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

The Danish government announced on Tuesday that it will be implementing 15 initiatives in response to mounting antisemitism, including compulsory Holocaust education for children and an increase in enforcement in areas where hatred against Jews is the most prominent, CPH Post reported. – Arutz Sheva 

Editorial: No wonder Tories are losing patience with Mr. Johnson. They’re not getting any political credit for their spending binge—including the £12 billion for healthcare from that payroll-tax increase—and are paying the political price for the cost-of-living crisis Mr. Johnson’s taxes are exacerbating. That’s a warning for big-government conservatives everywhere. – Wall Street Journal 

Editorial: But the impact is clear: Facing the most preeminent threat to European security, Europe’s most powerful economy would prefer to abandon its allies rather than lose its access to Putin’s favor and his cheap gas. The risk is that what now affects Ukraine might one day soon affect all of Europe. – Washington Examiner 

Marc Thiessen writes: This is why Biden needs to stand up to both Berlin and Moscow. If he fails to do so, this could be the end of the Atlantic alliance. The purpose of NATO was to deter Russian aggression. If allies can’t agree to take steps necessary to do that, then it’s fair to ask: Why does NATO exist? And it will be Biden — and Berlin — that killed it. – Washington Post 


The morning after the coup in Burkina Faso, a crowd of revelers celebrating the military takeover in the dusty main plaza of the capital had two messages for the outside world: No to France, and yes to Russia. – New York Times 

The military coup in Burkina Faso deals another heavy blow to France’s fading efforts to stabilise the Sahel region, where Islamist militants have grown in strength and people’s attitudes towards former colonial masters have hardened. – Reuters 

West Africa’s main political and economic bloc ECOWAS said in a statement on Tuesday that Burkina Faso’s ousted President Roch Kabore resigned “under threat, intimidation and pressure from the military”. – Reuters 

Denmark said on Tuesday its troops deployed to Mali as part of a French-led counter-terrorism task force were there on the basis of a “clear invitation”, responding to the Malian transitional government’s continued demands for their immediate withdrawal. – Reuters 

Two Senegalese soldiers were killed and nine were likely taken hostage when they went missing during fighting with separatist rebels in neighbouring Gambia, Senegal’s army said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

Suspected Islamist militants have killed at least 12 civilians and burned houses and motorbikes during raids on two villages in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, two local human rights groups said on Wednesday. – Reuters 

Tanzania has appointed a U.S.-based law firm as its transaction advisor for negotiations with energy companies over the construction of a liquefied natural gas project, valued at $30 billion, the state oil company said. – Reuters 

Ethiopia’s prime minister has said there will be negotiations on a cease-fire between his government and the rival Tigray forces who have been waging war for almost 15 months, the chairman of a diaspora group that had a private meeting with him told The Associated Press. – Associated Press 

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday after the putsch in Burkina Faso that military coups are ‘unacceptable,’ calling on West African armies to defend their people rather than fight for power. – Agence France-Presse 

Burkina Faso military junta said it will begin reopening its air borders later on Tuesday after this week’s coup. Land borders remain open for the transport of essential goods, humanitarian supplies and equipment and other material for the defense and security forces, according to a statement signed by junta leader Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba read on state-TV Radio Television du Burkina. – Bloomberg

Latin America

The International Monetary Fund urged El Salvador to strip bitcoin of its status as legal tender because of its large risks to financial stability, the latest twist in protracted talks between the fund and the highly indebted Central American country to secure a $1.3 billion loan. – Wall Street Journal 

Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso said on Tuesday he will seek to disconnect the handover of crude from outstanding debt to China during a visit to the Asian country next month, part of his plan to renegotiate some $4.1 billion in debt. – Reuters 

Taiwan Vice President William Lai left on Tuesday to shore up a shaky relationship with Honduras and attend the swearing-in of its new leader, an event U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is also going to, potentially giving the two a chance to interact. – Reuters 

North America

An indigenous community in western Canada said Tuesday it found what it believes could be 93 unmarked graves near a former boarding school for indigenous children, following a series of similar discoveries near other former schools over the past year. – Wall Street Journal 

A second Mexican journalist in a week was gunned down in the border city of Tijuana, underscoring Mexico’s reputation as one of the most dangerous places in the world for local journalists to work. – Wall Street Journal 

The killing last week at a hotel near Cancun of two Canadians with criminal records was likely sparked by a debt dispute linked to international criminal activities, Mexican state prosecutors said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

United States

U.S. financial contributions to the World Health Organization (WHO) have fallen by 25% during the coronavirus pandemic, provisional data show, with Washington’s future support to the United Nations agency under review. – Reuters 

The Mexican drug kingpin known as “El Chapo” will stay in prison after a U.S. appeals court refused to overturn his 2019 drug trafficking conviction despite a report that jurors had tracked the case in the media during his blockbuster trial. – Reuters 

A bipartisan group of more than 40 members of Congress is urging Secretary of State Tony Blinken to “prioritize reversing” the United Nations Human Rights Council’s “discriminatory and unwarranted treatment of Israel.” – Jewish Insider 

Joseph Bosco: Trump has urged Republicans to boycott the 2022 and 2024 elections if his 2020 defeat is not overturned — which would reprise the Georgia fiasco, potentially across the country. In his Atlanta speech and subsequently, Biden did his part to undermine public confidence in America’s elections. Both men’s reckless charges bolster the argument of Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin that Western democracy belongs on the ash heap of history. – The Hill 

Abed Awad writes: It is undisputed that the amendments to the ATA were conceived, crafted, and passed into law in order to circumvent, and as Judge Furman insightfully said, “to make a mockery of,” the Due Process Clause — part of the bedrock of our Constitution. The Constitution so far has prevailed; for how long this will last, we shall see in the next chapter of the politically driven and well-financed litigation against the PLO and the PA. – Middle East Institute 


But the means soon became clear: Somebody had used Pegasus, the powerful Israeli-built spyware, to peer into two of Fakih’s iPhones and into her life, Human Rights Watch announced Wednesday following forensic investigations. – Washington Post 

NSO Group, the Israeli developer of a phone-hacking tool that allegedly allowed governments to spy on political dissidents and journalists, is discussing a sale of its assets to the U.S. venture capital firm Integrity Partners, according to people with knowledge of the negotiations. – Bloomberg 

An attack on the computer systems of Canada’s Global Affairs Department last week has kept at least some diplomats without access to some online functions, the government’s Treasury Board said. – Associated Press 


The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday filed an antitrust lawsuit that seeks to block Lockheed Martin Corp.’s planned $4.4 billion purchase of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc., arguing the deal would harm rival defense contractors and lead to unacceptable consolidation in markets critical to national security and defense. – Wall Street Journal 

The U.S. Navy said on Tuesday it was making arrangements to recover an F-35C warplane that fell into the South China Sea after a landing mishap this week. – Reuters 

If Congress can’t reach a budget deal, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps will make “dramatic changes” to absorb the loss of billions of dollars from their 2022 plans, the Navy’s top budget officer said Tuesday. – Defense News 

The State Department’s “Limits in the Seas” is the legal underpinning for Washington to debunk China’s extensive maritime claims in the South China Sea, department officials said. – USNI News 

James P. Farwell and Michael Miklaucic write: Every administration confronts serious challenges. But taking a leaf from Eisenhower, the U.S. government — for both this or any succeeding administration — would profit greatly by assembling the kind of large, diverse, bipartisan team that made Ike’s Project Solarium a strategic milestone on the road to strengthening our national security and paving the way for the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union. We need a new solarium now, more than ever. – Defense News

Long War

A former Irish army soldier went on trial in Dublin on Tuesday accused of being a member of the so-called Islamic State jihadist group in Syria. – Agence France-Presse 

In the first six months of 2021, Twitter suspended 44,974 individual accounts for promoting terrorism or violent organizations, according to the social media platform’s new transparency report. – Newsweek 

James A. Gagliano writes: We have enough laws on the books to combat terrorism. We do not need any more. Building up bogeymen to satisfy moral-equivalency goals also doesn’t make us safer. Let the FBI and other law enforcement agencies determine where finite resources need be positioned and — here’s a novel idea — prosecute all violations of the laws currently on the books. […]The paramilitary clowns in Michigan will face justice. No additional laws can add to the stiff penalties they are facing. No new DOJ “domestic-terror unit” will make investigating terrorists more effective. Why is this so difficult to comprehend? – New York Post