Fdd's overnight brief

June 25, 2020

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News


The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on five Iranian ship captains who delivered oil to Venezuela, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reaffirmed Washington’s backing for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido. – Reuters

Russia and China will be isolated at the United Nations if they continue down the “road to dystopia” by blocking a U.S. bid to extend a weapons ban on Iran, U.S. Iran envoy Brian Hook told Reuters ahead of his formal pitch of the embargo to the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday. – Reuters 

The United States has formally asked the UN Security Council to extend an arms embargo on Iran beyond October, when it is set to be progressively eased under the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers. – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty 

But the site near the city of Jajarm is also home to a secret facility set up by Iran’s elite security force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, that has been producing aluminium powder for use in its missile programme, according to a former Iranian government official and documents relating to the facility he shared with Reuters. – Reuters

The United States is hopeful the entire world will understand the need to extend a U.N. arms embargo on Iran and said Washington was willing to talk to Tehran when the time was right, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday. – Reuters

Iran and Venezuela will not back down from countering American sanctions, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi wrote in a tweet. – Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened to seek to reimpose U.N. sanctions on Iran if the U.N. Security Council does not approve a resolution that would indefinitely extend the arms embargo on Tehran, which is set to expire in October. – Associated Press

The Trump administration is claiming significant victories against global terrorism but says Iran continues to increase its support for extremists and that white supremacist attacks are on the rise. – Associated Press

Iran’s president on Wednesday warned the U.N. nuclear watchdog to expect a “stern response” from his country regarding the agency’s demands for Iran to provide access to sites where Tehran is thought to have stored or used undeclared nuclear material. – Associated Press

Iranian state television has broadcast the suspected coerced confessions of at least 355 people over the last decade as a means to both suppress dissent and frighten activists in the Islamic Republic on behalf of security services, according to a report released Thursday. – Associated Press

In a move unprecedented in Iran’s political dynamics, two top military commanders have openly lent support to Judiciary chief Ebrahim Raeesi, who is the most talked about candidate to replace Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as Iran’s next supreme leader. – Radio Farda 

Seth J. Frantzman: On the other side of the coin, the immediate neighbors of Iran are chaotic and it can exploit the weakness of Iraq and Afghanistan to use its air force. Turkey’s air force is already pounding Iraq, claiming to be fighting terrorists. But Iran’s adversaries in the Gulf have access to the latest US air defense technology. In general Iran is a substandard country when it comes to its regular air force. But when it comes to its drones and missiles, it may be one of the world’s major powers – and certainly a major threat. – Jerusalem Post 


Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday the United States was prepared to support the Lebanese government if it carries out real reforms and operates in a way that is not “beholden to” the militant Lebanese movement Hezbollah. – Reuters

The Republic of Kosovo officially designated both Hezbollah’s military and political wings as a terrorist group, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora Meliza Haradinaj announced on Twitter on Tuesday. – Jerusalem Post 

In its annual Country Reports on Terrorism on June 24, the U.S. State Department has classified the Islamic Republic as the “foremost state sponsor of terrorism,” maintaining that Iran provides “a range of support, including financial, training, and equipment, to [terrorist] groups around the world – particularly Hezbollah.” – Radio Farda


Syrians who want to buy a loaf of bread or fill their gas tanks in parts of the country’s north are rushing to exchange Syrian pounds for Turkish lira, as businesses switch currencies in an attempt to insulate themselves against a crumbling economy after years of war. – Wall Street Journal

Assad’s hopes of rehabilitation have been put on ice by new U.S. sanctions that will likely scare off all but his closest friends and deter the investment he needs to deliver on promised reconstruction. – Reuters

Editorial: At best, the effect could be to force Russia and Iran to abandon the Assad regime rather than remain mired in an unwinnable conflict with mounting costs. Those in Congress who backed the legislation, including the chairmen of the House and Senate foreign relations committees, now should ensure that the administration fully follows through on Mr. Pompeo’s promise. – Washington Post

Ammar Al-Musarea writes: It remains in both United States and Turkey’s best interests to work together to achieve a more lasting stability in the region. The first step is to turn away from the illusions of some separatist elements, who exaggerate the scope of ISIS and have been accused of discriminatory practices that have strained international alliances. Together, the United States and Turkey can stop the Assad regime and prevent an ISIS resurgence; greater cooperation will protect populations from falling into the trap of extremists that have prolonged the current situation. – Washington Institute


A Turkish court on Wednesday ordered the release of three journalists and three others to be remanded while they stand trial on charges of revealing state secrets in their coverage of the deaths of Turkish intelligence officers in Libya, a lawyer said. – Reuters

Asli Aydintasbas writes: Turkey’s Christian community is vanishing, and with it the diverse fabric of our country. Turkey will be immeasurably poorer if that heritage is lost. Converting Hagia Sophia into a mosque would also feed anti-Muslim sentiments among the far right in Europe and the United States. I hope Turkish leaders can acknowledge that — and pause the Hagia Sophia debate. – Washington Post

Omid Shokri Kalehsar writes: Reducing dependence on Iranian gas will allow Turkey to import gas at a lower price in future contract extensions or to increase imports. This means that Turkey’s bargaining power in gas transactions will increase, and in practice, Iranian gas will not play a significant role in Turkey’s policies, which means that it can be easily removed from them and sanctioned. – The National Interest


Senior Trump administration officials are meeting to discuss a plan for Israel to annex territory in the occupied West Bank, an effort that drew debate Wednesday among U.S. lawmakers and criticism at the United Nations. – Wall Street Journal

Palestinians in the Jordan Valley have been left in the dark about how annexation would affect them. Many worry that it could block them from their farmlands, prevent them from getting to their jobs in Israeli settlements and choke off their villages behind walls, fences and checkpoints. – New York Times

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged Israel on Wednesday to abandon plans to annex settlements in the occupied West Bank, warning this threatened prospects for peace with the Palestinians. – Reuters

Benjamin Pogrund spent decades battling apartheid as a journalist in South Africa. Since moving to Israel two decades ago, he has passionately defended the country against charges that it too is an apartheid state. But at the age of 87, Pogrund is having second thoughts. He says that if Israel moves ahead with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, he will have no choice but to declare that his adopted homeland has become a modern-day version of apartheid-era South Africa. – Associated Press

Any Israeli move to annex parts of the West Bank would be “fatal” for Middle East peace hopes and must be prevented, if necessary with countermeasures, more than 1,000 lawmakers from across Europe said in a letter to European governments. – Reuters

As part of its efforts to foil Israel’s intention to extend its sovereignty to parts of the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority announced on Wednesday an assistance package for Palestinians living or working in the Jordan Valley. – Jerusalem Post

Dozens of Israeli academics who support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and other anti-Israel initiatives have been named on a new English language website launched by Zionist NGO Im Tirtzu. – Jerusalem Post 

Gulf States

The U.N. humanitarian chief warned that without massive financial support, Yemen will “fall off the cliff,” with many more people starving to death, succumbing to COVID-19, dying of cholera and watching their children die because they haven’t been immunized for killer diseases. – Washington Post 

The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said on Wednesday it deployed troops in the province of Abyan to monitor a ceasefire between the internationally recognised government and the southern separatists. – Reuters

The Yemeni rebel group Ansar Allah (Houthis) said it used Zulfiqar ballistic and Quds cruise missiles against Saudi Arabia on 23 June, as well as Samad-3 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). – Jane’s 360

Elizabeth Tsurkov writes: Arab Gulf regimes are now reaping what they have sown. They made the decision to prioritize countering the Iranian threat, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the people of the region, at the expense of the Palestinians. […]If Israel indeed goes through with the annexation of parts of the West Bank, Gulf regimes will only have themselves to blame. – Middle East Institute


Libya’s oil industry is crumbling after more than nine years of neglected maintenance amid a civil war that’s killed thousands and destroyed towns across the country. – Bloomberg 

The speaker of Libya’s east-based parliament urged Egypt on Wednesday to make good on its threat to send troops to fight rival Turkey-backed western Libyan forces should they attack the strategic city of Sirte, Egypt’s state news agency reported. – Associated Press

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio visited Tripoli on Wednesday to meet Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj of Libya’s internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), the GNA said in a statement. – Reuters

Michael O’Hanlon and Federica Saini Fasanotti write: The United States more than other parties is still seen by most Libyans as neutral and relatively well intentioned. The moment is ripe to give this problem another try, while being more realistic about what it will take to bring some semblance of order to Libya than other previous efforts have attempted. – The Hill

Jon B. Alterman writes: Rather than cling to Haftar’s failing military efforts, Sisi should look beyond him to a leadership that can settle Libya’s civil war. It may be less satisfying for the former military leader, but Egypt’s success in Libya cannot be won from the barrel of a gun. – The Hill

Middle East & North Africa

An Egyptian news outlet said security forces arrested its editor Wednesday following a raid on its offices in Cairo, in the latest government action cracking down on news media. – Associated Press

Lebanon’s currency continued its downward spiral Wednesday, reaching a new low before the dollar and raising such alarm that it prompted a powerful politician to call for a state of “financial emergency.” – Associated Press 

A senior United Arab Emirates official (UAE) said Lebanon was paying the price of deteriorating ties with wealthy Gulf Arab states as it struggles to cope with a deep economic crisis. – Reuters 

Korean Peninsula

North Korea put the brakes on a pressure campaign it began earlier this month against neighboring South Korea, declaring a suspension of military plans directed against Seoul. – Wall Street Journal

South Korea and the United States urged North Korea to implement the disarmament pledges it made in past talks, saying Thursday the allies will keep pushing for diplomacy aimed at achieving the North’s complete denuclearization. – Associated Press

On both sides of the world’s most heavily armed border Thursday, solemn ceremonies will mark the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of a war that killed and injured millions, left large parts of the Korean Peninsula in rubble and technically still continues. – Associated Press

Choe Sang-Hun writes: Mr. Kim’s decision on Wednesday​ ​will at least temporarily keep the latest tensions from spinning out of control on the Korean Peninsula. ​But it also showed that Mr. Kim was calibrating his ​moves as he sought to reclaim some of the domestic credibility and diplomatic leverage he had lost after his two years of diplomacy with Mr. Moon and Mr. Trump. – New York Times

Mitchell Lerner writes: North Korea is thus more likely to spend the next few years reverting to its traditional saber-rattling than it is to extending an olive branch, and with presidential elections in both the United States and South Korea in the next few years, such behavior will likely quash even the most basic steps towards normalization. – The National Interest 

Joseph S. Nye, Jr. writes: That makes me wary about predicting that the war will be over by its 75th anniversary. As Jung H. Pak describes in her fascinating book Becoming Kim Jong Un, the supposed oxymoron of a hereditary communist dynasty has proven remarkably resilient. For reasons of domestic control, the dynasty finds an American enemy useful, particularly if the regime maintains Chinese support. But history is full of surprises and accidents. – The National Interest


White House national-security adviser Robert O’Brien added his critical voice to the Trump administration’s growing condemnation of Beijing on Wednesday, calling China’s Communist Party a threat to the sovereignty and the economies of the U.S. and its allies. – Wall Street Journal

China is developing electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons that can fry all electronics over vast distances and could deploy the weapons on its new hypersonic missiles, according to a report by a security group. – Washington Times 

The Trump administration has determined that top Chinese firms, including telecoms equipment giant Huawei Technologies and video surveillance company Hikvision, are owned or controlled by the Chinese military, laying the groundwork for new U.S. financial sanctions. – Reuters

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Wednesday described China’s Communist government as the biggest threat to the US — revealing his agency has more than 2,000 active investigations which trace back to the shadowy regime. – New York Post 

China has said it would respond if the United States deployed intermediate-range missiles to the Asia-Pacific region and warned U.S. allies not to accept such weapons. – Newsweek

Dr. Peter Vincent Pry writes: In March, a panel of China’s military experts threatened to punish U.S. Navy ships for challenging China’s illegal annexation of the South China Sea by making an EMP attack — one of the options they considered least provocative because the crew would be unharmed, but most effective because the ship would be disabled. Like other evidence, this, too, suggests Beijing considers EMP attack as something short of nuclear or even kinetic conflict, akin to “gray zone” threats such as electronic and cyber warfare. – The Hill


Afghan media companies complained on Wednesday that changes to a media law would be a setback for independent journalism, ahead of a meeting with officials to press for the government to abandon the plans. – Reuters

The top Afghan negotiator for talks with the Taliban expressed hope Wednesday the talks can still proceed, despite claims by others in the Afghan government that the militant group recently killed nearly 300 Afghan security personnel in the “deadliest” week of the country’s 19 years of conflict. – Washington Times 

Lockdown measures to curb the spread of the disease have taken their toll on Afghanistan’s economy, so the government is employing more than 40,000 jobless workers to rehabilitate groundwater supplies for its fast-growing capital. – Reuters

South Asia

China appears to have added new structures near the site of a deadly border clash with India in the western Himalayas, fresh satellite pictures show, heightening concerns about further flare-ups between the nuclear-armed neighbours. – Reuters

A medieval-style brawl between Chinese and Indian soldiers on their border in Ladakh this month turned a usually bloodless dispute into a potential cause for war between the world’s two most populous countries. […]The clash is the biggest development in a standoff that began in early May and was the first time since 1975 that the two nuclear-armed nations shed blood over their decades-long border dispute. – Business Insider 

Pakistan accused old foe India on Wednesday of funding militant groups, a day after the nuclear-armed neighbours said they would expel half the other’s embassy staff for the first time in nearly two decades. – Reuters

Anti-China sentiment has been on the rise in India since last week’s fatal border clash between the two nuclear-armed neighbours. […]But, experts warn, it’s easier said than done to convert such boycott rhetoric into reality. – BBC 

Even as New Delhi has eyed the American-designed Lockheed Martin F-35, the Indian military still uses a lot of Russian technology—a fact that is unlikely to change. The Indian Air Force (IAF) is now reportedly planning to order thirty-three additional fighters including twenty-one MiG-29 supersonic fighter jets from Russia. – The National Interest


Indonesia could be in line for a record-high expenditure of nearly IDR150 trillion (USD10.6 billion) for fiscal year 2021 if recently submitted budgetary proposals are approved by parliament later this year. The proposed expenditure suggests the Southeast Asian country might be in a more robust position to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic than was previously thought. – Jane’s 360

Japan’s Minister of Defence Taro Kono said on Thursday that acquiring weapons that would let Japan strike enemy missile bases was an option Japan will consider as a way to bolster its ballistic missile defences. – Reuters 

Kris Osborn writes: At the same time, the U.S.-China relationship is not without complexities and additional, impactful dynamics; the two countries engage in substantial economic activities between businesses and have, at several points in recent years, even conducted friendly “port visits.” So, there are some areas of potential cooperation, however, such ties are increasingly strained at the moment, for obvious reasons, and lawmakers requesting additional military support for the region seem to see the possibility as a stability “enhancing” effort to deter Chinese hostility and provocations in the Pacific. – The National Interest 

S. Enders Wimbush writes: All of this suggests that the contest to shape Central Asia will be intense and the contestants numerous. American planners have never been convinced that their interests, let alone Americans’ vital interests, are joined to Central Asia. As the geopolitics of Central Asia evolve, these interests will come into sharper focus. Understanding how to think about the range of probable scenarios involving – and emanating from – the region should be a high priority for strategic thinkers and policymakers in Washington. – American Foreign Policy Council


In an extravagant display of military might, Russian President Vladimir Putin held a triumphant parade to celebrate the Soviet defeat of Nazi Germany, sidelining concerns over the potential spread of the coronavirus in an effort to galvanize citizens ahead of a key national vote. – Wall Street Journal 

Russian authorities seem to be pulling out all the stops to get people to vote on constitutional amendments that would enable President Vladimir Putin to stay in office until 2036 by resetting the clock on his term limits. – Associated Press

The Royal Navy’s Portsmouth-based Type 23 frigate HMS Westminster and patrol ship HMS Tyne shadowed a Russian destroyer in the English Channel. The two British warships monitored the passage of the Russian Vice-Admiral Kulakov, a Udaloy-class destroyer that was named for Soviet naval officer Nikolai Kulakov, as it passed through the channel. – The National Interest 

Diana Magnay writes: When the results are out, President Putin can always say that it was the people’s choice that he stay on. […]If these heady few post-lockdown weeks of sunshine do lead to a second wave, which they very likely could, a second lockdown would crush any possible whisperings of dissent. As he so often does, despite this pandemic, President Putin seems to have the people exactly where he wants them. – Sky News (UK)


Germany is struggling to pick sides in the escalating dispute between the U.S. and China over issues including trade and human rights, amid mounting American pressure and Beijing’s authoritarian drift. – Wall Street Journal

Kosovo’s president, Hashim Thaci, could be charged for war crimes by an international tribunal, a setback that has forced him to cancel a trip to the White House for Balkans peace talks this Saturday. – Wall Street Journal

Polish President Andrzej Duda asked President Trump not to withdraw U.S. troops from Europe, using his visit to the White House to express mounting European concerns over the administration’s security policy. – Wall Street Journal

President Trump confirmed Wednesday that he plans to slash the number of U.S. forces stationed in Germany, where the heavy American military footprint was a bulwark to the Soviet Union and a way station for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. – Washington Post

Germany will use its turn at the helm of the European Council to launch the first-ever common threat analysis for the EU and broker a deal on non-member countries’ access to defense-cooperation projects here. – Defense News

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he looked forward to signing a defense cooperation agreement with Polish President Andrzej Duda, the first foreign leader to visit the White House since the coronavirus pandemic led to a global shutdown. – Reuters

The German government’s crackdown on the far right continued this week with a ban on a group whose followers worship Adolf Hitler and admire the ISIS terrorist group in the Middle East. – Algemeiner

Nicholas Burns and Frank Wisner write: There are no “quick fixes” in the Balkans for a president notoriously fixated on that brand of diplomacy. Trump should adjust his course, lower his ambitions and lay the groundwork for a careful, patient American strategy before he commits additional damage to the fragile Balkans and our already weakened credibility in Europe. – Washington Post


Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has apologised to Nigeria after a building inside the Nigerian High Commission compound in Accra was demolished. […]Ghana’s foreign ministry said it regretted the incident and guaranteed that an investigation would be conducted, adding that security had been “beefed up” at the facility. – BBC 

Since the Cold War ended, American policy has not evolved to account either for Africa’s growing strategic importance, or for the fact that the United States’ primary geopolitical competitor has groomed many African leaders into consistent supporters of its international agenda. This state of affairs is a disadvantage for Washington, but it also provides a starting point for creating an updated American strategy superior to Beijing’s formidable palace diplomacy. – War on the Rocks 

Dr Lawrence Haar writes: How is that a host of countries like South Korea and Taiwan became world-class economies without economic aid? The position of 1.2bn people will be recalibrated but it requires the right policies for economic progress and not incentive-destroying charities and trade barriers. – Financial Times

The Americas

The Army activated about 400 unarmed members of the Washington, D.C., National Guard to “prevent any defacing or destruction” of monuments, defense officials said Wednesday, as protests over police violence continue alongside efforts to pull down statues in the capital. – Washington Post

Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino on Wednesday called an incident this week in which a U.S. Navy ship navigated near the South American country’s coast an “act of provocation.” – Reuters

Russia vowed to support Venezuela in its campaign to counter U.S.-backed regime change after the Pentagon sailed warships nearby in the Caribbean to challenge the Latin American country. – Newsweek

Mac Margolis writes: Castro Neves, the former Brazilian diplomat, sees opportunity in the emergency, as long as national leaders undergo some self-healing. “China is in the process of shifting its development model, from investment and exports to consumer goods and the internal market,” he said. “ […]One day, the pandemic will pass. Without deep and disruptive reforms, however, the underlying conditions that chronically burden the lives and livelihoods of Brazilians and others in the hemisphere will not. – Bloomberg

Glen Duerr writes: Ultimately, the proposed expansion of the G-7 would widen the circle of key democratic stakeholders in world affairs. Bringing the Arctic-5 to the G-7 is crucial to the orderly management of disputes and resources in the High North. If international infrastructure of this sort remains unestablished, the Arctic countries will have no choice but to fend for themselves. – The Hill


The Department of Defense would be required to establish a threat intelligence sharing program with the defense industrial base under the Senate Armed Services Committee’s version of the annual defense policy bill. – C4ISRNET

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange conspired with hackers affiliated with the “Anonymous” and “LulzSec” groups, which have been linked to numerous cyber attacks around the world, according to new indictment by the U.S. Justice Department. – Bloomberg

Arthur Herman writes: Full disclosure: I’ve been working for the past three years to build a broad-based U.S.-Canada alliance in quantum technology. By defying Huawei and Beijing’s blackmail, Ottawa will signal that our two nations are destined to be invincible partners on the high-tech frontier, not only for 5G but for our quantum future. – Forbes

The Senate Armed Services Committee is asking the Department of Defense for greater clarity and formalization of its cyber operations. – Fifth Domain


An alleged plot by a young solider to coordinate with a neo-Nazi group to attack and kill members of his own army unit has put new scrutiny on the US military’s failure to address violent white supremacy within its own ranks. – The Guardian 

The U.S. Air Force is expanding their maritime capabilities in the Western Pacific and mulling creating its own operating concept similar to the U.S. Marine Corps Force Design 2030, the Air Force’s next top commander told reporters on Wednesday. – USNI News

It’s called “Direct Attack”, or the ability of a stealth bomber to penetrate heavily defended enemy territory and drop bunker-busting weapons, hit moving targets, pinpoint small targets for close-in destruction and carry larger amounts of smaller-bombs for what’s called “Stand-In” attack. – The National Interest 

Adam Mossoff writes: It may seem beneficial to dilute IP protections during a crisis, whether in health care or software, but the negative effect on long-term innovation is far worse. It undermines global protections for IP, will slow the American innovation economy and will make the U.S. less prepared for the next crisis, when it once again must turn to American innovators and creators for solutions. – Newsweek

Missile Defense

The following is the June 24, 2020 Congressional Research Service report, Navy Columbia (SSBN-826) Class Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress. – USNI News 

U.S. Army 155m artillery rounds can be put through a building window at 30km (18.6 miles). Missile Defense Agency interceptors can take out enemy intercontinental ballistic missiles and Pentagon ground commanders can immediately learn of an enemy launch. Moreover, advancing soldiers can share targeting and navigational data across vast distances in real-time and America’s latest unmanned systems can autonomously perform missions. – Fox News 

Ian Williams writes: Three years ago, we titled our study of GMD “Missile Defense 2020” because we believed that this year would be the start of a new chapter in U.S. homeland missile defense. Obviously, much has changed with the cancellation of RKV. Yet, despite all its challenges, this year may still provide the opportunity to make the kind of decisions that will strengthen our national security in the near and long term. – Defense News

Kris Osborn writes: Virginia-class subs are armed with Tomahawk missiles, torpedoes and other weapons able to perform a range of missions; these include anti-submarine warfare, strike warfare, covert mine warfare, ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance), anti-surface/ship warfare and naval special warfare, something described as having the ability to carry and insert Special Operations Forces. Future Virginia-Class submarines provide improved littoral (coastal waters) capabilities, sensors, special operations force employment, and strike warfare capabilities. – The National interest

Long War

American Special Operations forces used a specially designed secret missile to kill the head of a Qaeda affiliate in Syria this month, dealing the terrorist group a serious blow with a weapon that combines medieval brutality with cutting-edge technology. – New York Times 

The United States is seeing the Islamic State evolving into a global network that inspires extremist ideology and attacks elsewhere from being a group holding territory, Nathan Sales, the U.S. Coordinator for Counterterrorism at State Department said on Wednesday. – Reuters

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Wednesday that the United States has doubled the bounty for the new ISIS leader to $10 million. The leader of the ISIS terror organization, Amir Muhammad Sa’id Abdal-Rahman al-Mawla, also known as Hajji Abdallah, ascended to the top spot within the terror organization following the October 2019 death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a U.S. military operation. – CNBC 

An Indonesian couple with links to the Islamic State (IS) group who tried to assassinate the country’s chief security minister were jailed Thursday. – Defense Post 

The obsession of the radical Right in the US and Europe with bioterrorism could lead it to partner with Iran and jihadists like al-Qaeda and Iran, says a new report exclusively obtained by The Jerusalem Post. – Jerusalem Post