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The Orton Report

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March 23, 2017

Analysis: ‘The Caliphate is Crumbling Yet Islamic State’s Foreign Reach is Increasing’

Just after 2:30pm yesterday afternoon, a terrorist mowed down pedestrians with a car on Westminster Bridge before jumping out near Parliament and stabbing a police officer to death. Three people were murdered, forty were injured, and the attacker was shot …

Posted in Spotlight, The Orton Report
March 18, 2017

Analysis: ‘Western Allies and Terrorism Financing’

The United States Treasury Department announced on Tuesday that it had designated Muhammad Hadi al-Anizi as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) due to his fundraising for, and facilitating the travel of, terrorists on behalf of al-Qaeda in Syria (AQS). This …

Posted in Spotlight, The Orton Report
March 16, 2017

Analysis: ‘Repression Increases in the Syrian Kurdish Areas’

The Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Syrian front of the Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), is the leading group in the administration of the Kurdish areas in north-eastern Syria. The PYD and its armed wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), …

Posted in Spotlight, The Orton Report
March 15, 2017

Islamic State’s History and Strategy: Review of Brian Fishman’s The Master Plan

Brian Fishman’s The Master Plan provides a comprehensive history of the Islamic State’s (IS) strategic evolution, covering the personalities and events that shaped one of the most feared terrorist-insurgent groups that has ever existed. Eminently readable, in places even amusing—no …

Posted in The Orton Report
March 10, 2017

Analysis: ‘Outcome Uncertain as American Involvement in Syria Deepens’

American ground forces are getting more deeply entangled in Syria as the offensive to push the Islamic State (IS) out of its de facto capital city, Raqqa, approaches. It remains unclear exactly which actors in Syria these troops will be …

Posted in Spotlight, The Orton Report
March 4, 2017

Analysis: ‘The West Helped the Assad Regime and Its Allies Take Palmyra’

For the second March in a row, the Islamic State (IS) was driven from control of Palmyra this week in an operation led by Iranian ground forces and supported by Russian airstrikes—the actual instruments of power that remain to the …

Posted in Spotlight, The Orton Report
March 1, 2017

Analysis: ‘The Fall of Al-Bab and the Road to Raqqa’

The Syrian opposition, backed by Turkey, pushed the Islamic State out of al-Bab, its last important Syrian stronghold outside of its capital, Raqqa, on 23 February. Important as this victory was, even more important is the aftermath, which now pits …

Posted in Spotlight, The Orton Report
February 27, 2017

Analysis: ‘Al-Qaeda’s Deputy Killed in Syria’

Last night it was reported that al-Qaeda’s overall deputy, Abu Khayr al-Masri, had been killed by the U.S.-led Coalition in Syria with a drone strike. This was soon seemingly confirmed by pro-Qaeda channels, and Abu al-Khayr was said to have …

Posted in Spotlight, The Orton Report
February 24, 2017

Analysis: ‘U.S. Treasury Targets Al-Qaeda in Syria’

The U.S. Treasury on Thursday imposed sanctions on two senior operatives associated with al-Qaeda in Syria (AQS). This is undoubtedly part of the escalating campaign against AQS. The two men are interesting on their own account, however, and give a …

Posted in Spotlight, The Orton Report
February 21, 2017

Analysis: ‘The Need for Caution in Releasing Guantanamo Inmates’

Since the offensive against Mosul, the Iraqi capital of the Islamic State (IS), began five months ago, IS has expended a high number of lives quite deliberately in suicide attacks. One of the suicide-attacks conducted on 20 February 2017 was …

Posted in Spotlight, The Orton Report
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