06 Aug 2021

Powerful blast rocks Kabul after Afghan army urges civilians to leave Taliban-controlled areas of major city

On Tuesday evening, a car bomb exploded near the home of Afghanistan’s acting defense minister in Kabul, Minister Bismillah Mohammadi. This incident was previously reported on, but there have been some significant updates to the case. Mohammadi was not home at the time of the attack and four assailants were

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20 Jul 2021

ISIS claims responsibility for Iraq blast that left dozens dead

On Monday, a blast ripped through a busy market in the capital of Iraq, killing 27 and wounding 32. ISIS has since claimed responsibility for the explosion, however, Afghan forces are still investigating the situation to determine the source of the blast. According to local health and security officials, children

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28 Jun 2021

Iran-Backed Militias Threaten Revenge After U.S. Airstrikes in Iraq, Syria

On Monday, Iran-backed militias vowed to take revenge against the US after the country conducted overnight airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. The event underscores Iraq’s inability to rein in the groups that have been responsible for attacks on American troops in the past. The US strikes allegedly killed four members

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25 Feb 2021

New APT Group Targets Airline Industry & Immigration

According to researchers at Malwarebytes,  a new APT group has been discovered. The group has been named LazyScript and bears some similarities to other known Middle Eastern threat groups, however, due to techniques and tools used, Malwarebytes has designated them to be a distinct operation separate from other known groups.

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11 Jan 2021

Facebook and Google Earth help probe eco-crimes in the Middle East

Conflict and corruption in the Middle East have a large impact on the environment, although it is difficult to record and punish these crimes. Some crimes include makeshift oil refineries in Syria and the destruction of agriculture or poaching of rare wildlife in Yemen. Open-source intelligence, or information that is

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08 Jan 2021

Iran ramps up uranium enrichment and seizes tanker as tensions rise with US

Amid heightened tensions with the US, Iran announced on Monday that it had resumed enriching uranium to 20% purity. This is prohibited under the 2015 nuclear deal forged with the US and is likely to further escalate tensions between the two countries. Iran also allegedly seized a South Korea chemical

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17 Dec 2020

US Joint Chiefs chairman meets with Taliban on peace talks

On Tuesday, Army General Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, met with Taliban negotiators for two hours in Doha, Qatar. Gen. Milley then flew to Kabul to discuss the peace process with Ashraf Ghani, the president of Afghanistan. The peace talks aim to reduce violence across

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07 Dec 2020

Saudis and Israelis Publicly Clash Over Palestinian Rights

On Sunday, during a regional security forum held due to Us brokered normalization deals between Israel and its Gulf Arab neighbors, tensions seemingly escalated between the Jewish state and Saudi leadership. The blunt exchanges over longstanding issues come just two weeks after the two countries’ leaders met in a secret

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06 Nov 2020

OODA Member Benefit: Michael Sexton’s book on Cyber War and Cyber Peace in the Middle East

Michael Sexton is the Cyber Program Director at the Middle East Institute. His latest book Cyber War & Cyber Peace in the Middle East: Digital Conflict in the Cradle of Civilization, is an anthology of essays examining flashpoints and developments in conflict in the cyber domain in the Middle East in the past 10 years. Following the broad scope of the Middle East Institute’s Cyber Program, the book examines not only traditionally defined cyber warfare, but also information operations, authoritarian control of cyberspace, and surveillance issues. This is a solid chronicle the history of this new domain in the unique geopolitical setting of the Middle East. Readers will be informed on history and better able to dialog on policy proposals that can make for a more peaceful and equitable cyberspace.

Any OODA Network member who would like a free copy of this book can receive one by providing your mailing address at the Google form at this link.

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15 Oct 2020

Two Americans Held Hostage by Iran-Backed Forces in Yemen Freed in Trade

Sandra Loli, an American humanitarian aid worker, and Mikael Gidada, an American businessman, have been released by Houthi militants in Yemen on Wednesday due to a trade that returned more than 200 of the Iran-backed group’s loyalists to the country. The American hostages were freed on a Royal Oman Air

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