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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08 Oct 2020

‘Bahamut’ Threat Group Targets Government & Industry in Middle East

Researchers have been investigating a hack-for-hire cyber threat group named Bahamut and have alleged that the group was involved in attacks against government officials and businesses within the Middle East and South Asia regions. According to researchers, the group hits its targets with sophisticated credential harvesting attacks, phishing campaigns, zero-day

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16 Sep 2020

U.S., Israel, U.A.E., Bahrain Sign Peace Accord

On Tuesday, US President Trump presided over the signing of a peace agreement between US ally Israel and two Gulf Nations, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates. Trump has called this advancement in Middle Eastern peace efforts the foundation for a broader alignment against Iran. If more countries within the

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11 Sep 2020

Pompeo says Afghan negotiations likely to be ‘contentious’

Eagerly anticipated negotiations between opposition parties within Afghanistan’s complex political specter are likely to be contentious, according to the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. However, the only way to resolve conflict within the region is likely through negotiations between the two parties, following decades of relentless conflict. Pompeo’s comments

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03 Sep 2020

Mideast’s confirmed coronavirus death toll goes over 50,000

The Middle East’s confirmed COVID-19 death toll has surpassed 50,000 as of Thursday as the pandemic continues to affect countries socially and economically. This casualty count was determined by the Associated Press through analyzing numbers offered by health authorities within the region. However, the numbers may be an undercount as

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