April 4, 2016 Special Announcements No. 446


April 4, 2016
Special Announcements No. 446

MEMRI is continuing to meet the challenge to homeland security, assisting Western authorities 24/7, particularly in light of the terror attacks in Paris, San Bernardino, Istanbul, and Brussels. So far this year, MEMRI has focused on two main directions: first, expanding our efforts in 2014 and 2015 in the war against the Islamic State (ISIS), with the Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM) - and reporting on encrypted jihadi communications with our Cyber Jihad Lab (CJL). MEMRI research on jihad directly assists European efforts to thwart ISIS activity - last September, an extensive MEMRI team held a two-day seminar on ISIS for the EU Council in Brussels.  

MEMRI's second effort is the launch, in January, of its new Russian Media Studies Project. Russia's reemergence as global rival to the U.S. and the West was underlined by U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., who told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Russia posed "an existential threat" to the U.S. This, together with Russia's increased involvement in the Middle East, particularly in the Syria crisis, prompted us to launch our long-overdue Russia project of translations and analysis based on Russian media, modeled after our work in Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and Pashtu. It is noteworthy that MEMRI readers were not surprised by Russia's March 14 announcement of its withdrawal from Syria - because on March 2, MEMRI had already published statements by a Russian political analyst close to the Kremlin that Russia "must be prepared to leave Syria at any moment."   

It is thanks to donors like you that MEMRI continues to be a vital resource for government, military, law enforcement, intelligence agencies, media, and academia, as well as for the public at large - in the West and worldwide.


As a valued reader of MEMRI, you are familiar with our continuing efforts to monitor more media sources in more countries, research more subjects, translate into more languages, and expand our reach. You also understand that tremendous resources are required in order to sustain these efforts.

MEMRI's unique and timely research is a critical part of the discussion about the Middle East among governments, the media, militaries, academia, and the general public. MEMRI is a resource for international law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and is the only organization worldwide constantly monitoring, translating, analyzing and making available to Western audiences content from hundreds of Arabic, Farsi, Dari, Hindi, Urdu, Pashtu, Russian, and Turkish newspapers, magazines, television shows, and websites.

In addition to the above, we are also constantly monitoring the following issues and developments:

· Jihadis' planning of terror attacks - along with claims of responsibility for them, and celebrations of them in video releases and on social media - for example, following the Brussels, Istanbul, San Bernardino and Paris attacks - as well as jihadis' use of social media, particularly encrypted media, for propagandizing, recruiting, and planning attacks

· Official Palestinian praise for Palestinian stabbing and other attacks - including from Palestinian Authority President Abbas - along with ongoing incitement to terrorism and praise for terrorists on media and social media, including by West Bank and Gaza civil organizations that receive funding from the West.

· Voices of reform and counter-radicalization: In addition to promoting voices of reform in the Arab and Muslim world, MEMRI is focusing anew on its Counter-Radicalization Initiative. The Initiative monitors and seeks to support voices that are speaking out against extremism in the region, criticizing supporters of it, and offering strategies for countering it.

· The effect of the ceasefires declared in parts of Syria - in addition to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's reaffirmation that he intends to remain in power, and his threats against the Saudis for their expressed willingness to send group troops in to aid rebels in Syria.

· The ongoing internal power struggles in Iran - following the February 26 elections for the Majlis and the Assembly of Experts, the pragmatic and ideological camps continue to clash; Iran renews threats against Israel and promises more financial assistance to the families of Palestinian suicide attackers.

· Turkish President Erdogan's Islamist agenda pushes forward - as Turkey endures a spate of deadly bombings and opposition media report on increasing repression.

· Demands for rights in Jordan, the Gulf, and across the Arab world - educational rights, women's rights, an end to child exploitation, and more.

· Increasing criticism of Hizbullah - by Sunni Arab countries, inter alia for its continuing interference in Lebanese politics and in the Syria conflict.


· MEMRI TV Project - Monitors and translates nearly 100 Arab and Iranian channels around the clock, this project is a major resource for government, academia, legislatures, and the media by providing them with a much deeper understanding of complex situations that they can obtain from other sources.

· Iran Studies Project - Focusing on Iran's moves to expand its influence in the region, including its growing presence in Syria; its ballistic missile program; and its internal power struggle.

· Jihad & Terrorism Studies Project - Examines the growth and emergence of terror tactics, including cyber warfare, as well as methods, including the use of social media and encrypted communications for recruitment, indoctrination, and encouragement of lone-wolf attacks.

· The Tom Lantos Archives on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial - Continuing to focus on the ubiquitous, and growing, manifestations of antisemitism and Holocaust denial across the Arab and Muslim world, culminating in an annual event on Capitol Hill to report on the past year's antisemitic activity. Speakers at last year's event included Rep. Brad Sherman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Sen John McCain of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Sheikh Hassen Chalghoumi, Imam of Drancy, Paris.

· Cyber Jihad Lab - Monitors, tracks, and translates cyber jihad content originating from the Middle East, Iran, South Asia, and Africa; examines and tracks jihadi hacking activity and jihadi use of social media and other online platforms.

· The Reform Project - Identifying voices of reform that question tradition and undermine the status quo throughout the region, and examines the still-reverberating impact of the Arab Spring.

· South Asia Studies Project - As the situation in South Asia increasingly devolves toward jihadism, U.S. strategic interests are continually challenged.

· Russia Media Studies Project - Monitors and translates from Russian media - print, broadcast, online, and social - in order to provide Western officials, and the public at large, with tools for understanding Russia's political discourse, vision, aims, and political scene, and examines the implications of Russia's involvement in the Middle East and its potential challenges to U.S. national security interests in the region.

· Spanish and French Projects - MEMRI French maintains an ongoing relationship with French authorities and disseminates MEMRI research across the French-speaking world; the new MEMRI Spanish website provides unique MEMRI research to an audience with limited access to reliable information on the Arab and Muslim world.


Because of your generosity, MEMRI continues to assist the U.S. and other Western countries in the day-to-day fight against extremism, benefitting troops in the battlefield and policymakers at home.


· The U.S. Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines.

· The U.S. Congress. MEMRI holds dozens of meetings every year with Minority and Majority Congressional elements, including with Senate and House leadership and members of influential committees.

· Assisted numerous times with vital anti-terror legislation.

· Top security and intelligence officials at the White House, the Department of State, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, FBI, Transportation Security Agency, and others.

· State and local law enforcement authorities in all 50 states.

· Western government agencies, which continue to use MEMRI research on a daily basis.

· Academia - to date, over 500 universities, colleges, and other institutes of higher learning worldwide.

· Leading media outlets, both print and television - including The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC, ABC, FOX, CNN, and others -  who request MEMRI research every day.


We thank you for your past support for MEMRI and ask if you could renew your support for 2016. You may also want to consider making a recurring online monthly donation, which is the best possible way that you can help us. You can make your tax-deductible contribution online. You can also mail a check to MEMRI at P.O. Box 27837, Washington, DC, 20038-7837.



With gratitude,


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