Monday, July 17, 2023

Think Tanker Being Held Hostage by Iran-Backed Militia

Here is more from CBS:

A dual Israeli-Russian academic who has been missing in Iraq for months is being held by an Iran-backed militia in Iraq, the office of Israel's prime minister said Wednesday.

Elizabeth Tsurkov, a Princeton University doctoral student, who disappeared in Iraq in late March, is being held hostage by the Shiite group Kataeb Hezbollah or Hezbollah Brigades, a powerful Iran-backed group that the U.S. government listed as a terrorist organization in 2009, according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Tsurkov, whose work focuses on the Middle East, and specifically war-torn Syria, is an expert on regional affairs and has been widely quoted over the years by international media. 

She is a fellow at the Washington-based think tank New Lines Institute. Staff there said they'd last heard from Tsurkov on March 19. She told them she had enough of doing field research and wanted to return to the U.S. to finish her dissertation at Princeton.


Here is Tsurkov's biography via New Lines Institute for Strategy and Policy.  It notes that Tsurkov is a non-resident fellow at New Lines, and says she is a research fellow at the Forum for Regional Thinking, an Israeli-Palestinian think tank based in Jerusalem.

According to the New Lines website, Tsurkov is one of 16 non-resident fellows at the think tank.

New Lines Institute was founded in 2019 by Dr. Ahmed Alwani, who serves as the think tank's president.  The parent institution of New Lines is Fairfax University of America (FXUA), a private, non-profit university in Fairfax, Virginia that Dr. Alwani founded.

Here is more about the think tank's New Lines Magazine, which was launched in October 2020.