Chris Zambelis

Chris Zambelis is a Senior Analyst specializing in Middle East affairs for Helios Global, Inc., a risk management group based in the Washington, D.C. area. He is also the director of World Trends Watch, Helios Global’s geopolitical practice area. The opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the position of Helios Global, Inc.

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Articles by Chris Zambelis

Vice News Interviewed Chris Zambelis

Jamestown analyst Chris Zambelis gave remarks for a story on Abu Bakr, a radical Islamist who tried to overthrow the Trinidad and Tobago government in 1990.

Chris Zambelis interviewed on Fair Observer

Chris Zambelis participated in a long interview on the geopolitics underlying India and China's inroads into the Middle East for Fair Observer. Zambelis was interviewed by fellow Jamestown analyst Nick

Foreign Fighters Bring a Global Agenda to Syria

Great uncertainty continues to shroud the ideological composition of the insurgency that is raging across Syria. The motivations of the rank-and-file of the Free Syrian Army (FSA - the armed

Trinidad’s Troubling Islamist Yasin Abu Bakr

The twin-island Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago would seem to be the last place to raise alarm bells over the threat of radical Islam. Trinidad was briefly catapulted into the

Is Iran Supporting the Insurgency in Afghanistan?

Violence and instability in Afghanistan continue to rage in the form of an organic insurgency shaped by local identities, networks, and interests.  Operating under the nebulous rubric of the Taliban,

China’s Palestine Policy

The geopolitics of China’s rise and its implications for the Arab world and wider Middle East is a topic for serious debate.  Currently, China’s Middle East strategy revolves around shoring

The Geopolitics of Sino-Syrian Relations

Solidifying the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) burgeoning relationships with the countries of the Middle East remains a top priority for Beijing. The impetus behind China’s resurgent efforts to extend

PJAK Intensifies Its Struggle for Iranian Kurdistan

A recent upsurge of violence in northwestern Iran between ethnic Kurdish rebels and Iranian Pasdaran (Revolutionary Guards) forces represents the latest chapter in the ongoing tensions between the nationalist dissidents

Insurrection in Iranian Balochistan

Issues of dissent and rebellion amongst Iran’s elaborate patchwork of ethnic and sectarian minority communities are receiving increasing international scrutiny. Many advocacy organizations representing Iranian minorities accuse Tehran of operating

Public Diplomacy in Sino-Egyptian Relations

China’s pursuit of stable sources of energy and access to burgeoning consumer markets largely dictates its diplomacy in resource-rich Africa and the Middle East. An oft overlooked objective of this

Public Diplomacy in Sino-Egyptian Relations

China’s pursuit of stable sources of energy and access to burgeoning consumer markets largely dictates its diplomacy in resource-rich Africa and the Middle East. An oft overlooked objective of this

Hezbollah Reacts to Israel’s Winograd Report

Israel's recent release of the preliminary findings of the Winograd Commission, an independent government-appointed initiative led by former judge Eliyahu Winograd that was convened to investigate Israel's failures in its

Baloch Nationalists Up the Ante in Iran

A February 14 car bomb attack against a bus carrying Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) units outside of Zahedan in Iran's southeastern province of Sistan-Balochistan is the latest example

Radical Islamists Target the UAE

The ruling Gulf monarchies are frequent targets of radical Islamist militant discourse on Arabic-language website discussion forums, with the Saudi royal family drawing the most ire. Islamist militants view the

The Threat of Islamic Radicalism in Suriname

The threat of radical Islamism in Latin America and the Caribbean remains a vital concern for U.S. and regional security officials, particularly in light of allegations that al-Qaeda nuclear terrorist

New Threat on Gulf Oil Puts Security Forces on Alert

Based on what United States and regional security sources described as credible intelligence of a possible maritime terrorist attack against Saudi and Bahraini coastal and offshore oil installations, radical Islamists

EIG’s Muhammed al-Hakaima Continues to Incite Jihad

In a videotaped statement issued on August 5, al-Qaeda's second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri announced what he described as a merger between members of Egyptian Gama'a al-Islamiyya (EIG, Egyptian Islamic Group), under

Radical Trends in African-American Islam

Since the arrest of members of the Seas of David, due to allegations that they sought al-Qaeda support in facilitating a plot to attack targets in Chicago and Miami, law

The Threat of Religious Radicalism in Guyana

The potential threat of radical Islamist infiltration in Latin America and the Caribbean is attracting increasing attention following the September 11 attacks. The region is already plagued by criminality. Local

Violence and Rebellion in Iranian Balochistan

The escalating insurgency in Pakistan's southwestern province of Balochistan and neighboring regions receives extensive media coverage. Aside from the need to root out radical Islamist opposition movements tied to al-Qaeda

Morocco Cracks Down on Islamist Opposition Group JSA

In a major operation in late May, Moroccan security forces arrested over 300 members of al-Adl wa al-Ihsane (Justice and Spirituality Association—JSA), including ranking leaders, over vague allegations that the

Taliban Attacks Target Communication Infrastructure

Unknown assailants detonated powerful explosives at a government-run Radio Pakistan FM radio transmission tower at approximately 1:00 AM on March 20 in Wana, Pakistan. The explosions were heard miles away

Radical Islam in Latin America

In the wake of the September 11 attacks, the possibility of al-Qaeda infiltrating Latin America became a priority for U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials. However, the most publicized incidents

Al-Qaeda’s Inroads into the Caribbean

Security threats emanating from the Caribbean Basin typically revolve around its position as a key trans-shipment point for South American narcotics to the United States and Europe, as well as