Since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, Thanassis has covered Americas War on Terror at home and abroad. In the federal courts he followed the rights-stripping and new prosecution strategies that targeted terrorism suspects, militant groups, and international finance. In the American political arena he covered the interventionist foreign policy consensus, and the norms that limited political engagement with groups considered foes of America. In the Middle East, he spent three years in Iraq covering society there in the aftermath of the US invasion. He traced the Islamist revival from Iraq to the Levant, covering the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood through its peak in Egypt last year. He covered the 2006 war between Israel and Lebanon, and the Arab uprisings that began in late 2010. He previously worked for the Associated Press in Greece and Indonesia.
While he lived in New York, Thanassis taught journalism and foreign policy at Columbia Universitys School of International and Public Affairs and the New Schools Graduate Program in International Affairs in New York City. In 2009 Cambanis served as a Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University, teaching a seminar of his own design called Writing About War. Thanassis studied international affairs for a master's degree at Princeton University, and did his undergraduate work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.