About

By Will McCants

Jihadica is a clearinghouse for materials related to militant, transnational Sunni Islamism, commonly known as Jihadism. At the moment, much of this material is diffuse, known only to a few specialists, and inaccessible to the public and policymakers unless they pay a fee. Jihadica provides this material for free and keeps a daily record of its dissemination that can be easily searched and studied. These records are accompanied by the expert commentary of people who have the requisite language training to understand the primary source material and advanced degrees in relevant fields.

The Team

William McCants (@will_mccants), the founder and co-editor of Jihadica, is a research analyst at the Center for Strategic Studies at CNA and adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University.  He has served as Senior Adviser for Countering Violent Extremism at the U.S. Department of State, program manager of the Minerva Initiative at the Department of Defense, and fellow at West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center. Will has a PhD from Princeton University and is the editor of the Militant Ideology Atlas. Far afield from his publications and translations related to jihadism, Will his written a book on early Islamic culture myths, Founding Gods, Inventing Nations.

Thomas Hegghammer (@hegghammer) is a fellow at Harvard Kennedy School and a senior research fellow at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI). He has a PhD from Sciences-Po in Paris and is the author of Jihad in Saudi Arabia.

Joas Wagemakers is a lecturer at the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies of Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and a research fellow at the Netherlands Institute of International Affairs Clingendael in the Hague. He has a PhD in Islam & Arabic and has published widely on Islamism, Salafism, particularly the ideological side of these phenomena. He also co-edits ZemZem, a Dutch-language journal on the Middle East, North Africa and Islam.

Vahid Brown is a former Harmony Fellow at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, a senior instructor for the CTC’s FBI program, and now pursuing a PhD in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. He is the author of Cracks in the Foundation: Leadership Schisms in al-Qa’ida, 1989-2006. His research focuses on the history of transnational Islamist militancy, particularly in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Cole Bunzel (@colebunzel) is a PhD candidate in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. A former fellow with the Center for Arabic Study Abroad in Damascus, Syria, he has worked for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the Department of Defense, and holds an MA from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Alumni

Brynjar Lia is the director of terrorism research at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI). He holds a PhD from the University of Oslo. He is the author of several books on terrorism and Islamism, including Architect of Global Jihad: The Life of Al-Qaida Strategist Abu Mus`ab al-Suri.

Hanna Rogan is a research fellow at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) and a PhD candidate at the University of Oslo. She wrote a Master’s thesis on al-Qaida’s media strategy and is currently working on jihadism in North Africa.

Scott Sanford is a graduate student at George Washington University, Washington D.C.  His research focus is militant movements in the Levant.

Anne Stenersen is a research fellow at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) and a PhD candidate at the University of Oslo. She is the author of the book Al-Qaida’s Quest for Weapons of Mass Destruction. Her current research focuses on the history of the Arabs in Afghanistan and Pakistan after 9/11.

Truls Tønnessen is also a research fellow at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment and a PhD candidate in History at the University of Oslo. His MA degree focused on Islamism in Egypt, while his doctoral research centers on the Iraqi insurgency.

All contributors are writing in a private capacity; the views expressed here do not represent those of their employers, their affiliate institutions, or the governments of the countries in which they live.

  1. [...] AQC has over its branches, affiliates, and others within the jihadi nebula I shot an email to Will McCants over at jihadica.com to get his read. By the way, if you want to know about jihadi ideology and the [...]

  2. [...] William McCants, a fellow at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, has denied that there is any evidence to support Jester’s claim that recruitment occurs on jihadist sites. [...]

  3. [...] McCants, the founder and co-editor of Jihadica, is a research analyst at the Center for Strategic Studies and an adjunct faculty member at Johns [...]

  4. TSMize says:

    I wanted to thank Mr. Mccants and company for very insightful reading on Twitter, this afternoon. I was asking questions from the perspective of someone wanting to better understand what was going on, and much of what was thrown back and forth was very informative. I appreciate it.

  5. [...] Intifada carries an attack on Will McCants, describing him as a “clueless ‘terror expert’”. The author, Benjamin [...]

  6. Erdogan says:

    Your credibility has just gone away. The commments of Will McCants about the Oslo events has disinformed the people around the world. The terrorism has no religion. I am curious if you rae going to give information about the extreemist Christian groups one day. You are just menaging the perceptions of the people on purpose.

  7. [...] source is Will McCants, adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University. On his website he describes himself as formerly “Senior Adviser for Countering Violent Extremism at the U.S. Department of State, [...]

  8. [...] source was Will McCants, adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University, and Doherty does an effective job in tracking down [...]

  9. [...] rationale for why people jumped to the conclusion that it was an al Qaeda attack, and 2) I think Will McCants has been treated unfairly for the role that he played. More [...]

  10. [...] source is Will McCants, adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University. On his website he describes himself as formerly “Senior Adviser for Countering Violent Extremism at the U.S. Department of State, [...]

  11. [...] source is Will McCants, adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University. On his website he describes himself as formerly “Senior Adviser for Countering Violent Extremism at the U.S. Department of State, [...]

  12. [...] source is Will McCants, adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University. On his website he describes himself as formerly “Senior Adviser for Countering Violent Extremism at the U.S. Department of State, [...]

  13. [...] source is Will McCants, adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University. On his website he describes himself as formerly “Senior Adviser for Countering Violent Extremism at the U.S. Department of State, [...]

  14. [...] source was Will McCants, adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University, and Doherty does an effective job in tracking down [...]

  15. [...] William McCants, Founder and Co-editor of Jihadica, Research Analyst at the Center for Strategic Studies, Center for Naval Analyses [...]

  16. [...] Will McCants) Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in [...]

  17. [...] the invited witnesses are Evan Kohlmann of Flashpoint Global Partners; William McCants, an analyst for the Center of Naval Analyses; Andrew Aaron Weisburd, director of the Society for [...]

  18. [...] source is Will McCants, adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University. On his website he describes himself as formerly “Senior Adviser for Countering Violent Extremism at the U.S. Department of State, [...]

  19. Mike says:

    Book review (short)

    The Siege of Mecca
    Yaroslav Trofimov
    Doubleday, 2007. ISBN
    9780385519250
    The forgotten uprising in Islam’s holiest shrine and the birth of Al Qaeda.

    two interesting sentences:

    p. 96-97
    “…the new paradigm that began to take hold and that would dominate Western thinking about Islam for decades, with disastrous consequences. Shiite, because of Khomeini’s appeal to this minority sect of Islam, were now deemed to be America’s, and the West’s natural enemies. Majority Sunnis – including Wahhabi zealots- were by default seen as benign, if not outright friends…”

    p. 243-244 “…In a stunning cognitive failure, policy makers were so obsessed with Iran, and so wedded to the to the simplistic motion that Shiites were the West’s enemies and the Sunnis, by default, allies, that many persisted in referring to Juhayman as a Shiite. The Grand mosque affair was described as a ‘Shiite uprising in Mecca in 1979′ and the ‘Shiite assault on the sacred Kaaba’…”

    In other words, Saudi Arabia, Gulf states, will be our enemies and Iran and Iraq might/may/or whatever be our friends……

    Mike

  20. [...] source is Will McCants, adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University. On his website he describes himself as formerly “Senior Adviser for Countering Violent Extremism at the U.S. Department of State, [...]

  21. XXXDD says:

    I think extremists go about it in the wrong way. You can be a radical extremist and make your message heard without harming people. The use of explosives on objects, places and etc. are only harmful when done in an area that’s populated. If you want to make your statement, do so when no one is around to get caught in the crossfire. This is a movement that I believe could easily be accepted.

  22. Digital says:

    The information is in volumes throughout the web. How extreme of an
    Action is it going to take to make the U.S. realize where it’s gone wrong? The kind of radical action that’s going to make the U.S. realize how to make it right….

    My existence is militant

  23. [...] William McCants, Founder and Co-editor of Jihadica, Research Analyst at the Center for Strategic Studies, Center for Naval Analyses [...]

  24. [...] William McCants, Founder and Co-editor of Jihadica, Research Analyst at the Center for Strategic Studies, Center for Naval Analyses [...]

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  34. Aaron says:

    Ok So This Isis Group wants to warn us, well I warn them, They are an Abomination to this world they have no heart or soul and are soulless creatures of evil and get their glory from executions (Murder) of innocent people. Right now they feel like the are all that and are proud of themselves for the destruction they have already caused, In the end ISIS WILL BE TAKEN OUT! there will be a search and destroy, and no Ounce of mercy towards them will be shone. Isis is weak and decadent and have been Judged. Isis will be destroyed!!!

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