Jihadica is a website dedicated to analysis of the transnational Sunni Islamist movement known as jihadism. Much of the primary source material related to this movement is diffuse, known only to a few specialists, and inaccessible to the public and policymakers unless they pay a fee. Jihadica features expert commentary by people who have the requisite language training to understand this material and advanced degrees in relevant fields.

The Team

Cole Bunzel (@colebunzel), the editor of Jihadica, is a Hoover Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, where his research focuses on the history of Wahhabism and the Jihadi Salafi movement. He received his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University and previously was a postdoctoral research fellow in Islamic Law and Civilization at Yale Law School.

Tore Hamming () is a Ph.D. candidate at the European University Institute in Florence, specializing in the internal dynamics of the Sunni Jihadi movement. He is a visiting research fellow at CERI-Sciences Po and the Danish Institute for International Studies.

Thomas Hegghammer (@hegghammer), a former editor of Jihadica, is a senior research fellow at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI). He has a Ph.D. from Sciences-Po in Paris and is the author of Jihad in Saudi Arabia.

William McCants (@will_mccants), the founder of Jihadica, is the global policy lead for counterterrrorism at Google. Previously, he directed the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at the Brookings Institution and served as senior adviser for countering violent extremism at the U.S. Department of State. Will has a Ph.D. from Princeton University and is the author of Founding Gods, Inventing Nations, and The ISIS Apocalypse.

Joas Wagemakers (@JoasWagemakers) is an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He has a Ph.D. 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.

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 has an MA in Middle East Studies from George Washington University, Washington D.C.  His research focus is militant movements in the Levant.

Anne Stenersen is a senior research fellow at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI). 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 (@trulstonnessen) is a research fellow at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) 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.

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