Senior Researcher & Head of the Terrorism Prosecution Desk, International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT), Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya, Israel
Col.(Ret.) Jonathan Fighel served in various operational and field positions in the Intelligence Gathering and Research Department of the Intelligence Corps of the IDF. Since 1999 Jonathan Fighel is a senior research scholar and Director of the Intelligence Assistance for Terrorism Prosecution Department at ICT, IDC Herzliya-Israel. He is an expert on Palestinian terror organization, counter-terrorism, and Middle East affairs. Col. Fighel holds M.A degree in Middle East Studies from Tel Aviv University and combines academic and operational experience in combating terrorism.
He has extensive counter-terrorism experience, expert on the Palestinian Authority, Islamist organizations (Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al-Qaeda) the Palestinian suicide terrorism phenomenon and funding terrorism, the use of the Internet and a tool for propaganda, recruitment fundraising, and as a radicalization catalyst regarding the “homegrown” terrorism phenomenon.
He is also a member of the International Academic Counter Terrorism Community (ICTAC). A media commentator on security counter-terrorism, he has lectured in a number of universities and law enforcement agencies around the world, including the US, India, Italy, Singapore, Turkey, Australia, Spain and Germany.
Col. Fighel is frequently invited for lectures and orientation courses in IDF, Israel National Police, The Border Police, Israeli Security Agency (ISA), FBI, N.Y Police, TSA, Scotland Yard, London police and NATO- COE-DAT Center of Excellence Defense Against Terrorism in Turkey.
The Israeli Defense Minister appoints him as a member of academic and governmental research teams on Palestinian suicide bombers and was a consulting member of the Minister of Transportation’s advisory team.
The election of Muhammad Mursi to the presidency of Egypt, and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood to power in Egypt 84 years after its founding by Hassan Al-Banna, is an historical, political earthquake which will be discussed for years to come, whose significance will yet be analyzed by world experts. The meaning and implications of this tectonic shift for the Middle East, and its effect on the West, will yet be interpreted by the authorities and commentators in Western countries who proffered tranquilizers wrapped in “Realpolitik”, while justifying the paradigm of a “democratic process” fashioned, led and supported by the enthusiastic experts of the current and previous US administrations.
At present, it is difficult to say whether the citizens of Egypt elected Muhammad Mursi because of his personality and stunning charisma, or whether because the Muslim Brotherhood was the last organized party left standing in post-revolution Egypt, the only one that could really recruit voters. One way or the other, and no matter how things evolve, democracy will not go forth out of Egypt. The best that Obama can hope for, given the election of Muslim Brotherhood candidate Muhammad Mursi as President of Egypt, is a Middle East less beholden to the US; a regional vacuum that will suck fundamentalism into it; and local regimes that will repeat by rote, day after day, to themselves and to anyone who can hear, what a weak and paltry support is the White House, that pretends to lead the free world.