ATbar Moghadam, Assaf (Prof.)

Moghadam, Assaf (Prof.)

Director of Academic Affairs, International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) & Associate Professor and Director of the MA Program in Government, Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy, Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya, Israel

Prof. Assaf Moghadam is Director of Academic Affairs at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT). He is an Associate Professor and Director of the MA Program at the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, and a non-resident fellow at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, where he previously served in a variety of positions, including Director of Terrorism Studies and Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Sciences. He is currently also an Investigator and Research Affiliate at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland. Prof. Moghadam held pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and at the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard.

Prof. Moghadam's research examines the dynamics among perpetrators of terrorism and insurgency. His forthcoming book,Dangerous Liaisons: Global Jihad and the Evolution of Terrorist Cooperation (Columbia University Press, 2015), examines empirical and theoretical aspects of cooperative behavior between terrorist entities, and is supported by a Strategy Fellows Grant of the Smith Richardson Foundation. Prof. Moghadam is the author of two books, The Globalization of Martyrdom: Al Qaeda, Salafi Jihad, and the Diffusion of Suicide Attacks (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008/ Paperback edition 2011) and The Roots of Terrorism (Chelsea House, 2006). He is the editor of Militancy and Political Violence in Shiism: Trends and Patterns (Routledge, 2012/2013) and co-editor (with Brian Fishman) ofFault Lines in Global Jihad: Organizational, Strategic, and Ideological Fissures (Routledge, 2011/2013). Two of Prof. Moghadam's books are listed among the top 150 books on terrorism in the journal Perspectives on Terrorism.

Prof. Moghadam has lectured widely on terrorism issues before audiences in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East and has consulted a number of government agencies on terrorism-related issues. A leading expert on suicide missions, Prof. Moghadam serves on the editorial boards of Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Democracy and Security, and Perspectives on Terrorism, and is a managing editor of the ICT Working Paper Series. His articles have appeared in International Security, Security Studies, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Terrorism and Political Violence, Perspectives on Terrorism, CTC Sentinel, Boston Globe, International Herald Tribune, and other outlets. Prof. Moghadam has also authored numerous chapters in edited volumes, and his book reviews have appeared in Perspectives in Politics, Political Science Quarterly, Transcultural Psychiatry, and Democracy and Security, among other journals.

Prof. Moghadam holds a Ph.D. in international relations and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD), both from The Fletcher School at Tufts University, and a B.A. in political science from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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The relationship between Iran and al-Qa`ida goes back at least a quarter of a century, but it remains one of the most understudied and poorly understood chapters in the history and evolution of the jihadi organization founded by Usama bin Ladin. Recently declassified letters seized in 2011 from bin Ladin’s Abbottabad hideout and U.S. government and court documents, however, have shed some additional light on their partnership
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Terrorist Affiliations in Context: A Typology of Terrorist Inter-Group Cooperation


This article offers some conceptual explorations of cooperation between militant organizations—a topic that, like affiliations, is both understudied and under-theorized. Specifically, the article offers a new typology of terrorist cooperation between established militant groups, arguing that cooperative ties between these organizations span across a spectrum ranging from high-end to low-end cooperative relationships. High-end relationships include mergers—the ultimate form of cooperation—and strategic partnerships. Low-end cooperation includes tactical cooperation and, at the bottom end of the spectrum, transactional cooperation.

First published in CTC Sentinel

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The Jihadi Threat to Israel


Israel and the West have a common stake in ensuring that the deep divisions among jihadis remain in place.

"There are some 30,000 jihadi fighters in Syria alone. They see this as the perfect opportunity to act against Israel".

Published in the Jerusalem Report, June 24, 2014

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Top-Down and Bottom-Up Innovation in Terrorism: The Case of the 9/11 Attacks


Between Security scholars and analysts often refer to Al Qaeda as a nimble and adaptive actor—attributes cited to point out Al Qaeda's survivability and the extraordinarily high level of harm it can periodically inflict on its enemies using innovation as a tool to ensure success. While Al Qaeda's ability to adapt and innovate is often assumed, it is rarely the subject of intense academic scrutiny on the part of international security scholars—a lacuna that applies to the study of terrorist innovation at large. This article seeks to deepen our understanding of terrorist innovation by adopting an influential framework from military innovation studies—the distinction between "top-down" and "bottom-up" processes. The framework is applied to the attacks of September 11, 2001—a case of terrorist innovation that, it is argued, exhibits signs of a synergistic interplay of both top-down and bottom-up innovation processes. The article contributes to our understanding of the nature of Al Qaeda, military innovation, and terrorist innovation alike, and concludes with suggestions to further the research agenda of military and terrorist innovation studies.

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