ATbar Reinares, Fernando (Prof.)

Reinares, Fernando (Prof.)

Professor & Chair, Political Science and Security Studies, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain & Senior Analyst on International Terrorism, Real Instituto Elcano, Madrid,  & Member of the Professional Advisory Board, ICT, Spain

(Logroño, Spain, 1960) Professor and Chair of Political Science and Security Sudies at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, as well as Senior Analyst on International Terrorism at Real Instituto Elcano, both in Madrid.

Director of the Program on Global Terrorism at Elcano Royal Institute, Spain’s leading and most influential think tank on international and strategic affairs (rated 30th worldwide and 19th best think tank in Western Europe by the 2016 University of Pennsylvania’s Global Go To Think Tank Index Report). Professor of Politics and Security Studies at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid. A Wilson Center Global Fellow, he is also Adjunct Professor of Security Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, where he teaches graduate courses on global terrorism and counterterrorism.

Over the past five years, he has been Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center (2011); Visiting Professor at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan (2012); Visiting Professor at the Center of Excellence START, University of Maryland (2012); and Visiting Professor at the Program on Terrorism Studies and Homeland Security Polic, American University, Washington, DC (2015). Previously Visiting Fellow of the Center for Strategic Studies, University of Tel Aviv (1986); Researcher at the European University Institute in Florence (1986-1988); Fulbright Scholar and Lecturer on Terrorism at Stanford University (1988-1990); and  Fellow of St. Antony’s College, Oxford (1991-1992). Associate Professor and Jean Monnet Chaoir at UNED (1991 to 1999); Visiting Professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris (1994); Visiting Professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (1995); Visiting Professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University (1997); Professor and Chair at the University of Burgos (1999-2002); and Erasmus Professor at Sciences Po in Paris (2010).

Contributing Editor to the journal Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. Member of the editorial boards of, among other scholarly periodicals, Terrorism and Political Violence, Perspectives on Terrorism, Democracy and Security, Cultures et Conflits, Sécurité Globale, y Segurança e Defesa. Advisor to the Global Center on Cooperative Security, New York, and to the Bangladesh Center for Terrorism Research, Dhaka. Professor Reinares belongs to the Professional Advisory Board, International Institute for Counter Terrorism, Herzliya, Israel; to the Network of European Experts on Terrorism (NEET) of the Fondation pour la recherche strategique in Paris; to the academic research network of United Nations Counter Terrorism Committee (CTC); to the Executive Committee of the International Counter Terrorism Academic Commutity (ICTAC), and to the Centre of Excellence RAN (Radicalization Awareness Network) established by the European Commission.

First chairman of the European Commission Expert Group on Violent Radicalization (2007-2009), Professor Reinares also served as Senior Advisor on Antiterrorist Policy to Spain’s Minister of Interior (2004-2006). Among numerous other academic and civilian distinctions, Professor Reinares received recently from the Spanish authorities the Cross of Military Merit (2009), and the Cross of Police Merit (2012). Professor Reinares was awarded the Prize for Excellence in Social and Legal Sciences Research from Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (2016), as well as the highest personal decoration of the regional Government of his native La Rioja region of Spain for “his outstanding contribution to the fight against terrorism and in defence of the principles of democracy” (2016).

His books include The Evolution of the Global Terrorism Threat (Nueva York: Columbia University Press, 2014, edited with Bruce Hoffman), Spain’s best seller ¡Matadlos! Quién estuvo detrás del 11-M y por qué se atentó en España (Barcelona: Galaxia Gutenberg, 2014); Las democracias occidentales frente al terrorismo global (Barcelona: Ariel, 2008, edited with Charles Powell); Terrorismus Global. Aktionsfeld Europa (Hamburg: Europäische Verlagsanstalt, 2005); El Nuevo Terrorismo Islamista. Del 11-S al 11-M (Madrid: Temas de Hoy, 2004, edited with Antonio Elorza); Terrorismo Global (Madrid: Taurus, 2003); Spain’s also bestseller Patriotas de la Muerte. Quiénes han militado en ETA y por qué (Madrid: Taurus, first ed. 2001, 7th edition 2011); European Democracies Against Terrorism. Governmental Policies and Intergovernmental Cooperation, (Aldershot, Hampshire: Ashgate, 2000); Terrorismo y antiterrorismo (Barcelona: Ediciones Paidós, 1998; 2001); Violencia y Política en Euskadi (Bilbao: Desclée de Brower, 1984); Terrorismo y sociedad democrática (Madrid: Akal, 1982). By November 2016, Columbia University Press and Woodrow Wilson Center are to jointly publish his new book Al Qaeda’s Revenge.

Professor Reinares is co-author of many other collective volumes published over the last decade, such as Al Qaeda Ten Years After the War (Marine Corps University Press, 2012), Democracy and Counterterrorism (United States Institute of Peace, 2007), Root Causes of Terrorism (Routledge, 2006), Gli squilibri del terrore (Rosenberg & Sellier, 2006), State of the Struggle. Report on the Battle against Global Terrorism (Brookings Institution Press, 2006) or Root Causes of Suicide Terrorism (Routledge, 2006). Author of a large number of articles in academic journals such as the Australian Journal of Politics and History, Electoral Studies, Revista de Estudios Políticos, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Pouvoirs, Revista Española de Investigaciones Sociológicas, Terrorism and Political Violence, CTC Sentinel (USMA, West Point), American Psychologist, Survival. Global Politics and Strategy (IISS, London), Sécurité Globale, or Revista Elcano.

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Making sense of global terrorism now


Al-Qaeda used to be a unitary centralised jihadist organisation. But post 9/11 it evolved into a decentralised terrorist structure within which it is now possible to identify a central nucleus –known as al-Qaeda Central (AQC) and still located in Pakistan’s tribal areas and adjacent territories in Afghanistan– and a number of branches or territorial extensions. These al-Qaeda branches include, for instance, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

First published on Real Instituto Elacon

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A New Composite Global Terrorism Threat to Western Societies from Pakistan?


The foiled January 2008 plot against the metro in Barcelona evidenced both the polymorphous character of post‐9/11 global terrorism and the composite nature of the main threat it seems to pose in the West. The thwarted attacks suggest a mixture of foreign extremists coming from the country which then as now occupies a central locus in the cartography of global terrorism, that is to say Pakistan, and first‐generation immigrants in the West –who nevertheless may travel often and for rather long periods of time to their homeland‐‐ turned into extremists.

First published as a working paper by the Elcano Royal Institute.

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The Madrid Bombings and Global Jihadism


Since the attacks of 11 September 2001 on New York and Washington DC there has been an ongoing controversy about whether the real threat of global terrorism is posed by al-Qaeda, its territorial extensions and affiliated organisations, or by decentralised groups inspired by, but unconnected to, such entities. The 11 March 2004 Madrid train bombings are often held up as the archetype of an independent local cell at work, and the perpetrators depicted as self-recruited, leaderless terrorists. Six years after the blasts, however, new evidence connecting some of the most notorious members of the Madrid bombing network with al-Qaeda’s senior leadership, along with features of the terrorist network itself and distinctive elements of the likely strategy behind the blasts, suggest that these assumptions are misleading. Judicial documentation now fully accessible at Spain’s National Court and other relevant primary or secondary sources can help us better understand what the attacks can tell us about al-Qaeda and a global terrorism in transition, as well as about the changing nature of the threat to open societies.

First published in: Survival | vol. 52 no. 2 | April–May 2010

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