- Senior Research Fellow
- [email protected]
Bennett Clifford studies violent extremist movements and organizations in the United States, as well as in the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Balkans. His work focuses on terrorist operational and strategic planning, in addition to the adaptation of digital communications technologies by violent extremist groups. Bennett is the author of Homegrown: ISIS in America (IB Tauris, 2020) and several full-length reports for the Program on Extremism. His research has been featured in several academic and popular publications, including the Atlantic, Lawfare, and the CTC Sentinel.
A graduate of Wake Forest University, Bennett previously held positions in several research organizations in the country of Georgia, where he researched Russian and Georgian-speaking militant Islamists. He is currently a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy candidate at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Bennett conducts research in English, Georgian, Russian, and Spanish.
Books and Book Chapters
- Homegrown: ISIS in America, IB Tauris, November 2020.
- American Jihadist Travelers in Iraq and Syria, in Handbook of Terrorism and Counter Terrorism Post 9/11, Elgar, December 2019
- "United States," in Counterterrorism Yearbook 2018, Australian Strategic Policy Institute: Canberra, Australia, March 2018.
Journal Articles and Reports
- "Migration Moments: Extremist Adoption of Text‑Based Instant Messaging Applications," Global Network on Extremism and Technology (GNET), November 2020
- "'Breaking the Walls' Goes Global: The Evolving Threat of Jihadi Prison Attacks and Riots," CTC Sentinel 13 (2), February 2020.
- “Encrypted Extremism: Inside the English-Speaking Islamic State Ecosystem on Telegram,” Program on Extremism, June 2019.
- “Doxing and Defacements: Examining the Islamic State’s Hacking Capabilities,” CTC Sentinel 12 (4), April 2019.
- "United States v. Aws Mohammed Younis al-Jayab: A Case Study on Transnational Prosecutions of Jihadi Foreign Fighters," CTC Sentinel 11 (11), December 2018.
- "Trucks, Knives, Bombs, Whatever: Exploring Pro-Islamic State Instructional Material on Telegram," CTC Sentinel 11 (5), May 2018.
- "The Travelers: American Jihadists in Syria and Iraq," Program on Extremism, February 2018
- "Georgian foreign fighter deaths in Syria and Iraq: what can they tell us about foreign fighter mobilization and recruitment?," Caucasus Survey 6 (1), November 2017.
- “A Review of Transatlantic Best Practices for Countering Radicalisation in Prisons and Terrorist Recidivism,” EUROPOL, July 2019.
- “Exploring Pro-Islamic State Instructional Material on Telegram,” in On the Horizon: Security Challenges at the Nexus of State and Non-State Actors and Emerging/Disruptive Technologies. Joint Staff-Department of Defense-Department of Homeland Security Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) Periodic Publication, April 2019.
- "Radicalization In Custody: Towards Data-Driven Terrorism Prevention in the United States Federal Correctional System," Program on Extremism, November 2018.
Brief Papers and Commentaries
- "The U.S. government can do more to fight domestic terror without any new laws" The Washington Post, March 2, 2021.
- "An Abridged History of America’s Terrorism Prevention Programs (Part One, Part Two)," Lawfare, December 29-30, 2020.
- "When Terrorists Plotted a Texas Jailbreak and Other Stories We Almost Missed," The Daily Beast, November 15, 2020.
- "Extremist Experimentation with Text-Based Instant Messaging Applications," Global Network on Extremism and Technology (GNET), November 9, 2020.
- "This Case Kept Me Up At Night," Military Times, October 30, 2020.
- “De-platforming and the Online Extremist’s Dilemma,” Lawfare, June 6, 2019.
- "Sixteen-Year-Old American Islamic State Fighter Reportedly Captured in Syria," Lawfare, January 9, 2019.
- "Rethinking 'Prison Radicalization': Lessons from the U.S. Federal Correctional System," International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT)- the Hague, November 16, 2018.
- "The Cup and the Caliphate: Russia’s Counterterrorism Operations Before Major Sporting Events and the Global Jihadist Movement," Lawfare, June 22, 2018.
- "A New American Leader Rises in ISIS," The Atlantic, January 13, 2017.
- "Radicalization and the Uzbek Diaspora in the Wake of the NYC Attacks," Program on Extremism, November 2017.
- "First He Became an American—Then He Joined ISIS," The Atlantic, May 25, 2017.