- Senior Research Fellow
- [email protected]
Bennett Clifford studies violent extremist movements and organizations in the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Balkans, and supporters of extremist groups in the United States. In addition, Bennett examines terrorists' adaptation of digital communications technologies for operational and strategic planning. He is the author of the Program on Extremism reports "The Travelers: American Jihadists in Syria and Iraq" and "Encrypted Extremism: Inside the English-Speaking Islamic State Ecosystem on Telegram," and his research is frequently featured in academic and popular publications, including the Atlantic, Lawfare, and the CTC Sentinel. Bennett provides assistance for The ISIS Files Project as well as for PoE's partnership with the Global Network on Extremism and Technology (GNET).
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.
- "'Breaking the Walls' Goes Global: The Evolving Threat of Jihadi Prison Attacks and Riots," CTC Sentinel 13 (2), February 2020.
- “A Review of Transatlantic Best Practices for Countering Radicalisation in Prisons and Terrorist Recidivism,” EUROPOL, July 2019.
- “De-platforming and the Online Extremist’s Dilemma,” Lawfare, June 6, 2019.
- “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.
- “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.
- "Sixteen-Year-Old American Islamic State Fighter Reportedly Captured in Syria," Lawfare, January 9, 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.
- "Rethinking 'Prison Radicalization': Lessons from the U.S. Federal Correctional System," International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT)- the Hague, November 16, 2018.
- "Radicalization In Custody: Towards Data-Driven Terrorism Prevention in the United States Federal Correctional System," Program on Extremism, November 2018.
- "The Cup and the Caliphate: Russia’s Counterterrorism Operations Before Major Sporting Events and the Global Jihadist Movement," Lawfare, June 22, 2018.
- "Trucks, Knives, Bombs, Whatever: Exploring Pro-Islamic State Instructional Material on Telegram," CTC Sentinel 11 (5), May 2018.
- "United States," in Counterterrorism Yearbook 2018, Australian Strategic Policy Institute: Canberra, Australia, March 2018.
- "A New American Leader Rises in ISIS," The Atlantic, January 13, 2017.
- "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.
- "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.