Occasional Papers & Commentaries

Occasional Papers

The Program regularly publishes analyses written by our fellows and guest contributors, tackling and dissecting issues ranging from U.S.-based extremism to international terrorism and social media dynamics.

Strategic Operational Continuum: Retooling Prevention
Joumana Silyan-Saba
April 2019

Nidal Hasan- A Case Study in Lone-Actor Terrorism
Katharine Poppe
October 2018

Islamic State's Re-organization in Libya and Potential Connections with Illegal Trafficking
Arturo Varvelli
November 2017

Radicalization and the Uzbek Diaspora in the Wake of the NYC Attacks
Bennett Clifford
November 2017

The Muslim Brotherhood in Austria
Lorenzo Vidino
August 2017

Jihadism in the Spanish Language After the Barcelona Attack
Manuel Torres-Soriano
August 2017

Conspiracy Theories in the Patriot/Militia Movement
Sam Jackson
May 2017

What Causes Extremist Attitudes Among Sunni and Shia Youth? Evidence from Northern India
Kunaal Sharma
November 2016

Countering Violent Extremism: Lessons on Early Intervention from the United Kingdom’s Channel Program
Talene Bilazarian
October 2016

Nazis vs. ISIS on Twitter: A Comparative Study of White Nationalist and ISIS Online Social Media Networks
J.M. Berger
September 2016

Without Prejudice: What Sovereign Citizens Believe
J.M. Berger
June 2016

Hisba in Mosul: Systematic Oppression in the Name of Virtue
Rasha Al Aqeedi
February 2016

The Islamic State’s Diminishing Returns on Twitter: How Suspensions are Limiting the Social Networks of English-speaking ISIS Supporters
J.M. Berger and Heather Perez
February 2016

Muslim Brotherhood in the United Kingdom
Lorenzo Vidino
December 2015

The Domestic Terrorism Threat in the United States: A Primer
Andrew Gumbel
December 2015

Paper Series

The Program commissions paper series on notable topics and trends within the fields of extremism and violent extremism, and publishes expert analysis from external contributors.

Perspectives on the Future of Women, Gender, & Violent Extremism
(February 2019)

Full Series
Edited by Audrey Alexander

Introduction to the Series

Negating Stereotypes: Women, Gender, and Terrorism in Indonesia and Pakistan
Sara Mahmood

Not Just Victims: Women in Terrorism from the Western Balkans
Vesë Kelmendi

How Women Advance the Internationalization of the Far Right
Julia Ebner and Jacob Davey

The Changing Roles of Women in Violent Islamist Groups
Devorah Margolin

Key Considerations: Forward Thinking about Women, Gender, and Violent Extremism


Countering Violent Extremism Series
(October 2015)

De-radicalization and Integration The United Kingdom’s Channel Programme
Rashad Ali

Countering Violent Extremism and American Muslims
Kamran Bokhari

Countering Extremism: Learning from the United Kingdom Model
Ghaffar Hussain

The Identity-Extremism Nexus: Countering Islamist Extremism in the West
Dina al Raffie

Reintegrating Violent Extremist Offenders: Policy Questions and Lessons Learned
Tinka M. Veldhuis


“New initiatives, like GW’s program, which focus on empirical research and analysis, are critical to policymakers and the interested public alike.”

The Honorable John P. Carlin

Former Assistant Attorney General
The Department of Justice, National Security Division


Our editorials about radicalization and extremism regularly appear in publications around the country, educating and resonating with policymakers, law enforcement officials, and the general public.

A Review of Transatlantic Best Practices for Countering Radicalisation in Prisons and Terrorist Recidivism

Authored by Lorenzo Vidino and Bennett Clifford


July 13, 2019

De-Platforming and the Online Extremist’s Dilemma

Authored by Bennett Clifford and Helen Christy Powell


June 6, 2019


From Battlefront to Cyberspace: Demystifying the Islamic State's Propaganda Machine

Authored by Asaad Almohammad and Charlie Winter

Combating Terrorism Center at West Point

June 5, 2019

The Guerrilla ‘Caliph’: Speeches that Bookend the Islamic State’s ‘Caliphate’ Era

Authored by Haroro J. Ingram, Craig Whiteside, and Charlie Winter

CTC Sentinel

May 29, 2019

Erdogan’s Long Arm in Europe
Authored by Lorenzo Vidino
Foreign Policy
May 7, 2019

Doxing and Defacements: Examining the Islamic State’s Hacking Capabilities

Authored by Audrey Alexander and Bennett Clifford

CTC Sentinel

April 26, 2019

Destination Jihad: Italy’s Foreign Fighters

Authored by Francesco Marone and Lorenzo Vidino


March 19, 2019

Jihadist ‘Responsibility to Protect’ Appeals: Propaganda Wars for the Moral High Ground

Authored by Haroro J. Ingram 


March 14, 2019

A Practical Guide to the First Rule of CTCVE

Authored by Alastair G. Reed and Haroro J. Ingram


March 18, 2019

Trump’s Domestic Countering Violent Extremism Policies Look a Lot Like Obama’s

Authored by Seamus Hughes and Haroro J. Ingram


March 10, 2019

Do Great Nations Fight Endless Wars? Against the Islamic State, They Might

Authored by Haroro J. Ingram and Craig Whiteside

War on the Rocks 

February 25, 2019

Sixteen-Year-Old American Islamic State Fighter Reportedly Captured in Syria

Authored by Seamus Hughes and Bennett Clifford


January 9, 2019

The Story of an American Islamic State Member Allegedly Captured in Syria

Authored by Seamus Hughes and Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens


January 6, 2019

Strasbourg shooting: Why known extremists can carry out terror attacks

Authored by Lorenzo Vidino

BBC News

December 15, 2018


United States v. Aws Mohammed Younis al-Jayab: A Case Study on Transnational Prosecutions of Jihadi Foreign Fighter Networks

Authored by Seamus Hughes and Bennett Clifford

CTC Sentinel 

December 14, 2018


Confronting America’s Violent Extremists: A Terrorism Prevention Strategy for the Homeland

Authored by Haroro J. Ingram

Foreign Policy Research Institute

November 26, 2018


Rethinking “Prison Radicalisation” – Lessons from the U.S. Federal Correctional System

Authored by Bennett Clifford 


November 16, 2018


The Caliph's Role in the (un)Surprising Resilience of the Islamic State

Authored by Haroro J. Ingram and Craig Whiteside

Foreign Policy Research Institute

October 25, 2018


Treatment of Terrorists: How Does Gender Affect Justice?

Authored by Audrey Alexander

CTC Sentinel

September 10, 2018


Prosecuting the Islamic State Fighters Left Behind

Authored by Jenna Consigli


August 1, 2018


A Brief Update on Ethnic Georgian Foreign Fighters in the Islamic State

Authored by Bennett Clifford


July 31, 2018 


The Cup and the Caliphate: Russia’s Counterterrorism Operations Before Major Sporting Events and the Global Jihadist Movement

Authored by Bennett Clifford 


June 22, 2018


America’s Terrorism Problem Doesn’t End with Prison—It Might Just Begin There

Authored by Lorenzo Vidino and Seamus Hughes


June 17, 2018


“That is what the terrorists want”: Media as amplifier or disrupter of violent extremist propaganda

Authored by Haroro J. Ingram 


May 22, 2018


Gray Media Under the Black and White Banner

Authored by Audrey Alexander and Helen Christy Powell 


May 6, 2018


“Trucks, Knives, Bombs, Whatever:” Exploring Pro-Islamic State Instructional Material on Telegram

Authored by Bennett Clifford 

CTC Sentinel

May 2018


Whose Responsibility is it to Confront Terrorism Online?

Authored by Seamus Hughes


April 27, 2018


Reverse-Engineering The ISIS Playbook, Part II: CT-CVE Messaging Lessons From ISIS's English-Language Magazines 

Authored by Haroro J. Ingram 

Vox Pol

April 18, 2018


Reverse-Engineering The ISIS Playbook, Part I: CT-CVE Messaging Lessons From ISIS's English-Language Magazines

Authored by Haroro J. Ingram and Alastair Reed 

Vox Pol

April 13, 2018


Hyperlinked Sympathizers: URLs and the Islamic State

Authored by Samantha Weirman and Audrey Alexander

Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 

March 26, 2018


The Only Islamic State-Funded Plot in the U.S.: The Curious Case of Mohamed Elshinawy

Authored by Seamus Hughes


March 7, 2018


Terror, Online and Off: Recent Trends in Islamic State Propaganda Operations 

Authored by Charlie Winter and Haroro J. Ingram 

War on the Rocks 

March 2, 2018


Marginalizing Violent Extremism Online
Authored by Audrey Alexander and William Braniff
The Atlantic
January 21, 2018

A New American Leader Rises in ISIS
Authored by Seamus Hughes and Bennett Clifford
The Atlantic
January 13, 2018

First He Became an American—Then He Joined ISIS
Authored by Seamus Hughes, Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens, and Bennett Clifford
The Atlantic
May 25, 2017

How to fight ISIS online
Authored by Audrey Alexander
Foreign Affairs
April 7, 2017

The Threat to the United States from the Islamic State’s Virtual Entrepreneurs
Authored by Seamus Hughes and Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens
CTC Sentinel
March 9, 2017

The Muslim Brotherhood: Terrorists or Not?
Authored by Mokhtar Awad and Samuel Tadros
The Wall Street Journal
March 1, 2017

Why the United States Should Be as Circumspect as the British about the Muslim Brotherhood
Authored by Lorenzo Vidino
February 12, 2017

Islamic State is successfully radicalizing Americans. How do we stop them?
Authored by Seamus Hughes
LA Times
May 18, 2016

The Islamic State's Pyramid Scheme: Egyptian Expansion and the Giza Governorate Cell
Authored by Mokhtar Awad
CTC Sentinel
April 2016

Egypt's New Radicalism: The Muslim Brotherhood and Jihad
Authored by Mokhtar Awad
Foreign Affairs
February 4, 2016

Material Support or Bust
Authored by Seamus Hughes
The Brookings Institute 
August 31, 2015

Fax Machine Radicalization: A Menace
Authored by Seamus Hughes
War on the Rocks
July 23, 2015

How to stop ISIS from recruiting American teens
Authored by Lorenzo Vidino and Seamus Hughes
Washington Post
June 17, 2015

Explaining the Lack of an American Domestic Counter-radicalization Strategy
Authored by Lorenzo Vidino
Understanding Deradicalization: Pathways to Enhance Transatlantic Common Perceptions and Practices, Middle East Institute
June 10, 2015

Sharia4: From Confrontational Activism to Militancy
Authored by Lorenzo Vidino
Perspectives on Terrorism, Terrorism Research Initiative
April 2015