- Deputy Director
- [email protected]
Seamus Hughes is the Deputy Director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University. Hughes has authored numerous academic reports on extremism in America and published a critically acclaimed book, Homegrown: ISIS in America. He regularly provides commentary to media outlets, including the New York Times, The Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, the Atlantic, CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews, BBC, PBS, and CBS’ 60 Minutes. He has testified before the U.S. Congress on multiple occasions. In addition to his academic pursuits, Hughes has also reported as a New York Times journalist, working with their D.C. and Investigative Bureaus on multiple stories related to the federal court system.
Hughes previously worked at the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), serving as a lead staffer on U.S. government efforts to implement a national countering violent extremism strategy. He regularly led engagements with Muslim American communities across the country, provided counsel to civic leaders after high-profile terror-related incidents, and met with families of individuals who joined terrorist organizations. Hughes created a groundbreaking intervention program to help steer individuals away from violence through non-law enforcement means and worked closely with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, Fusion Centers, and U.S. Attorney Offices.
Prior to NCTC, Hughes served as the Senior Counterterrorism Advisor for the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. He organized over a dozen congressional hearings on the threat of homegrown violent extremism and was a key member in multiple far-reaching congressional investigations.
Hughes has authored numerous legislative bills, including sections of the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act and the Special Agent Samuel Hicks Families of Fallen Heroes Act. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland, and a recipient of the National Security Council Outstanding Service Award and two NCTC Director’s Awards for outstanding service. He teaches classes at George Washington University and Georgetown University.
- "Afghanistan and American Jihadists: More Inspiration, Less Destination," Lawfare, October 27, 2021
- "A Sea Change in Counterterrorism," Lawfare, June 13, 2021
- "American counterterrorism cannot be an either/or proposition," The Hill, May 25, 2021
- "An Assessment of the U.S. Government’s Domestic Terrorism Assessment," Lawfare, May 24, 2021
- "The U.S. government can do more to fight domestic terror without any new laws," The Washington Post, March 2, 2021.
- "The Capitol mob's gleeful selfies are easy to mock. They're also a warning sign." The Washington Post, January 19, 2021.
- "When Terrorists Plotted a Texas Jailbreak and Other Stories We Almost Missed," The Daily Beast, November 15, 2020.
- "‘This case kept me up at night’," Military Times, October 30, 2020.
- "Why the FBI had to pretend Hamas wanted to plot with ‘boogaloo boys’," The Washington Post, September 9, 2020.
- “White Supremacist Terror: Modernizing Our Approach To Today's Threat” Program on Extremism, April 6, 2020.
- "Our laws have a problem calling domestic terrorism what it is" The Hill, February 6, 2020.
- "The Fractured Terrorism Threat to America," Lawfare, November 10, 2019.
- "The Other Travelers: American Jihadists Beyond Syria and Iraq," Program on Extremism report, August 2019
- "It's Not Only Iraq and Syria," Lawfare, August 23, 2019.
- "Sixteen-Year-Old American Islamic State Fighter Reportedly Captured in Syria," Lawfare, January 9, 2019
- "The Story of an American Islamic State Member Captured in Syria," Lawfare, January 6, 2019
- "United States v. Aws Mohammed Younis al-Jayab: A Case Study on Transnational Prosecutions of Jihadi Foreign Fighter Networks," CTC Sentinel, December 2018.
- "America's Terrorism Problem Doesn't End With Prison- It Might Just Begin There," Lawfare, June 17, 2018
- "Whose Responsibility is it to Confront Terrorism Online?" Lawfare, April 27, 2018
- "The Travelers: American Jihadists in Syria and Iraq," Program on Extremism report, February 2018
- "A New American Leader Rises in ISIS," The Atlantic, January 13, 2018
- Testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Service Committee: Low Cost, High Impact: Combatting the Financing of Lone-Wolf and Small-Scale Terrorist Attacks, September 6, 2017
- Testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform: Combatting Homegrown Terrorism, July 27, 2017
- Testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee: Allies Under Attack: The Terrorist Threat to Europe, June 27, 2017
- "First He Became an American—Then He Joined ISIS," The Atlantic, May 25, 2017
- “The Threat to the United States from the Islamic State’s Virtual Entrepreneurs,” CTC Sentinel, March 9, 2017
- "To Stop ISIS Recruitment, Focus Offline," Lawfare, August 7, 2016
- Testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee: Countering the Virtual Caliphate, June 23, 2016
- "Islamic State is successfully radicalizing Americans. How do we stop them?" Los Angeles Times, May 18, 2016
- Testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security: The Rise of Radicalization: Is the U.S. Government Failing to Counter International and Domestic Terrorism?, July 15, 2015