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Prof. Marc Sageman

Marc Sageman is an independent researcher on terrorism and the founder of Sageman Consulting, LLC. He is now the special advisor to the U.S. Army Deputy Chief of Staff (Intelligence) on the “insider threat.” After consulting with the U.S. Secret Service for a year, he was the New York Police Department’s first “scholar in residence” and adjunct associate professor at the School for International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

After graduating from Harvard, he obtained an M.D. and a Ph.D. in sociology from New York University. After a tour as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Navy, he joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1984. He spent a year on the Afghan Task Force then went to Islamabad from 1987 to 1989, where he ran U.S. unilateral programs with the Afghan Mujahedin. In 1991, he returned to medicine and completed a residency in psychiatry at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Since 1994, he has been in the private practice of forensic and clinical psychiatry, and taught law and psychiatry, the social psychology of terrorism, and mass murderers at the University of Pennsylvania.

After 9/11/01, he started building a terrorist database to test the validity of the conventional wisdom on terrorism. This research has been published as Understanding Terror Networks (University of Pennsylvania Press 2004). He continued this research, and showed how the global neo-jihadi terrorist threat to the West evolved over time. His book Leaderless Jihad describes how the process of radicalization in a hostile environment and enabled by the Internet is evolving into a disconnected network, a Leaderless Jihad. Since then, he has focused on the process of “homegrown terrorism” or the turn to political violence in the West. He spent three and a half years as the Special Advisor to the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army from 2010 to 2013. In the fall of 2013, he was ISAF Political Scientist looking at the Insider Threat in Afghanistan.

He testified before both the 9/11 Commission in the U.S. and the Beslan Commission in Russia. He has extensively consulted with most national security agencies in the U.S. and the West as well as law enforcement agencies. He has lectured at dozens of universities in the U.S. and abroad.