WHO WE ARE

Sara Brzuszkiewicz is a PhD student at the Catholic University of Sacred Heart (Milan), and a researcher at al Mesbar Studies & Research Centre (Dubai, UAE).

Before moving to the Gulf, she has been visiting researcher in the Program on Extremism at George Washington University (Washington D.C.)

She holds a Master Degree in Languages and Cultures for International Communication and Cooperation with a dissertation on prostitution, stereotypes and human trafficking in the Arab world (2012) and a Bachelor Degree in Linguistic and Cultural Mediation with a thesis on representation and treatment of mental disorders in Islamic cultures (2010) from the University of Milan. 

Sara speaks Italian, Arabic, English, and Spanish. She holds a diploma in Terrorism Studies (Terrorism Modus Operandi) from the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, University of St. Andrews (2017) and diploma in Emergencies and Humanitarian Intervention from the Institute for International Political Studies of Milan (2014).
Her research interests focus on radicalization and de-radicalization, jihadism in Europe, and geopolitics of the MENA region.

Dr. Ana I. Planet Contreras is a Professor of the Sociology of Islam at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

She was Advisor on Islam affairs at the Department of Religious Affairs at the Ministry of Justice (2004-2006) and her work deals with Moroccan migration to Spain and its impact in the origin and destination societies, the situation of Muslim communities in Spain and the religious freedom framework vis-à-vis the Muslim population.

She has published monographs and numerous articles on Islam in contemporary Spain, including Ana I. Planet (eds.) (2018), Observing islam in Spain: Contemporary Politics and Social Dynamics, Brill, Leiden;  Ana I. Planet y Miguel Hernando de Larramendi  (2015), “Religion and Migration in Morocco: Governability and Diaspora” in New Diversities special issue vol.17, nº1, 111-128; Ana I. Planet (2014), “Chapter 7: Islam in Spain” in Jocelyne Cesari (ed.), Handbook on European Islam, Oxford University Press, Oxford; Carmen Rodríguez, Antonio Ávalos, Hakan Yilmaz y Ana I. Planet (2013), Turkey’s democratization process, Routledge, London; Ana I. Planet y Miguel Hernando de Larramendi (2013), “Spain and Islamist Movements: from the Victory of the FIS to the Arab Spring” in Lorenzo Vidino (ed.), The West And The Muslim Brotherhood After The Arab Spring, Al Mesbar Studies & Research Centre in collaboration with The Foreign Policy Research Institute.

 

Valerio Mazzoni is an analyst for the online magazine “Il Caffè Geopolitico”, where he focuses on jihadi extremism.  He is an expert in security and techniques of antiterrorism. In recent years, Valerio has specialized in mapping, categorizing and monitoring Telegram channels close to the jihadi world.

 

 

Dr. Lorenzo Vidino is the Director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University (Washington D.C.) and the Head of The Center on Radicalization and International Terrorism of the Institute for International Political Studies (Milan). An expert on Islamism in Europe and North America, his research over the past 15 years has focused on the mobilization dynamics of jihadist networks in the West; governmental counter-radicalization policies; and the activities of Muslim Brotherhood-inspired organizations in the West.

A native of Italy who holds American citizenship, Dr. Vidino earned a law degree from the University of Milan Law School and a doctorate in international relations from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He has held positions at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government, the U.S. Institute of Peace, the RAND Corporation, and the Center for Security Studies (ETH Zurich).

Dr. Vidino has testified before the U.S. Congress and other parliaments; advised law enforcement officials around the world;

He regularly provides commentary to diverse media outlets and is a columnist for the Italian daily La Stampa. In 2016, he was appointed by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi as Coordinator of the National Commission on Jihadist Radicalization.

 

Dr. Magnus Norell is a senior policy advisor at the European Foundation for Democracy (EFD) in Brussels and an adjunct scholar of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Previously, he was a senior analyst and project leader at the Swedish Defense Research Agency and a senior research fellow at the Swedish Institute for International Affairs in Stockholm.

From 1997 to 2000, he created a back channel between Hezbollah and Israel to facilitate the Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon. Prior to joining the Swedish Defense Research Agency, Dr. Norell served as an analyst for the Swedish Secret Service and Swedish Military Intelligence.

Dr. Norell has lectured on low-intensity conflict and terrorism at universities in Sweden and Israel. He publishes in both Swedish and English on a wide array of international security issues, including terrorism, radical Islamic extremism, the situation in Lebanon, the role of intelligence in counterterrorism, and conflict resolution.

Dr. Ana Belén Soage holds a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern Studies (University of Granada & American University in Cairo). She is currently based in Madrid, where she teaches Political Science at Suffolk University.

Dr. Soage has studied and worked in several Western European and Arab countries and is fluent in Spanish, English, Arabic and French.

She has published multiple articles, book reviews and book chapters on issues related to Political Islam, both in the Muslim world and in the West, and to International Relations with a focus on the Middle East.

In addition, she is a member of the editorial boards of Politics, Religion & Ideology and Religion Compass.

Adrian Shtuni is a Washington, D.C.-based foreign policy and security analyst with a regional focus on the Western Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean. He holds a M.Sc. in Foreign Service with a concentration in International Relations and Security from Georgetown University, and consults for think tanks and academic institutions on issues of radicalization and violent extremism.

 

Hugo Franco  graduated in Sciences of Communication at ISCSP, Universidade de Lisboa. He has been working as a reporter for Expresso since 2006.
He is an expert in crime and terrorism and published the book Portuguese Jihadists (2015).
In the same year, he won the award ‘Prémio Reportagem Cáceres Monteiro’, by Group Impresa, thanks to his reports about Jihad.
In 2016, Hugo Franco won the ‘European Press Prize 2016 (The Innovation Award)’ with the multimedia report: Killing and Dying for Allah: Five Portuguese Members of Islamic State.

 

Dr. Daniela Pisoiu is senior researcher at the Austrian Institute for International Affairs – oiip. Her fields of research are: terrorism, radicalisation, extremism, comparative regional security, American and European foreign and security policy. She completed her PhD at the University of St Andrews, Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence and has conducted fieldwork on the topic of radicalisation in Austria, Germany and France, as well as other European countries. She is the author of Islamist Radicalisation in Europe. An Occupational Change Process and editor of Arguing Counterterrorism. New Perspectives.

Jan Stehlík is a security analyst with a focus on counter-extremist and counter-terrorist policy in Europe. Since
2014, he has cooperated with the European Values thinktank. Here, he helped set up and subsequently coordinated the Programme for Cohesive Society, which consisted of expert teams focused on radicalisation and migration policy.

Currently, Mr Stehlík coordinates the Internal Security Program at the European Values, whose analysts work on policy solutions to Islamic extremism, migratory pressures and the integration of immigrants.

He holds degrees from the University of Nottingham, where his final thesis investigated the causes of Islamic extremism, and the Charles University in Prague with a final thesis on counter-terrorism in the Visegrad countries. As part of his work, he has written a number of expert publications in the area of internal security and the issues of radicalisation, extremism and terrorism.

 

Dr. Francesco Marone is Research Fellow for Programme on Radicalization and International Terrorism at the Institute for International Political Studies (Milan). He holds a PhD in Political Science (University of Pavia) and is currently an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Pavia.

He is also an Associate Fellow at the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague (ICCT). He held research fellowships and visiting positions in the UK, Israel, Croatia and the Netherlands. He is the author of several publications in the field of security studies.

His research interests include terrorism and counter-terrorism, radicalization, and national security. 

 

Silvia Carenzi is currently working at the Center on Radicalization and International Terrorism at the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI). In 2016, she earned a Master’s Degree with honors in Foreign Languages applied to International Relations from Milan’s Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. She is working on a forthcoming book  covering the ideological and operational evolution of ‘glocal’ jihadism, with a focus on Europe. Her research interests include jihadism in Europe, Islamist ideology, and how it impinges upon the operational landscape; transnational Islamist networks; and militant Islamist groups in Syria and Iraq.

 

 Ronald Sandee is a former senior analyst with Dutch Military Intelligence (MIVD), where he worked on issues regarding the former Soviet Union, Afghanistan, as well as organised crime and terrorism with a focus on the al-Qa’ida network in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Africa.

In 2006 he moved to the United States to become the research director of the NEFA Foundation. In 2013 he began working as a private consultant and as chief global jihad analyst for Kronos Advisory.

He is co-founder and CEO of Blue Water Intelligence, a Netherlands based investigative company. Ronald is often asked to give his opinion on terrorism and radicalisation by domestic and international media outlets, including Sky News, BBC, CNN and the New York Times.

 

Temitope Olodo is a Preventive Terrorism Consultant based in the United Kingdom with many years of experience working in sensitive security roles for Her Majesty Government including The Office for Security and Counter Terrorism (OSCT), Metropolitan Police and UK Border Agency.

Temi is one of Africa’s foremost expert on Diaspora Radicalisation in Europe and subject matter expert on De-Radicalisation and Violent Extremism in Europe, Africa and Carribean.

He is the author of many books including “Counter Terrorism Guidance For Nigeria Religious Leaders” and “The Rules of Engagement” and he was a former Special Constable with Kent Police Constabulary.

He has two bachelor degrees in Political Science (Hons) and LLB Law respectively with a postgraduate qualification in Employment Law from Middlesex University and Master degree from London South Bank University. Temi is the President of Africa Security Forum which is membership base organization in the United Kingdom working collaboratively on community safety and security.

 

Fabrizio Minniti is a Captain of Italian Army Reserve, political analyst, and expert in international security issues.

As researcher for Military Centre for Strategic Studies, he wrote reports, articles, and books in the field of Counter Proliferation, International Terrorism, Nuclear Doctrine, Crisis Management, European security and Defence Policy.

He was appointed Visiting Research Associate at Department of War Studies, King’s College (London) in the field of Nuclear Non Proliferation.

 

Marco Olimpio is Research Trainee for the Radicalization and International Terrorism Centre at the Institute for International Political Studies (Milan). Born in Milan, he holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Affairs with a Concentration in Security Policy and a Minor in History (George Washington University, Washington D.C.).
Before joining ISPI, Marco worked as a Research Assistant at the Program on Extremism at George Washington University conducting research on jihadist extremism in the West, analyzing recruitment, attacks, and government counter-radicalization and prevention measures.
His main research interest focusing on investigating the impact of radicalization and terrorist networks in Italy and Europe.

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