Fields of Study
Advanced Academic Programs, Washington DC Center, Washington, DC

Michael S. Smith II is a terrorism analyst, open source intelligence (OSINT) specialist, and an international consultant in the fields of preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE).

An internationally recognized expert on the influence operations of Salafi-Jihadist groups, Mr. Smith’s insights on al-Qa’ida’s and ISIS’s activities, along with opportunities to more effectively manage threats posed by them have been frequently sought by members of the United States Congress, officials with the Executive Office of the President of the United States, and governments comprising the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. Notably, in 2017, he served as the keynote speaker for a Global Coalition counterterrorism practitioners conference hosted at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s headquarters in London, and as an expert witness during the high-profile United States Senate hearing focused on Russian intelligence and terrorists’ exploitations of popular social media technologies to wage influence operations.

Mr. Smith’s work assisting policymakers and perspectives on issues affecting global security have been covered extensively by major media, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, BBC, NPR, AP, Reuters, Voice of America, Newsweek, Foreign Policy, Time, Channel 4 (UK), CBC (Canada), France 24, Agence France-Presse, The Times of London, The Guardian, Bloomberg, 9 News Australia, and ABC (Australia). For his collaboration with “hactivists” who infiltrated pro-ISIS social media networks to help identify attack plots and recruitment activities, in 2016, Foreign Policy magazine listed him among the “Moguls” in its annual list of the “100 Leading Global Thinkers,” and Fast Company magazine ranked him 14 on its annual list of the “100 Most Creative People in Business.”

Mr. Smith has published with a diverse mix of influential policy and news publications, including Foreign Affairs, Lawfare, World Politics Review, The Times of London/Sunday Times,,, The Washington Times, and The Christian Science Monitor, and his scholarly work includes a chapter on ISIS in the Routledge Handbook of International Relations in the Middle East (2019). Apart from work with the Global Security Studies program, his recent projects include providing P/CVE-focused assistive guidance to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Ministry of Security under the auspices of a USAID/OTI-funded initiative, and consulting with the International Spy Museum on development of an OSINT practitioner simulation.

Mr. Smith received both his MA in Intelligence and Security Studies and GC in Intelligence Analysis from The Citadel.

He teaches 470.634 Open Source Research in Conflict, Politics and Scholarship.

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