Lawrence Wright is a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of eight previous books of nonfiction, including The Looming Tower, Going Clear, and Thirteen Days in September, and one novel, God’s Favorite. His books have received many prizes and honors, including a Pulitzer Prize for The Looming Tower. He is also a playwright and screenwriter. His newest book is The Terror Years: From al-Qaeda to the Islamic State.
Malcolm Wrightson Nance is a counter-terrorism and intelligence advisor for the U.S. government’s Special Operations, Homeland Security and Intelligence agencies. Over 34 years, Mr. Nance participated in field and combat intelligence activity including experience as an Arabic-speaking special intelligence collections operator, field interrogator as well as providing clandestine anti- & counter-terrorism support to national intelligence agencies and assets. A former Navy intelligence officer, he deployed on numerous clandestine anti-terrorism and counter-terrorism intelligence, special reconnaissance operations in the Balkans, Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa in direct support or seconded to the principle agencies of the Special Operations and Intelligence Community.
He served his last four years in the US Navy as a master training specialist and instructor at the US Navy Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) School in Coronado, California. He conceptualized and implemented the Advanced Terrorism, Abduction and Hostage Survival school (ATAHS) in resisting torture, exploitation and escaping terrorist captivity from 1997-2001. At ATAHS he created and led the terrorism training team formed to simulate the Al-Qaeda organization and its attacks for Tier-1 National Mission Units and select members of the US intelligence community in the pre-9/11 era.
Mia Bloom, Professor of Communication at Georgia State University, conducts ethnographic research in Europe, the Middle East and South Asia and speaks eight languages. Bloom has authored books and articles on terrorism including Dying to Kill: The Allure of Suicide Terror, Bombshell: Women and Terror, and Small Arms: Children and Terror (2017) with John Horgan. She is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and held research/teaching appointments at Princeton, Cornell, Harvard and McGill Universities. Bloom has a PhD in political science from Columbia University, a Masters in Arab Studies from Georgetown and a Bachelors from McGill in Russian, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies.
Mubin Shaikh was born and raised in Canada but an identity crisis at age 18 set him on a course of radicalization into extremism. The attacks of 9/11 made him reconsider his views and he moved to Syria to study Islam, coming to reject extremism as anti Islamic. Returning to Canada, he began working as an undercover counterterrorism operative for the government and is considered an expert on various terrorism-related topics, especially due to his work on the ISIS file. He has a Master of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism, and is completing a PhD in the Psychology of Terrorism. He also trains police, intelligence, military and special forces in counterterrorism-related subjects.
Moderated by: Karen J. Greenberg
Karen J. Greenberg founded the Center on National Security at Fordham University School of Law in September 2011, and currently serves as its director. She is widely cited as a leading expert on national security and terrorism in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Daily Show, and many other media outlets. Greenberg is the author or editor of six books including The Least Worst Place: Guantanamo's First 100 Days, which was selected as one of the best books of 2009 by The Washington Post and Slate.com. Her latest book, Rogue Justice: The Making of the Security State, which explores the War on Terror's impact on justice and law in America, was published in May 2016.