Subscribe to FDD

Our Team

Thomas Joscelyn

Senior Fellow

Areas of Impact:

Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, Sudan, Global War on Terrorism, Somalia, Terrorist Detainees, Islamism, Iraq, Al Qaeda, Afghanistan

Biography:

Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and senior editor of FDD's Long War Journal, a widely read publication dealing with counterterrorism and related issues. Much of his research focuses on how al Qaeda and the Islamic State (or ISIS, ISIL) operate around the globe. He has served as a trainer for the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division. Mr. Joscelyn has testified before Congress on fourteen occasions, including before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, House Homeland Security Committee, House Foreign Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee and House Judiciary Committee. He was the senior counterterrorism adviser to Mayor Giuliani during the 2008 presidential campaign. Mr. Joscelyn is also a frequent contributor to The Weekly Standard. His work has been published by a variety of other publications and cited by the Associated Press, Reuters, The Washington Post, USA Today, TIME, Foreign Policy, and many others. He makes regular appearances on television and radio programs.

Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and senior editor of FDD's Long War Journal, a widely read publication dealing with counterterrorism and related issues. Much of his research focuses on how al Qaeda and the Islamic State (or ISIS, ISIL) operate around the globe. He has served as a trainer for the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division. Mr. Joscelyn has testified before Congress on fourteen occasions, including before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, House Homeland Security Committee, House Foreign Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee and House Judiciary Committee. He was the senior counterterrorism adviser to Mayor Giuliani during the 2008 presidential campaign. Mr. Joscelyn is also a frequent contributor to The Weekly Standard. His work has been published by a variety of other publications and cited by the Associated Press, Reuters, The Washington Post, USA Today, TIME, Foreign Policy, and many others. He makes regular appearances on television and radio programs.

Mr. Joscelyn has constructed dossiers for hundreds of terrorists during the course of his work. The Daily Beast has described him as one of “the most trusted authorities on the al Qaeda network because of his encyclopedic knowledge of terrorist biographies.” In 2007, he published a monograph titled, Iran’s Proxy War Against America, which details Iran’s decades-long sponsorship of America’s terrorist enemies. In 2008, he completed an exhaustive review of the Guantanamo Bay detainee population, cataloging and analyzing thousands of pages of declassified documents.  

Read full bio

13th August 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Analysis: 2 wanted al Qaeda leaders operate in Iran

Thomas Joscelyn

On Aug. 8, the State Department announced that it had increased its reward for information concerning the whereabouts of two veteran al Qaeda leaders: Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah and Saif al-Adel. Although State didn't explain the move, there is evidence that the two al Qaeda managers were operating inside Iran as of 2017. more...

Analysis & Commentary

13th August 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Analysis: 2 wanted al Qaeda leaders operate in Iran

Thomas Joscelyn

On Aug. 8, the State Department announced that it had increased its reward for information concerning the whereabouts of two veteran al Qaeda leaders: Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah and Saif al-Adel. Although State didn't explain the move, there is evidence that the two al Qaeda managers were operating inside Iran as of 2017. more...

13th August 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Foreign fighters involved in assault on Ghazni, Afghan defense minister says

Thomas Joscelyn

Al Qaeda has long operated in Ghazni province, the site of a large-scale Taliban offensive in recent days. In 2010, Osama bin Laden ordered his men to relocate from northern Pakistan into Ghazni and other Afghan provinces. Bin Laden's lieutenant also wrote in mid-2010 that al Qaeda had "very strong military activity" in at least eight Afghan provinces, including Ghazni. More recently, American and Afghan forces have targeted al Qaeda operatives in the province. more...

7th August 2018 – The Weekly Standard

The Al Qaeda-Iran Connection

Thomas Joscelyn

Twenty years ago today, al Qaeda carried out its most devastating terrorist attack prior to the September 11 hijackings. On the morning of August 7, 1998, two al Qaeda operatives drove explosive-laden trucks into the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. more...

31st July 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Islamic State claims foreign fighter bombed military checkpoint in the Philippines

Thomas Joscelyn

At least 10 people were killed and several others wounded in the blast, according to initial press reports. The so-called caliphate has posted a picture of the bomber, who is identified as Abu Kathir al-Maghrebi more...