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Michael S. Smith II

Michael S. Smith II was a fellow in New America’s International Security Program. He is a terrorism analyst and an internationally recognized expert on the influence operations of Salafi-Jihadist groups like al-Qa’ida and Islamic State. Since 2009, Smith’s work with think tanks and as Principal and COO of Kronos Advisory, a private national security consultancy he cofounded with Medal of Honor recipient Major General James E. Livingston, USMC (Ret), has been at the nexus of strategic and tactical threat analysis, technical mitigation support, and the formulation of United States national security policy. During this time, his insights on al-Qa’ida’s and Islamic State’s activities, along with opportunities to more effectively manage threats posed by them have been sought by members of the U.S. Congress, executive branch officials, and governments comprising the Global Coalition to Counter Daesh, for which Smith served as a keynote speaker during a counterterrorism practitioners’ conference hosted at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s headquarters in London in March 2017. Smith’s work for members of Congress has been entered into the Congressional Record and used as a source document for national security legislation signed by President Barack Obama, titled The Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act of 2012. Most recently, Smith provided expert testimony during the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism’s October 2017 hearing focused on terrorists’ and Russia’s influence operations targeting prospective recruits in the United States and American voters. His work assisting policymakers and his perspectives on terrorism related developments have been covered extensively by major media, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, NBC, CNN, Fox News Channel, BBC, Foreign Policy, Bloomberg, NPR, Voice of America and Newsweek. For his collaboration with hactivist collectives whose members infiltrated Islamic State social media networks and cyber infrastructure to gather information about plots and recruitment activities, Foreign Policy listed Smith among its “100 Leading Global Thinkers 2016.” In addition to frequent major media appearances in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia, Smith has published with a diverse mix of high-impact factor policy and major media publications, including Foreign Affairs, the Times of London, CNN.com, FoxNews.com, the Washington Times and the Christian Science Monitor. His recent scholarly work also includes a chapter on Islamic State in the first edition of the Routledge Handbook on the International Relations of the Middle East (April 2018). In addition, since 2016, Smith has served as a guest lecturer for an advanced graduate studies program focused on the intelligence business and counterterrorism at Johns Hopkins University. He received both his M.A. in Intelligence and Security Studies, with distinction and honors, and his G.C. in Intelligence Analysis from The Citadel.