Michael S. Smith II
Michael S. Smith II is a terrorism analyst, open source intelligence collection and exploitation specialist, and an internationally recognized expert on the online influence operations of Salafi-Jihadist groups like al-Qa’ida and Islamic State. Smith’s 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 Congress, Executive Branch officials, and governments comprising the Global Coalition to Counter Daesh. His 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 extremists’ and Russia’s online influence operations. Smith’s work assisting policymakers and 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. In addition to frequent appearances on major media programs, Smith has contributed commentary pieces to a diverse mix of print and online publications, including Foreign Affairs, The Times of London, CNN.com, FoxNews.com, The Washington Times and The Christian Science Monitor. For his collaboration with hactivist collectives whose members infiltrated Islamic State social media networks and cyber infrastructure, Foreign Policy listed Smith among its “100 Leading Global Thinkers 2016.” Since October 2017, Smith has served as an International Security Fellow at New America, where his research is focused on terrorists’ exploitations of social media technologies to recruit and incite violence in the West. He received his M.A. in Intelligence and Security Studies, with distinction and honors, from The Citadel.