Michael S. Smith II          
Smith testifying during the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism’s October 2017 hearing focused on terrorists’ and Russia’s online influence campaigns
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. Since 2009, his work with prominent think tanks and as Principal and COO of Kronos Advisory, a private national security consultancy he cofounded with 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, Mr. 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, for which Smith served as a keynote speaker during a counterterrorism practitioners’ conference hosted at the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office headquarters in London in March 2017. 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. 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.” In addition to frequent major media appearances, Smith has published with a diverse mix of influential policy and news publications, including Foreign Affairs, Lawfare, The Times of London, CNN.com, FoxNews.com, The Washington Times and The Christian Science Monitor. His 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 (2018). 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. His current projects include authorship of This Is Going to Hurt: A View to the Global Jihad Movement’s Durability, in which Smith provides anticipatory analysis of threats posed by al-Qa’ida and Islamic State while examining opportunities to develop more impactful counterterrorism policies and shaping strategies that can help to limit these groups’ capabilities to recruit and incite violence in the West.