Michael S. Smith II
Michael S. Smith II is a terrorism analyst who specializes in the 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, White House officials, counterterrorism practitioners in the United States Intelligence Community, as well as counterterrorism practitioners from 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 (The Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act of 2012). In October 2017, Smith provided expert testimony during the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism’s 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.” Since October 2017, Smith has served as an International Security Program Fellow at New America. He is also pursuing a doctorate in Communication at Georgia State University, where his research foci include persuasion and terrorist propaganda produced to incite violence in the West. He received his M.A. in Intelligence and Security Studies, with distinction and honors, from The Citadel.