Michael S. Smith II Follow
Smith discussing Islamic State’s online recruitment and incitement campaign during an appearance on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, November 1, 2017
Michael S. Smith II is a terrorism analyst, open source intelligence collection specialist, and an internationally recognized expert on the influence operations of Salafi-Jihadist groups like al-Qa’ida and Islamic State. An international consultant in the field of countering violent extremism, Mr. Smith’s current projects include providing assistive guidance to a government in the Balkans under the auspices of a United States Government initiative aiming to build capacity to diminish the influence of violent extremist organizations in the region. He is also presently serving as a teaching fellow with Johns Hopkins University’s Advanced Academic Programs, for which he is developing a course for the Center for Advanced Governmental Studies’ MA in Global Security Studies program that examines the utility of open source research in conflict, politics and scholarship. 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 the United States Congress, Executive Branch officials, and governments comprising the Global Coalition to Counter Daesh, for which Mr. Smith served as a keynote speaker during a counterterrorism practitioners conference hosted at the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office headquarters 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. More recently, he 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 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, October 31, 2017
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, CBS, CNN, Fox News Channel, BBC, NPR, The Associated Press, Reuters, Voice of America, Newsweek, Foreign Policy, Channel 4 (UK), CBC (Canada), France 24, The Times of London, The Guardian, Bloomberg, 9 News Australia, ABC (Australia), El Mundo (Spain), and Corriere della Sera (Italy). For his collaboration with hactivist collectives whose members infiltrated Islamic State social media networks and cyber infrastructure, Foreign Policy listed Smith among the “Moguls” in its “100 Leading Global Thinkers 2016.” In addition to major media appearances, Smith has published with a diverse mix of influential policy and news publications, including Foreign Affairs, Lawfare, World Politics Review, The Times of London, CNN.com, FoxNews.com, The Washington Times, and The Christian Science Monitor. His scholarly work includes a chapter on Islamic State in the first edition of the Routledge Handbook of International Relations in the Middle East (Taylor & Francis, 2019). Since 2018, he has also served as a consultant to the International Spy Museum, assisting education staff with the development of an open source intelligence practitioner simulation that will be launched following the museum’s reopening at its new facility in 2019. Mr. Smith received both his MA in Intelligence and Security Studies, and his graduate certificate in Intelligence Analysis from The Citadel. In recognition of his academic accomplishments he was inducted into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the United States’ oldest and most selective multidisciplinary collegiate honor society.
Smith speaking during the December 2016 reception honoring him and others recognized by Foreign Policy magazine as the year’s “100 Leading Global Thinkers”