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Thomas Hegghammer
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Reseach Fellow (B.A., MPhil, PhD)

Research areas:
Terrorist recruitment
Terrorist uses of the Internet
Socio-cultural practices in terrorist groups
Foreign fighters
Islamist ideology
Jihadism in Saudi Arabia

Thomas Hegghammer holds an M.A. and an M.Phil. in Middle East studies from Oxford University and a Ph.D. in political science from Sciences-Po in Paris. 
He joined FFI in 2001 and has served as director of terrorism research since early 2011. (He is on sabbatical leave for the year 2012-13).
Dr. Hegghammer studies jihadism with a particular focus on transnational groups. His book Jihad in Saudi Arabia (Cambridge 2010) won the silver medal of the Arthur Ross Book Award from the Council of Foreign Relations. He also co-authored Al-Qaida in its own Words (Harvard 2008) and The Meccan Rebellion (Amal Press 2011).
His articles have appeared in the American Political Science Review, International Security, Journal of Peace Research, International Journal of Middle East Studies, and other journals.
He has testified in parliamentary hearings in Canada and Denmark and served as an expert witness in UK terrorism trials. He has also written op-eds for the New York Times and the Guardian and appeared on CNN's Amanpour and Anderson Cooper shows.
Dr. Hegghammer is the 2012-13 Zuckerman fellow at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC). He has previously been a fellow at New York University, a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, a fellow at Harvard Kennedy School, a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University, and a visiting fellow at King's College London.


Dr Hegghammer’s past publications include:

  • “Should I Stay or Should I Go? Explaining Variation in Western Jihadists’ Choice between Domestic and Foreign Fighting,” American Political Science Review 107, 1 (2013)
  • “The Recruiter’s Dilemma: Signaling and Terrorist Recruitment Tactics,” Journal of Peace Research 50, 1 (2013)
  • “Suicide” and “Terrorism”, in Gerhard Böwering et al (eds.), Encyclopaedia of Islamic Political
    Thought, Princeton University Press (2012)
  • “The Rise of Muslim Foreign Fighters: Islam and the Globalization of Jihad”, International Security 35, 3 (2011)



Office phone: +47 63 80 77 70

Personal webpage:

Thomas Hegghammer. Photo: FFI
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