Cragin, Kim

Senior Research Fellow for Counterterrorism, Center for Strategic Research

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Areas of Expertise: Insurgency & Irregular Warfare/CT; Middle East and North Africa

R. Kim Cragin is the senior research fellow for counterterrorism at the National Defense University. Dr. Cragin has conducted research on terrorism for over 20 years. Prior to joining the National Defense University in 2015, she was a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. She also has taught at Georgetown University and the University of Maryland. Dr. Cragin served as senior staff to the 9/11 FBI Review Commission. In the spring of 2008, she spent three months on General Petraeus' (ret.) staff in Baghdad. Dr. Cragin has conducted fieldwork in Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Pakistan, northwest China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka, among others. Her mixed methods research focuses on counterterrorism, foreign terrorist fighters, radicalization and recruitment, and terrorist groups’ use of new technologies.

Dr. Cragin has published widely in academic and policy journals. Her most recent publications include “Preventing the Next Wave of Foreign Terrorist Fighters,” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, February 2019; “Virtual Planners in the Arsenal of Islamic State External Operations,” Orbis, Spring 2018; “Metastasis: Exploring the Impact of Foreign Fighters in Conflicts Abroad,” Journal of Strategic Studies, November 2017; and, “The Challenge of Foreign Fighter Returnees,” Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, April 2017. Among her many RAND reports are Why Do Individuals Reject Violent Extremism? (2016 and 2017); Social Science for Counterterrorism (2009), Sharing the Dragon’s Teeth: Terrorist Groups and the Exchange of New Technologies (2007) and Dissuading Terror (2004). Kim’s book Women as Terrorists was released in 2009. She has a Masters Degree in Public Policy from Duke University and completed her Ph.D at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.

Recent Publications