Project Staff

Current Staff

Priyanka Renugopalakrishnan

Priyanka R. Renugopalakrishnan
Priyanka is a current Western Jihadism Project manager. She is a MA student in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence from the Heller School of Social Policy and Management. She holds a BS in Business Administration and brings with her project and data management experience from her work experience in the U.S. Army, non-profit and private sectors. She joined the Western Jihadism Project in October 2016. Her concentration is on U.S. Military and Foreign Policy. More specifically, she is interested in the role of U.S. National Security forces in regards to countering violent extremism (CVE). 

Li Chen

Li Chen
Li is a graduate student at Brandeis University, majoring in Computer Science. He joined the Western Jihadism Project in June 2017. As a research assistant, Li is working on data visualization and network analysis using various statistical analysis software, data extraction using SQL, as well as database management through PGAdmin.  His interests include web development and data science. 

Alyssa Goncalves

Alyssa Goncalves
Alyssa is a current Western Jihadism Project software research assistant.  She joined the project in May 2017 to work on maintaining the Django web framework, implementing software tools for data and network analysis, and assisting with database and system administration.  She is currently pursuing an MA in Computer Science at Brandeis University and is interested in information technology security.

Alyssa Kann

Alyssa Kann
Alyssa is a current junior at Brandeis University, where she is focusing on International & Global Studies, Economics, and Environmental Studies. In addition to being a research assistant at the Western Jihadism Project, she is the on-campus coordinator for Students for Environmental Action, a TA for an international environmental course, and the publications assistant for 'DEIS Impact, Brandeis' annual festival of social justice. She is interested in the different ways ideologies, religions, and philosophies impact people's actions under different circumstances. She'd like to better understand converts' pathways to radicalization and the moral codes of jihadists. She is particularly fascinated by jihadism's effect on globalization, democracy, and civil society.

Sarah LaMorey

Sarah LaMorey 
Sarah is a dual MA candidate at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University within the Conflict Resolution and Coexistence program and the Sustainable International Development program. Sarah joined the Western Jihadism Project in February 2017 as a Research Assistant. Sarah’s work at the lab compliments her focus on radicalization trajectories as well as the spread of jihadism across cultures as she is particularly focused on the East Africa and the security of this region.

Daniel Mangoubi Daniel Mangoubi
Daniel is an undergraduate at Brandeis studying Math and Economics.  He does Social Network Analysis and visualization for the lab as well as other data analysis.  He is interested in how data can be used to to craft policy. He also likes swimming and history!
Merima Tricic Merima Tricic
Merima is a recent graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles.  She majored in Political Science, the Study of Religion, and World Arts/Cultures. She is now a doctoral student in the department of Political Science at Brandeis. Merima joined the Western Jihadism Project in September 2016 and is focused on recruitment networks in Bosnia. Her interests include studying the psychology of middle-class Bosnian female teens in joining ISIS as well as understanding the flow of weapons from the 1990's Balkan conflicts to current-day ISIL territories. 
Yujiao Su

Yujiao Su
Yujiao is a current junior at Brandeis University studying Politics, Philosophy and Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies. She has been a part of the Western Jihadism Project since January 2017 as a research assistant. Besides working at the Western Jihadism Project, Yujiao is a contributing writer for Brandeis International Journal and has published her paper in the Asia & Pacific region. Her interests include Islamic jurisprudence and Islam in China. 

Jiadong Yan

Jiadong Yan 
Jiadong is a MA student at Brandeis University, studying Computer Science. He has been a part of the Western Jihadism Project since June 2017. As a research assistant, he is currently working on the Django web framework, query data from PostgreSQL database and data visualization using d3.js, UI design and change. He is interested in software engineering and data science.

Isaac Zukin

Isaac Zukin
Isaac is a current junior at Brandeis University studying International & Global Studies and Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies. Besides working at the Western Jihadism Project, Isaac is the Music Director of WBRS 100.1 FM and is planning on studying abroad in Jordan next spring. Isaac began working with the Western Jihadism Project team in November 2016 and is currently working as a research assistant.

Past Staff

Eliane

Eliane Tschaen Barbieri 

Eliane joined the Western Jihadism Research Project at its inception and was part of the Project successively as a postdoctoral fellow, visiting research scholar, and research associate until August 2013. She received her PhD in political science from Brandeis University in 2010 and is currently a product development researcher at a higher education services and analytics company. She left the project in Summer 2013.

Nathaniel

Nathaniel Barr

Nathaniel recently graduated from Brandeis University, majoring in politics and minoring in journalism. He has worked with the Western Jihadism Project since February 2013. During his time as a research assistant, he has conducted analysis on various terrorist plots, including 9/11, the July 7 London train bombing and the Al-Shabaab recruitment ring in Minnesota. He is currently tracking the recent wave of European and American citizens who have gone to fight in Syria. He previously worked as an Afghanistan/Pakistan research intern with the Institute for the Study of War and as a national security research intern with the Center for American Progress.  

Kathryn Brody

Kathryn Brody

Kathryn was a manager at the Western Jihadism Project while pursuing her MA at Brandeis University in Global Studies with a focus in International Security and Migration. She graduated in August 2017 with her MA and received her BA from Brandeis in May 2016, majoring in International and Global Studies and Anthropology. She joined the Western Jihadism Project September 2015. Because of her background in French, she worked on updating the Belgian and French terrorist networks. She was particularly interested in examining the radicalization of women in the West who go abroad to fight or to become jihadist wives. 

Haliana Burhans

Haliana Burhans

Haliana is a junior at Brandeis University, majoring in Psychology and International Global Studies with a minor in French. She plays soccer and runs track at Brandeis and is planning on studying abroad in France next spring. She joined the Western Jihadist Project as a research assistant.

Selene

Selene Campion

Selene joined the project in September 2014 and attended Brandeis as an undergraduate and graduate student, receiving her master's in Global Studies in 2015. She is currently a political science PhD student at Boston College. Selene studies comparative politics with a research focus on Islam in Western Europe. She specializes in Islam in France, including issues of immigration and integration, religion and politics, and Islamist extremism. She is also a research assistant at the Euro-Islam Research Network. 

Katherine Dowling

Photo credit: Mike Lovett, Brandeis University

Katherine Dowling

Katherine recently graduated from Brandeis University, majoring in both Politics and Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies and minoring in Religious Studies. She has worked with the Western Jihadism Project since March 2014. During her time as a research assistant, she has translated various court documents from Spanish, Arabic, French, and Italian, and has conducted analysis on various foreign fighter recruitment hubs. She wrote her senior thesis on the evolution of the roles of women in terrorist organizations, with a focus on participation in ISIL. Since leaving the lab, Katherine has been employed by the NYPD as an intelligence analyst. 

Ben Feshbach

Ben Feshbach

Ben joined the project in October 2015, and is a junior at Brandeis University studying philosophy, politics, and economics. Ben enjoys debate, vegetarian cooking, and The New York Times op-ed section.

Aileen

Aileen Finnin

Aileen is a 2015 graduate of Brandeis University who majored in International and Global Studies. She joined the Western Jihadism Project in September, 2013. During her time as an undergraduate research assistant, she analyzed profiles and materials circulated on social media networks, researched foreign fighters from the West operating in Iraq and Syria, and assessed jihadist propaganda. Simultaneously, Aileen's organization skills have been heavily utilized for the purposes of archiving and organizing the source library.  

Mika Hackner

Mika Hackner

Mika is an MA student in Political Science at Brandeis University. She also holds an MA from the University of Haifa in Peace and Conflict Management, as well as an Honor’s degree from the University of Cape Town in Justice and Transformation, and a BA from the University of Auckland in Politics and History. Her focus is Comparative Politics and her research interests include comparative regime types; democratic transition and consolidation; democratic regime persistence; and the impact of extremism on democratic states. She joined the Western Jihadism Project in October 2016.

Zachary

Zachary Herman

Zachary began working on the Western Jihadism Project in December of 2010 while he was an undergraduate. He graduated from Brandeis University in 2012, with a B.A. in Politics. After graduation, Zachary joined the project full time. Initially, his work on the project primarily focused on relationship analysis in Palantir and Excel, as well as on data verification. Overtime, he has become an integral part of the team and is now in charge of workflow management, project design, and strategy. He directly communicates with each member of the team and ensures that their research is streamlined, well-done, and that it ultimately amounts to a cohesive whole. 

alexandra

Alexandra Johnson

Alexandra graduated from Brandeis in December 2014, earning her bachelors degree in International & Global Studies. She joined the Western Jihadism Project in March 2015, initially as a research assistant, and held the positions of analyst and RA supervisor. Her primary responsibilities included coding foreign fighters and domestic operatives, researching and mapping terrorist networks (primarily using Palantir Technologies), and leading undergraduate research assistants in their coding efforts. She left the project in September 2016.

Sarah Jousset

Sarah Jousset

Sarah is a current junior at Brandeis University double majoring in International and Global Studies and Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. She joined the Western Jihadism Project as a Research Assistant in 2016. 

Yasser

Yasser Kureshi 

Yasser is a PhD Candidate in the Politics Department at Brandeis University, and his primary field of interest is comparative judicial politics, with an especial interest in the politics of South Asia and the Middle East. His previous education includes a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a JD from the Boston University School of Law. He is currently working with Professor Klausen and Adrienne Roach on a project to assemble life histories of home-grown convicted terrorist offenders in order to investigate the role of internet use and real-life networks in their early radicalization process. 

Rosanne Rosanne Libretti
Rosanne graduated from Brandeis University in May 2014 with majors in Psychology and Anthropology, and minors in Religious Studies and Classics. She joined the Western Jihadism Project in October, 2014 and has since assumed the role of project manager. She was in charge of all administrative tasks, while also managing grants and coding new foreign fighters. In the past, Rosanne has worked at Dr. Raymond Knight's research lab on aggressive behavior. Rosanne left the project in December 2016 to pursue a Masters degree at John Jay University. 
Brian Luk

Brian Luk

Brian graduated from Brandeis in May 2016, majoring in Computer Science and Politics. He joined the Western Jihadism project in May 2015. As a research assistant, Brian has conducted data analysis, including data extraction, sort and organization using Java, as well as data visualization and network analysis using ORA, Stata and Excel. His work also includes research on various terrorist networks and plots, primarily in Europe. He is most interested in the radicalization process of teenagers as well as the relationship between different social environments and the extent of terrorist activities. Brian left the project in May 2016.

Nathan

Nathan Needle

Nathan is a recent graduate who majored in Politics and Psychology, with minors in Legal Studies and Health: Science, Society, and Policy. He joined the Western Jihadism Project in March 2014. During his time with the project, Nathan's work has included researching Syrian foreign fighters and recruitment rings in the West, organizing and citing working papers and publications, conducting social network analysis of foreign fighters using ATLAS.ti, and sourcing the plot list library. He is most interested in the long-standing networks behind Jihadist recruitment and violent plot execution. 

giang

Giang Nguyen

Giang graduated from Brandeis University in May 2016, majoring in Computer Science and Business. He joined the Lab in April 2015. As a research assistant, he worked on analyzing and visualizing social networks, both real and virtual ones, using R and ORA (http://www.casos.cs.cmu.edu/projects/ora/) as well as the Java programming language to extract and sort data. His interests include pattern recognition and data science. He left the project in May 2016.

Molly Paris

Molly Paris

Molly graduated from Brandeis in May 2016, double majoring in Politics and Art History and minoring in Economics. Molly has been a part of the Western Jihadism Project since October 2015. As a research assistant she worked coding new terrorists, and improving the quality and quantity of information in the Project's database. Through her research she strengthened the depth of information concerning existing terrorists, individuals formerly involved in criminal activity related to terrorism, interpersonal links, and larger network links. She is interested in intelligence gathering, the radicalization process, and differences amongst Westernized governments' responses to the threat and actualization of terrorist activity. Molly left the project in May 2016. 

Michael

Michael Pizziferri

Michael (Class of 2015) was an undergraduate research assistant majoring in Politics and International and Global Studies at Brandeis. Since joining the team in January 2013, he has primarily worked on European cases, utilizing his knowledge of French and Italian. He left the project in December 2013.

Lee

Lee Remi

Lee is an MS student at Northeastern University, studying Security and Resilience Studies with a concentration in Counterterrorism. She has been a part of the Western Jihadism Project since May 2015, and graduated from Brandeis in May 2016 with a BA in Psychology. During her time with the project, Lee has focused on American Jihadists as well as major plots internationally, including the Paris Attacks in November 2015. Her interests include women in terrorist organizations and studying the psychology behind radicalization in order to counter violent extremism, and looking at community resilience to help communities recover from terrorist attacks.

Adrienne

Adrienne Roach

Adrienne holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire and a MA in Global Studies from Brandeis University. Prior to coming to Brandeis she worked in Wisconsin politics for five years.  Her Master’s thesis examined the impact of political elites and party competition on the number of female and ethnic minority MPs in the UK Parliament. Adrienne joined the Western Jihadism project in October of 2012. She manages daily office operations, Research Analyst tasking and data entry. She performs basic statistical and social network analyses for working papers and assists Professor Klausen with research planning and development. She also studies court documents, news sources, and social media content for relevant data. Her research interests include analyzing Al Qaeda and its affiliates from a gendered perspective. She left the project in August 2014.

Yini Rong

Yini Rong  

Yini graduated from Brandeis in May 2017 with majors in Economics and Mathematics. She joined the Western Jihadist Project in February 2017. During her time as a research assistant, she reviewed news reports and materials to analyze various jihadist networks in Australia and Belgium. She is interested in the transnational connections among jihadist networks in the West. She also loved to take selfies with Otto, the lab mascot. After graduation, she works as an Analyst in an economic consulting firm. 

Catherine

Catherine Rosch

Catherine is a senior at Brandeis University, majoring in politics and history. She joined the Lab in October 2015. As a research assistant, she works on researching American prisoners and foiled terrorist attacks and trends in foiling homegrown terrorist plots. Her interests include the role of political violence as an ideology and comparative policy solutions for preventing homegrown radicalization.

Ula

Ula Rutkowska

Ula is a recent graduate of Brandeis University, majoring in English and Politics. She has been part of the Western Jihadism Project since January, 2013. During her time as a research assistant, she has gathered information using various social media platforms, organized the source library, and has helped produce numerous papers. Currently, Ula is in charge of copy-editing and publishing all publications. While studying abroad in Switzerland, she worked as an intern in the Policing Unit at the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of the Armed Forces (DCAF). Her senior honors thesis is on Hannah Arendt, and has been titled "Hannah Arendt: On Thinking, Action, and Evil."

Mo Shi

Mo Shi 

Mo graduated from Brandeis in May 2017 with majors in Computer Science, Math, and Economics. She joined the Western Jihadism Project since January 2017. As a research assistant, Mo has worked on implementing query search platform for the project website, using Django and python, as well as database management, using SQL and PGAdmin. Her interests include machine learning and data science, and she will go to Georgia Tech’s Master program in Computer Science to keep exploring these areas. 

Kristina Tams

Kristina Tams

Kristina is a MA student at Brandeis University, studying Anthropology with a focus on Immigration, Terrorism and Law. Kristina has been a part of the Western Jihadism Project since May 2016. She received a BA in Anthropology, as well as a BA in Journalism at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 2012. Kristina facilitates the management of the Western Jihadism Project. She will also be utilizing the data from the Western Jihadism Project to develop her thesis throughout this academic year. Her thesis will generally focus on a comparison between the US and the UK, specifically investigating the legal practices of the two countries enacted on terrorists charged with non-violent "material support." 

Wouter

Wouter van der Eng

Wouter graduated from Brandeis University in May, 2013 with a B.A. in International and Global Studies and Psychology. Starting on the project as an undergraduate research assistant in the spring of 2013, Wouter mainly focused on the Belgian and Dutch individuals because of his fluency in Dutch. Since then, his work has expanded after being granted a full-time research associate position. Personally, his interests lie with the western foreign fighters, and the governmental response to the recent surge in individuals leaving for Syria. He left the project in May 2014.

Jingjing Wang

Jingjing Wang

Jingjing graduated from Brandeis in December 2016 with a major in Computer Science. She joined the Western Jihadism Project in October 2016 as a research assistant. She primarily worked on sorting data, extracting data and developing web framework.

Ryan

Ryan Yuffe

Ryan is a recent Brandeis University graduate who majored in Politics & Islamic/Middle East Studies. He studied abroad in Jordan and Oman for a combined 6 months, where he studied Arabic and Arab Politics, and joined the project upon his return in the summer of 2014. At the Western Jihadism Project, Ryan has worked on various different projects that have included analyzing foreign fighters in Syria and compiling and editing lists of terror plots in Western nations.

Aaron Zelin

Aaron Y. Zelin 

Aaron is the Richard Borow fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, where his research focuses on Salafi dynamics in the Arab world. He is also a PhD candidate at King's College of London and a fellow at its associated International Centre for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence. He independently maintains the widely cited website Jihadology.net.