Aaron is a visiting scholar at Brandeis University and the Western Jihadism Project. He has a PhD from King's College, Department of War Studies and is a fellow at its associated International Centre for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence. He 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 independently maintains the widely cited website Jihadology.net.
Mandy is a sophomore at Brandeis University in the class of 2025, pursuing a double major in Politics and English. She started working as a research assistant for the Western Jihadism Project in Spring of 2022. She is interested in the policymaking and politics surrounding national security in the United States. Outside of the lab, she is on the boards of several clubs including Brandeis Democrats, Model UN, and Debate. She is also the director of TEDxBrandeisU.
Joel is a junior at Brandeis University in the class of 2024, majoring in History and International and Global Studies with minors in English, Anthropology, and Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. Post graduation, he will be looking to pursue his passion for working in the government and public sector. He joined the lab in January 2022 because of his interests in radicalization processes and jihadi recruitment strategies. He likes to remind people that he is from Los Angeles. Outside of the lab, Joel loves basketball, animation, long walks on the beach, and running two clubs on campus: the Brandeis Society for International Affairs and the Open Mic Intercultural Club.
Ian is a senior at Brandeis University graduating in December 2022, with a double major in Economics and Political Science, and a double minor in International and Global Studies and Italian Studies. He joined the Western Jihadism Project as a research assistant in January 2022, and continued working in the lab until graduation. Ian’s interests in the project include: how anti-terrorism laws are crafted and their various effects on local communities and the global threat; violent extremism and social networking; the economics of terrorism; and, the analyticl comparison of counterterrorism strategies across countries. Outside the lab, Ian is an Economics teaching assistant and a Study Abroad Ambassador. He also works with other professors in the Politics and Economics Departments on research projects, and conducts his own independent research using econometric and causal inference modeling.
Priyanka graduated with her MA from the Heller School of Social Policy and Management and now works for the Department of Defense. She worked for the Western Jihadism Project as a collaborator.
Rosanne started working at the Western Jihadism Project as lab manager in October 2014, and rejoined in the same capacity in July 2019, continuing until August 2021. Her primary work at the WJP was with research on Jihadist radicalization, in addition to analyzing data and coordinating with external collaborators. She currently works for the Burlington, MA Police Department as a Problem Solving Analyst.
Joseph was a Posse Scholar at Brandeis University and graduated in 2022 with dual majors in Politics and International Global Studies with a focus on the Middle East. He joined the Western Jihadism Project in the fall of 2019 as a research assistant and continued with the lab until graduation. While with the lab, he had various advanced responsibilities, including training new RAs. He’s interested in counter-radicalization policy and how governments deal with foreign fighters wishing to return to the west. Outside of the lab, Joseph loves watching basketball and being involved in student government. Joseph is currently attending Texas A&M University to pursue a Masters in International Affairs on the National Security and Diplomacy track.
Mae graduated from Brandeis University 2022 with dual majors in Psychology and Politics and a minor in Hispanic Studies. She joined the Western Jihadism Project staff as a research assistant in the fall of 2019 and continued until graduation, in an effort to explore the psychological patterns observed in radicalization trajectories. Outside of the lab, Mae was part of an Improv troupe at Brandeis and sang in Brandeis’ all-female acapella group, Up The Octave
Eitan graduated from Brandeis University in 2022 with a double major in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science. He joined the Western Jihadism Project as a research assistant in Spring 2021 and continued until graduation, with responsibilities including database management and bulk coding and transfer. On the side he worked as an EMT for BEMCo. Eitan is planning to attend graduate school in computer science. He currently works as an Analyst for BlackRock.
Betül Özturan is a PhD student at the Political Science Department at Brandeis University. Before coming to Brandeis, she had her MA from University of Konstanz and Charles University on Political Science and International Security Studies; and her BA in Political Science from Bogazici University. She joined the Western Jihadism Project in the fall of 2021 as a research assistant. Her interests are political violence, civil wars, and terrorism.
Caleb graduated from Brandeis University in 2022 with a double major in Politics and Philosophy and a minor in Legal Studies. He joined the Western Jihadism Project in the Spring of 2021 as a research assistant and continued with the lab until graduation. Outside of the lab, he was a writing tutor for the English Learning Program at Brandeis. He currently works as an analyst at Harry Jho LLC.
Gabriella Lieberman is a senior at Brandeis University, graduating in December 2022 with a major in Politics and a minor in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. She joined the Western Jihadism Project staff as a research assistant in the spring of 2021 because of her interest in counterterrorism policy. Inspired by her time at the lab, Gabriella studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, focusing on counterterrorism from a European perspective. Outside the lab, Gabriella is a Segal fellow, serves on the VoteDeis campus coalition, and works as an English tutor.
Katie Hankin graduated from Brandeis in August 2022 with a B.A. in Psychology. Katie joined the lab in January of 2021 with an interest in the psychology of radicalization and worked as a research assistant through September 2021. She gained an abundance of experience through being a research assistant and developed a passion for researching some of the most questioned individuals of today’s age of violence. Outside the lab, Katie was a radio personality on the Brandeis radio station at wbrs.org (100.1 FM) and regularly took yoga classes on campus. She currently works as a forensic case assistant with Boston Forensic Associates as well as a Mental Health Counselor with Walden Behavioral Care, adding that she wouldn’t be where she is today without the research experience she gained while working within the WJP.
Marissa graduated in 2022 with a double major in International and Global Studies and Politics as well as a double minor in Legal Studies and African & African American Studies. She joined the Western Jihadism Project as a research assistant in the late fall of 2020 and continued through the Spring of 2021. She was greatly interested in the ways female jihadists recruit other women to foreign fight. Outside of the lab, Marissa was a coordinator for an after-school tutoring program for middle school students in Waltham as well as a front desk associate for the Hiatt Career Center.
Maya graduated in 2022 with a double major in Economics and IMES, and a minor in Arabic. She plans to use what she learns at the Western Jihadism Project in a career involving foreign affairs or national defense, and to write a thesis her senior year. She was especially interested in the funding of terrorist activity through the sale and production of counterfeit goods. In her free time Maya enjoys reading, cooking, and trying new restaurants.
Rahul graduated from Brandeis University in 2022 with dual majors in Politics and Film, Television and Interactive Media, and a minor in Legal Studies. He worked for the Western Jihadism Project as a research assistant in the spring of 2021, partly to learn about the details of jihadi recruitment, specifically advertising through social media networks and also to explore the recent trends in the increasing susceptibility to radicalization. Outside of the lab, Rahul tries to do stand-up comedy, but fails to make his mom laugh.
Prabu graduated from Brandeis in 2022, studying Computer Science, Data Science, and Physics. He worked with the CS team at the WJP and as a data analyst at the Chakraborty Group. He really enjoys working on different types of data science projects and participating at hackathons. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, playing video games, and exercising!
Tobias Kallenberg was a politics and economics major in the class of 2022 from Shreveport, Louisiana. He joined the lab for the Spring of 2021 as a research assistant. He is interested in political economy and macroeconomics, and hopes to attend graduate school in the future. Outside the lab, Tobias enjoys creative writing, following motorsports, cinema, and was the Treasurer of the chapter of the Alpha Delta Phi at Brandeis.
Nick graduated from Brandeis University in December 2020, majoring in politics and business. He worked with the Western Jihadism Project from October 2017 up to his graduation in 2020. During his time as a research assistant, he conducted research on various terrorist plots and organizations, including Boston Marathon Bombings, as well as aided in the research and citations of Professor Klausen's most recent book, "Western Jihadism: A Thirty-Year History". He is currently working as the Assistant Director of Customer Resource Management and Data Analytics in the Boston College Athletic Department as he pursues his MBA at the Carroll School of Management at Boston College.
Sam graduated from Brandeis in 2020 with a double major in Politics and English. He joined the Western Jihadism Project in March 2019 and continued until graduation as a research assistant. Besides working at the lab, Sam also worked as a tutor for the Gateway Scholars program and competed on the Brandeis Men’s Fencing team. He is currently completing his JD from Columbia Law School.
Alexandra joined the Western Jihadism Project in March 2015 initially as a research assistant, and then held the positions of analyst and RA supervisor until October 2016 when she moved abroad. After returning to the US the following year, she resumed work at the WJP and held the role of Senior Analyst until July 2019. Her research focus includes transnational organized crime, the crime-terror nexus, and human trafficking. Outside of the lab she is active in a variety of local anti-human trafficking efforts and serves on the Steering Committee for the Global Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (GAHTTF) initiated at the United Nations in November 2018.
Evan graduated from Brandeis University in 2020 with dual majors in Psychology and Politics. He joined the Western Jihadism Project staff as a research assistant in the spring of 2019 and continued until graduation, in an effort to explore the intersection between violent extremism and clinical and social psychology. Outside WJP, Evan also worked as a teaching assistant in the Psychology department and conducted research at the Brandeis Development, Sex and Aggression Lab with Dr. Ray Knight. He also pursues a lifelong study of the martial arts.
Daniel graduated in 2018 with majors in Economics and Mathematics and minors in Business and Politics. He started working for the Western Jihadism Project as a data undergraduate research assistant in fall 2016 and continued until August 2018. While with the lab, Daniel wrote queries in SQL to extract data from the WJP's database for various research projects. He also cleaned and visualized data in Excel and Stata and produced network visualizations and metrics using ORA and Gephi, software specifically designed for social network analysis. He joined the lab because he was interested in quantitative social science and public policy research. Daniel says that he really appreciated the opportunities to work with real world data. He currently works as a Data Analytics Associate at Mathematica Policy Research, analyzing education policy data.
Haliana graduated from Brandeis in May 2019 with a MA in Global Studies. She got her undergraduate degree from Brandeis in 2018 majoring in psychology and international global studies with a minor in French. She played soccer and ran track at Brandeis. She has studied abroad in France. She joined the Western Jihadist Project as a Research Assistant in 2016.
Alyssa majored in international relations, economics, and the environment, graduating in May 2019. She joined the Western Jihadism Project as a research assistant in January 2017. She was also a TA in the environmental studies department. She is interested in the impact of stringent counter-terrorism laws on democracies and human rights. She is also fascinated in how inequality can impact people's ideologies and actions.
Connor graduated from Brandeis University in 2021 with a major in Business and a minor in Economics. He joined the Western Jihadism Project as a research assistant in Fall 2018 and continued until graduation. He played for the Brandeis varsity baseball team his freshman and sophomore years. Outside of the lab, Connor also has a passion for fitness and Boston sports teams and loves to spend time with his family and friends. He currently works in banking.
Mike joined the lab in February 2018, working as a software developer and database manager. He is a Brandeis graduate in computer science and mathematics. Mike's responsibilities in the lab included working to resolve issues on the remote servers where the data portal lives, improving performance of the portal itself, and managing the structure of the database. Mike is interested in using technology to make data accessible in order to find patterns and make sense of it all. He moved to Wisconsin and works as a software developer.
Yujiao graduated from Brandeis University in 2019, studying politics, philosophy, and Islamic and Middle Eastern studies. She was part of the Western Jihadism Project from January 2017 until graduation as a research assistant. Besides working at the Western Jihadism Project, Yujiao was a contributing writer for Brandeis International Journal and has published her paper in the Asia and Pacific region. Her interests include Islamic jurisprudence and Islam in China.
Katherine graduated from Brandeis University in 2016, majoring in both politics and Islamic and Middle Eastern studies, and minoring in religious studies. She began working with the Western Jihadism Project in March 2014. During her time as a research assistant, she 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.
Ameer graduated from Brandeis in 2022, studying Computer Science. He is a software developer focused on producing and updating web applications. He enjoyed helping the WJP provide a reliable and user-friendly experience to all those who use the database.
Oona graduated from Brandeis University in 2022 with a major in Politics and minors in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and English. She joined the Western Jihadism project for the Spring of 2021 as a research assistant. She was interested in learning about the socio-political effects of repatriating foreign fighters and their families. Oona was equally interested in researching the ethical issues that arise in the context of counter-terrorism efforts. Outside the lab, she was the president of the Brandeis Reform Chavurah as well as the Brandeis Model United Nations Club.
Renee graduated in May 2019, majoring in sociology with minors in Health: Science, Society, and Policy and philosophy. She was on the Brandeis Women's Fencing Team and joined the Western Jihadism Project as a research assistant in Spring 2018.
Yifei attended a computer science graduate program at Brandeis after obtaining his BS in computer science and BA in economics from UCONN. He joined the lab in fall 2019 as a software developer. He aided the research group by fixing issues on the data portal, making migrations of database schema and importing data entries through writing script files. He is also responsible for deployment of new updates on servers. His research interest mainly focuses on complexity improvements of algorithms in computer science and as of now, he is actively exploring reducing runtime and improving labeling correctness in distant supervision for relation extraction.
Nathaniel graduated from Brandeis University in May 2014, 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. He now works in military intelligence.
Zachary began working on the Western Jihadism Project in December 2010 while he was an undergraduate. He graduated from Brandeis University in 2012, with a BA 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. Over time, he became an integral part of the team and was in charge of workflow management, project design, and strategy. He directly communicated with each member of the team and ensured that their research was streamlined, well-done, and that it ultimately amounts to a cohesive whole. Zachary works for the NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board.