Magnus Ranstorp

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Dr Magnus Ranstorp, born March 13, 1965 in Hästveda is a Swedish scholar who has made thorough studies about Hizballah, Hamas, al-Qaeda and other militant Islamic movements. He is the Research Director of the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defence College, directing a project on Strategic Terrorist Threats to Europe which focuses on both radicalisation and recruitment of salafist-jihadist terrorists across Europe and the convergence between CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radioactive and Nuclear Weapons) and Terrorism.

Ranstorp graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minnesota in 1985. He recently[when?] received a Distinguished Alumni Citation from Gustavus.

Previously he was the Director of Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV) at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. He is the author of Hizballah in Lebanon and other articles and monographs on terrorism and counter-terrorism. As of 2011 his most recent edited book was Mapping Terrorism Research: State of the Art, Gaps and Future Direction (Routledge, 2006). He is on the international editorial advisory board of the academic journal Studies in Conflict and Terrorism and on the editorial boards of two relatively new international, peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journals published by Taylor & Francis: Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict and Critical Studies on Terrorism.

He is advisor to the Terrorism Project on Violent Radicalisation led by the Danish Institute of International Studies, scientific advisor to the DHS Center of Excellence START programme led by the University of Maryland, and on the Advisory Board of CSTPV, University of St Andrews.

His field work around the world has included interviewing hundreds of terrorists and members of militant Islamic movements. His work on the behaviour of the Hizballah movement was recognized by Israeli media in March 2000 as among the contributing factors leading to the decision by the Israeli government to withdraw from southern Lebanon. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 on the United States (9/11), CNN named Ranstorp its principal terrorism expert.

Ranstorp has briefed senior government and security officials from around the world, and lectures regularly to universities, think tanks and intergovernmental organisations. In 2003 he was invited to testify before the first hearing of the 9/11 Commission.

He was a member of an Advisory Panel on Terrorism in Europe advising the EU counter-terrorism coordinator. In 2005 he was a contributor to the George C. Marshall Center directed project on "Ideological War on Terror: Synthesizing Strategies Worldwide" (funded by the Office of the US Secretary of Defense). In 2006 Ranstorp was invited to join the European Commission Expert Group on Violent Radicalisation, an official advisory body on all matters relating to violent radicalisation and recruitment of extremists within the EU.

He is an elected Fellow of The Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences.

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