Graham E. Fuller

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Graham E. Fuller
Born (1937-11-28) November 28, 1937 (age 79)
Nationality American
Alma mater Harvard University
Occupation political analyst, author

Graham E. Fuller (born November 28, 1937) is an American author and political analyst, specializing in Islamic extremism.[1] Formerly vice-chair of the National Intelligence Council,[2] he also served as Station Chief in Kabul for the CIA. A "think piece" that Fuller wrote for the CIA was identified as instrumental in leading to the Iran–Contra affair.[3][4]

After a career in the United States State Department and CIA lasting 27 years,[5] he joined Rand Corporation as senior political scientist specializing in the Middle East.[3][6][7] As of 2006, he was affiliated with the Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC, as an adjunct professor of history.[8] He is the author of a number of books, including The Future of Political Islam.[9]


Fuller attended Harvard University, where he earned first a BA and then a MA degree in Russian and Middle Eastern Studies.[8][10]

State Department[edit]

Fuller joined the State Department of the United States, entering the Foreign Service for assignments in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.[7]


He served 20 years as an operations officer in the CIA. Assignments include postings in: Germany, Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, North Yemen, Afghanistan, and Hong Kong.[10] In 1982, the CIA appointed him National Intelligence Officer for Near East and South Asia.[11] In 1986, the CIA appointed him vice-chairman of the National Intelligence Council.[12][13]

Iran–Contra Affair[edit]

In 1987, Fuller was identified as the author of a 1985 study that according to the New York Times was "instrumental" in the decision of the Reagan Administration to secretly contact leaders in Iran and "eventually led to the covert sale of United States weapons to Tehran in what became the Iran–Contra affair."[3][4] The document suggested that the Soviet Union was in position to influence Iran and that the United States might gain influence by selling arms to the country.[14] According to Fuller, he had revised his opinion as the situation developed, but though he had told Government officials, a written report on the change was not circulated.[14] Fuller denied that the original "think piece" he had prepared with Howard Teicher was "tailored ... to support Administration policy."[14]

After government[edit]

Fuller left the CIA in 1988 for the RAND Corporation, remaining as a senior political scientist until 2000.[8][10] At the RAND Corporation he wrote, among many publications, on political Islam in various countries, and on the geopolitics of the Muslim world.

Fuller is an adjunct history professor at Simon Fraser University.[10] He speaks several Middle Eastern languages as well as Russian and Chinese.

After the Boston Marathon bombing, it was revealed that Fuller's daughter Samantha Ankara Fuller (married Tsarnaev) was married in the 1990s to Ruslan Tsarni (born Tsarnaev), the uncle of the perpetrators Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.[15] They divorced on 26 April 1999, in Orange County, North Carolina.[16] Ruslan Tsarni worked for companies connected to Halliburton. He was also a consultant for a company contracted by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in the former Soviet Republic of Kyrgyzstan.[17]



Co-authored books[edit]

  • Barkey, Henri J.; Graham E. Fuller (1998). Turkey's Kurdish Question. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 0-8476-8553-5. 
  • Francke, Rend Rahim; Graham E. Fuller (2001). The Arab Shi'a: The Forgotten Muslims. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-312-23956-4. 
  • Fuller, Graham E.; Ian O. Lesser (1995). A Sense of Siege: The Geopolitics of Islam and the West. Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-2149-2. 
  • Fuller, Graham E.; Ian O. Lesser; Paul B. Henze; James F. Brown (1993). Turkey's New Geopolitics: From the Balkans to Western China. Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-8660-8. 
  • Ronfeldt, David F.; John Arquilla, Arroyo Center, Graham E. Fuller, Melissa Fuller (1998). The Zapatista "Social Netwar" in Mexico. Rand Corporation. ISBN 0-8330-2656-9. 


  1. ^ Borger, Julian (5 January 2000). "Two more arrests as FBI investigates 'bomb plot'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  2. ^ Betts, Richard K. (2009). Enemies of Intelligence: Knowledge and Power in American National Security. Columbia University Press. p. 90. ISBN 0-231-13889-X. 
  3. ^ a b c "Washington Talk: Briefing; C.I.A. Secrets". New York Times. February 15, 1988. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  4. ^ a b Bar-Joseph, Uri (1995). Intelligence intervention in the politics of democratic states the United States, Israel and Britain. Penn State Press. p. 17. ISBN 0-271-02575-1. 
  5. ^ "The Kurdish Question (transcript)". NewsHour With Jim Lehrer. PBS. February 17, 1999. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  6. ^ Broder, Jonathan (1988-02-15). "Into the Kurdish Quagmire". Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  7. ^ a b Goodman, Melvin Allan (2008). Failure of intelligence: the decline and fall of the CIA. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 91. ISBN 0-7425-5110-5. 
  8. ^ a b c "Speaker Bio: Graham E. Fuller". Boston University. 2006. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  9. ^ Perry, Mitch E. (August 15, 2006). "Former CIA analyst on Sunni-Shia schism". WMNF 88.5 FM. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  10. ^ a b c d "Bio". 
  11. ^ Cannon, Lou (2000). revised, ed. President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime. PublicAffairs. p. 532. ISBN 1-891620-91-6. 
  12. ^ Cordovez, Diego; Harrison, Selig S. (1995). Out of Afghanistan: the inside story of the Soviet withdrawal. Oxford University Press US. p. 103. ISBN 0-19-506294-9. 
  13. ^ Gardels, Nathan; Medavoy, Mike (2009). American Idol After Iraq: Competing for Hearts and Minds in the Global Media Age. John Wiley and Sons. p. 131. ISBN 1-4051-8741-7. 
  14. ^ a b c Gordon, Michael R. (March 20, 1987). "White House knew of a shift on Iran, C.I.A. official say". New York Times. 
  15. ^ Laura Rosen, "Former CIA officer: ‘Absurd’ to link uncle of Boston suspects, Agency", [1], Al-Monitor 4-27-2013
  16. ^ North Carolina Vital Records, North Carolina State Center for Health Statistics, Divorce Index 1958-2004, Raleigh, NC, USA
  17. ^ Talev, Margaret (April 24, 2013). "Bomb Suspects' Uncle Gets 'Love Mail' for Speaking Out". Bloomberg. 

External links[edit]