Malcolm Wrightson Nance
September 20, 1961
|Education||Excelsior College (BA)|
|Occupation||Author, counterterrorism and intelligence commentator|
|Years active||1981–2001 (United States)|
|Employer(s)||Terror Asymmetrics Project on Strategy, Tactics and Radical Ideologies (TAPSTRI), executive director|
|Known for||National security, Counterterrorism intelligence, Islamic extremism, SERE|
|Notable work||Terrorist Recognition Handbook|
An End to al-Qaeda
The Terrorists of Iraq
The Plot to Hack America
|Allegiance|| United States|
|Service/|| United States Navy|
Territorial Defense Forces
|Years of service||1981–2001 (United States)|
|Rank||Senior chief petty officer (United States)|
Nance is an intelligence and foreign policy analyst who frequently discusses the history, personalities, and organization of jihadi radicalization and al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIS), Southwest Asian and African terror groups, as well as counterinsurgency and asymmetric warfare. Schooled in Arabic, he is active in the field of national security policy particularly, in anti- and counter-terrorism intelligence, terrorist strategy and tactics, torture and counter-ideology in combating Islamic extremism. In 2016, he published the book, Defeating ISIS: Who They Are, How They Fight, What They Believe, and published The Plot to Hack America the same year.
Early life and education
Nance was born in Philadelphia. He attended the city's West Catholic Boys High School. He studied Spanish, French, and Latin, and took advantage of free classes in Russian and Chinese offered at South Philadelphia High School on Saturdays. In 2011, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from New York's Excelsior College.
Nance began working in the civilian intelligence arena through research into the history of the Soviet Union and its spy agency the KGB. He subsequently analyzed Middle East terrorism and sovereign nations with ties to the Russian Federation.
Nance served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years from 1981 to 2001, receiving several military decorations. As a U.S. Navy specialist in Naval Cryptology, Nance was involved in numerous counter-terrorism, intelligence, and combat operations. He garnered expertise within the fields of intelligence and counterterrorism.
He was an instructor in wartime and peacetime Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE), training Navy and Marine Corps pilots and aircrew how to survive as prisoners of war. There Nance helped to initiate the Advanced Terrorism, Abduction and Hostage Survival course of instruction.
Nance took part in combat operations that occurred after the 1983 Beirut barracks bombings, was peripherally involved with the 1986 United States bombing of Libya, served on USS Wainwright during Operation Praying Mantis and was aboard during the sinking of the Iranian missile boat Joshan, served on USS Tripoli during the Gulf War, and assisted during a Banja Luka, Bosnia air strike.
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
On April 18, 2022, Nance revealed that he had joined the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine in March 2022. He supports the North Atlantic Fellas Organization and uses a NAFO Shiba Inu as his Twitter profile icon.[non-primary source needed] In an interview with Michael Harriot of The Guardian, Nance alluded to African-American military aviator Eugene Bullard's service in the French Foreign Legion to his service in Ukraine, hoping to inspire "African Americans and young Americans who have been in the military" and describing the International Legion as "the pantheon of the defense of democracy in the defense of Ukraine".
In 2001, Nance founded Special Readiness Services International (SRSI), an intelligence support company. On the morning of 9/11, driving to Arlington he witnessed the crash of American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon. He acted as a first responder at the helipad crash site where he helped organize the rescue and recovery of victims. Subsequently, Nance served as an intelligence and security contractor in Iraq, Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates and North Africa.
Between 2005 and 2007 Nance was a visiting lecturer on counterterrorism in Sydney, Australia at Macquarie University's Centre on Policing, Intelligence and Counter-terrorism (PICT) and at Victoria University of Wellington in Wellington, New Zealand.
Nance now directs a think tank that he founded, the "Terror Asymmetrics Project on Strategy, Tactics and Radical Ideologies", which analyzes counterterrorism. Nance is also a member of the advisory board of directors for the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.
On March 22, 2019, hours before Attorney General William Barr's controversial letter about the Mueller Report on the 2016 Trump campaign and its connections to Russia was released, Nance said the report could reveal treason exceeding that of Benedict Arnold.
In 2007, Nance wrote an article criticizing waterboarding for the counterinsurgency blog Small Wars Journal titled "Waterboarding is Torture... period." Nance wrote: "I know waterboarding is torture—because I did it myself." Nance said he witnessed and supervised waterboarding of hundreds of people.
Republished in the Pentagon Early Bird, it set off a firestorm as the first credible description of the torture technique as used in SERE. The article strongly swayed the Pentagon against the use of the waterboard because its misuse would damage America's reputation worldwide. Nance argued that using the torture techniques of America's former enemies dishonors the memory of U.S. service members who died in captivity through torture, and that torture does not produce credible intelligence.
Nance was called to testify before the U.S. Congress about the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques". He told the House Judiciary Committee that: "Waterboarding is torture, period... I believe that we must reject the use of the waterboard for prisoners and captives and cleanse this stain from our national honor...water overpowering your gag reflex, and then feel(ing) your throat open and allow pint after pint of water to involuntarily fill your lungs."
Nance's books on counter-terrorism and intelligence include: An End to al-Qaeda, Terrorist Recognition Handbook, The Terrorists of Iraq, Defeating ISIS, The Plot to Hack America, and Hacking ISIS. In 2018, he published The Plot to Destroy Democracy: How Putin and His Spies Are Undermining America and Dismantling the West. In 2019, he published The Plot to Betray America: How Team Trump Embraced Our Enemies, Compromised Our Security, and How We Can Fix It.
Nance has suggested that Donald Trump was surveilled by Russia as early as 1977. Nance elaborated, "First, you start off as a useful idiot, right? Next is unwitting assets... a person who doesn’t know that there was an intelligence operation around him. The next progression is a witting asset. I have never said the next step. I have never said Donald Trump was an agent of Russia."
- Torturing Democracy, 2008 (panel commentator).
- Dirty Wars, 2013 (interviewee).
- Trump: The Kremlin Candidate?, 2017 (interviewee).
- Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump, 2020 (interviewee).
- An End to al-Qaeda: Destroying Bin Laden's Jihad and Restoring America's Honor. St. Martin's. 2010. ISBN 978-0312592493.
- Terrorist Recognition Handbook: A Practitioner's Manual for Predicting and Identifying Terrorist Activity. CRC Press. 2013. ISBN 978-1466554573.
- The Terrorists of Iraq: Inside the Strategy and Tactics of the Iraq Insurgency 2003–2014. CRC Press. 2014. ISBN 978-1498706896.
- The Plot to Hack America: How Putin's Cyberspies and WikiLeaks Tried to Steal the 2016 Election. Skyhorse Publishing. 2016.
- Defeating ISIS: Who They Are, How They Fight, What They Believe. Skyhorse Publishing. 2016. ISBN 978-1510711846..
- Combating Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel task force of the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee; Nance, Malcolm (foreword) (2016), Final Report of the Task Force on Combating Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel, Skyhorse Publishing, ISBN 978-1510712386
- Hacking ISIS: How to Destroy the Cyber Jihad. Skyhorse Publishing. 2017. ISBN 978-1510718920.
- The Plot to Destroy Democracy: How Putin and His Spies Are Undermining America and Dismantling the West. Hachette. 2018. ISBN 978-0316484817.
- The Plot to Betray America: How Team Trump Embraced Our Enemies, Compromised Our Security, and How We Can Fix It. Hachette. 2019. ISBN 978-0316535762.
- They Want to Kill Americans: The Militias, Terrorists, and Deranged Ideology of the Trump Insurgency. St. Martin's Press. 2022. ISBN 9781250279002.
- Valania, Jonathan (April 15, 2018). "How Mount Airy's Malcolm Nance Became a Hero of the Resistance". Philadelphia Magazine. Archived from the original on May 8, 2021. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
- Jones, Layla A. (March 10, 2017), "Philly native is media expert on intelligence", The Philadelphia Tribune, archived from the original on March 25, 2017, retrieved June 7, 2017
- "Malcolm Nance on Defeating ISIS". Washington Journal. C-SPAN. March 13, 2016. Archived from the original on May 30, 2017. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
- Nance, Malcolm (October 10, 2016), The Plot to Hack America: How Putin's Cyberspies and WikiLeaks Tried to Steal the 2016 Election, Skyhorse Publishing, p. 216, ISBN 978-1510723320
- "Student Rounder". Times Union. Albany, NY. January 28, 2011. Archived from the original on June 16, 2018. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
- The Conservative Thinker (October 8, 2016). "Malcolm Nance – International Terrorism and Counterterrorism Expert". The Conservative Chronicles 24/7. Archived from the original on June 16, 2018. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
- "Malcolm Nance to present fall 2016 Manatt-Phelps Lecture in Political Science". Iowa State University. August 23, 2016. Archived from the original on July 7, 2018. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
- Lipkin, Michael (October 10, 2016), "The Plot to Hack America: How Putin's Cyberspies and WikiLeaks Tried to Steal the 2016 Election", New York Journal of Books, archived from the original on August 4, 2017, retrieved June 7, 2017
- Lamb, Brian (April 28, 2017), "Q&A with Malcolm Nance", C-SPAN (video), archived from the original on August 21, 2017, retrieved June 7, 2017
- Wolcott, James (March 21, 2017), "5 essential Twitter feeds for keeping up with Trump and Russia", Vanity Fair, archived from the original on June 8, 2017, retrieved June 7, 2017
- Cabanatuan, Michael (May 21, 2017), "Barbara Lee brings John Dean, Malcolm Nance to town hall meeting", San Francisco Chronicle, archived from the original on June 7, 2017, retrieved June 7, 2017
- Concha, Joe (February 18, 2017), "Maher: Russian election influence is worst political scandal in US history", The Hill, archived from the original on June 6, 2017, retrieved June 7, 2017
- Devega, Chauncey (March 14, 2017), "Intelligence expert Malcolm Nance on Trump scandal: 'As close to Benedict Arnold as we're ever going to get'", Salon, archived from the original on June 3, 2017, retrieved June 7, 2017
- Donahue, Joe (January 5, 2017), "Counterterrorism Expert Malcolm Nance", WAMC, archived from the original on May 29, 2017, retrieved June 7, 2017
- Hobson, Jeremy (October 12, 2016), "How Hackable Is The Election?", Here and Now, WBUR, archived from the original on August 3, 2017, retrieved June 7, 2017
- Kellman, Laurie (November 8, 2007). "Ex- Navy interrogator: Ban waterboarding". Navy Times. Associated Press.
- "House Panel Gets Earful On Waterboarding". CBS News. November 8, 2007. Archived from the original on March 7, 2016. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
- Chaitin, Daniel. "MSNBC analyst Malcolm Nance reveals he joined fight in Ukraine". Colorado Gazette. Washington Examiner. Retrieved April 18, 2022.[dead link]
- "I'm DONE talking. #JoinTheLegion #StopRussia #SlavaUkraini". Twitter. Archived from the original on April 19, 2022. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
- Timsit, Annabelle; Bella, Timothy; Barr, Jeremy (April 19, 2022). "Ex-MSNBC analyst joins Ukrainian forces against Russia: 'I'm done talking'". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved April 21, 2022.
- @MalcolmNance (September 16, 2022). "#NAFOfellas Want to drive the Russians Crazy?! retweet Theo [sic] own words: #ItsOKToRetreatfromAfricanAmericans" (Tweet). Retrieved September 18, 2022 – via Twitter.
- Harriot, Michael (April 29, 2022). "Malcolm Nance, TV pundit turned fighter in Ukraine: 'I believe in the defense of democracy'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on May 2, 2022. Retrieved May 2, 2022.
- Freeman, Colin (April 19, 2004). "12 U.S. troops die in Iraq; Spain leaving". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on December 14, 2004. Retrieved November 8, 2007.
- Freeman, Colin (April 4, 2004). "Iraqi police 'were too scared' to help Americans in Fallujah". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on August 21, 2004. Retrieved November 8, 2007.
- "Sydney ferries a 'soft terrorist target'". The Age. August 30, 2006. Archived from the original on October 23, 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2007.
- March 27, 2019 MSNBC’s Trump-Russia Ratings Fizzle: ‘Time to Pivot to 2020’ Archived March 28, 2019, at the Wayback Machine Several hours before Barr’s letter was released, former intelligence officer Malcolm Nance predicted on MSNBC that the report could “technically eclipse Benedict Arnold” in its level of treasonous activity.
- David Folkenflik (March 26, 2019). "Media Outlets Became A Target After Mueller Probe Results Surfaced". NPR. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
Malcolm Nance: Everyone repeat after me—single most serious scandal in the history of the United States—was the president of the United States an agent of an enemy of the United States? Look. This—it could technically eclipses Benedict Arnold, who at least did it for money.
- "Waterboarding is torture... Period". Small Wars Journal. October 31, 2007. Archived from the original on February 16, 2017. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
- Chadwick, Alex (November 1, 2007), "Expert Sheds Light on Waterboarding", Day to Day, National Public Radio, archived from the original on October 2, 2017, retrieved June 9, 2017
- "Waterboarding is torture – I did it myself, says US advisor". The Independent. November 1, 2007. Archived from the original on January 13, 2019. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
- Nance, Malcolm (2010), An End to al-Qaeda: Destroying Bin Laden's Jihad and Restoring America's Honor, St. Martin's Press, ISBN 978-0312592493
- Nance, Malcolm (2013), Terrorist Recognition Handbook: A Practitioner's Manual for Predicting and Identifying Terrorist Activities, CRC Press, ISBN 978-1466554573
- Nance, Malcolm (2014), The Terrorists of Iraq: Inside the Strategy and Tactics of the Iraq Insurgency 20032014, CRC Press, ISBN 978-1498706896
- Nance, Malcolm (2016), Defeating ISIS: Who They Are, How They Fight, What They Believe, Skyhorse Publishing, ISBN 978-1510711846
- Nance, Malcolm; Sampson, Chris (2017), Hacking ISIS: How to Destroy the Cyber Jihad, Skyhorse Publishing, ISBN 978-1510718920
- Nance, Malcolm (2018), The Plot to Destroy Democracy: How Putin and His Spies Are Undermining America and Dismantling the West, Hachette, ISBN 978-0316484817
- Nance, Malcolm (2019), The Plot to Betray America: How Team Trump Embraced Our Enemies, Compromised Our Security, and How We Can Fix It, Hachette, ISBN 978-0316535762
- Baragona, Justin (November 12, 2019). "MSNBC's Malcolm Nance: Trump Was on the Russians' Radar as 'Early as 1977'". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on November 12, 2021. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
- Chotiner, Isaac (November 24, 2019). "Malcolm Nance on the Danger of Conspiracy Theories". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on August 30, 2021. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
- "Malcolm Nance: 'The Republican party is an insurgent party'". the Guardian. July 28, 2022.