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Rohan Gunaratna (born 1961) is an international terrorism expert. He is the head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR) at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Currently, he is a professor of Security studies at the ICPVTR in S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. By its size, ICPVTR is one of the largest counter-terrorism research and training centres in the world.
Education and Career
Professor Rohan Gunaratna received his Masters from the University of Notre Dame in the US where he was Hesburgh Scholar and his doctorate from the University of St Andrews in the UK where he was British Chevening Scholar. A former Senior Fellow at the Combating Terrorism Centre at the United States Military Academy at West Point and at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Gunaratna was invited to testify on the structure of al Qaeda before the 9/11 Commission. The author of 15 books including “Inside al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror” (University of Columbia Press), Gunaratna interviewed terrorists and insurgents in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Saudi Arabia and other conflict zones. For advancing international security cooperation, Gunaratna received the Major General Ralph H. Van Deman Award in June 2014.
A Member of the Steering Committee of George Washington University's Homeland Security Policy Institute, Gunaratna is also Senior Fellow both at Fletcher School for Law and Diplomacy's Jebsen Center for Counter Terrorism Studies and the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism, Oklahoma. A former Senior Fellow at the United States Military Academy's Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, he holds a masters in international peace studies from Notre Dame, US, where he was Hesburgh Scholar and a doctorate in international relations from St Andrews, Scotland, where he was British Chevening Scholar.
Invited to testify before the 9-11 Commission on the structure of al Qaeda, Gunaratna led the specialist team that built the UN Database on al Qaeda, Taliban and their Entities. He debriefed detainees in the US, Asia, Middle East, including high value al Qaeda detainees in Iraq. He served as trainer for law enforcement, the intelligence community, and the military. He served as counter terrorism instructor for GIGN, CTSO, D88, US NAVY SEALS, Swiss Federal Police, NYPD, and the Australian Federal Police. He conducted field research in conflict zones including in Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Kashmir, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Colombia.
Author and editor of 12 books including "Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror” (Columbia University Press), an international best-seller, Gunaratna is also the lead author of Jane’s Counter Terrorism, a handbook for counter terrorism practitioners. His latest book with Michael Chandler, former Chairman of the UN Monitoring Group into the Mobility, Weapons and Finance is "Countering Terrorism: Can We Meet the Threat of Global Violence?” He also serves on the editorial boards of "Studies in Conflict and Terrorism" and "Terrorism and Political Violence," the leading academic journals in the field, and on the advisory council of “Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism.”
A litigation consultant to the US Department of Justice, Gunaratna was United States expert in the Jose Padilla trial.
Gunaratna said that Al-Qaeda commander Hambali had regularly visited Australia. This claim was later refuted by Australian authorities as lacking in evidence. Commenting on one of his books, the Pacific Journalism Review stated "his writing here on Indonesia reveals a remarkably narrow selection of sources, a profound lack of knowledge, and a flawed understanding of the history of the Indonesian armed forces and of their intelligence operates".
Ontario Superior Court of Justice's verdict against Gunaratna
In a February 2011 article in Lakbima News Gunaratna claimed that the Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) was a front for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The CTC sued Gunaratna and on 21 January 2014 the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled against Gunaratna, ordering home to pay the CTC damages of $37,000 and costs of $16,000. In his ruling judge Stephen E. Firestone stated that Gunaratna's claims were unequivocally and incontrovertibly "false and untrue".
Works (as author or co-author):
- Rohan Gunaratna (2013). "Countering Extremism: Building Social Resilience through Community Engagement".
- Rohan Gunaratna (2003). Inside Al-Qaeda: Global Network of Terror (Rei Sub ed.). Berkley Trade. ISBN 978-0-425-19114-9.
- Rohan Gunaratna (1987). War and Peace in Sri Lanka: With a Post-Accord Report From Jaffna (1 ed.). Institute of Fundamental Studies. ISBN 978-955-26-0001-2.
- Rohan Gunaratna (1990). Sri Lanka – A Lost Revolution? The Inside Story of the JVP. Institute of Fundamental Studies. ISBN 978-955-26-0004-3.
- Rohan Gunaratna (1993). Indian intervention in Sri Lanka: The role of India's intelligence agencies. South Asian Network on Conflict Research. ISBN 978-955-95199-0-4.
- Countering Terrorism: Can We Meet the Threat of Global Violence?
- Combating Terrorism (Regionalism & Regional Security)
- Ethnic Identity and National Conflict in China
- The Changing Face of Terrorism
- Conflict And Terrorism in Southern Thailand
- Rohan Gunaratna (2006). "The terror market: networks and enforcement in the West". Harvard International Review
- International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research
- Rohan Gunaratna's Profile
- Pacific Journalism Review article: Vol 9, September 2003, pp 201–207
- "Analyse this". The Age (Melbourne). 20 July 2003.
- "CTC Awarded $53,000 in Successful Defamation Lawsuit Against Rohan Gunaratna". Colombo Telegraph. 19 February 2014.
- Westhead, Rick (20 February 2014). "Canadian Tamil Congress wins $53,000 libel judgment". Toronto Star.
- "Video: Canadian court orders Prof.Gunaratna to pay damages". The Daily Mirror. Indo-Asian News Service. 19 February 2014.
- Vijayan, K. C. (27 February 2014). "Singapore terror expert must pay $60,000 for defamation". The Straits Times.
- "CTC win defamation case against Sri Lankan 'terrorism expert'". Tamil Guardian. 19 February 2014.
- Countering Extremism: Building Social Resilience through Community Engagement
- Staff Profile of Rohan Gunaratna, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, A Graduate School of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
- International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research
- Bradley Hope, How Commissioner Kelly Reads His Way To Vigilance on Crime, New York Sun October 2006.
- Daniel Hoare, Gareth Evans downplays terrorist risk in Australia