Col. (Ret.) Jonathan Fighel – senior research scholar at the International Policy Institute for Counter Terrorism also head of “The Prosecuting Terrorism Intelligence Assistance Unit” at ICT and serves as a consultant and expert witness for the USA Department of Justice on Hamas trails, as well to private US based law firms in cases of prosecuting Al Qaeda terrorism. In the past 10 years is a consultant to a US based law firm on the 9/11 civil lawsuit and is leading a research team.
His expertise covers the Palestinian Authority, Islamist terror groups (Hams, PIJ, Al-Qaeda, and Jihadi groups), terrorism funding, Palestinian terrorism and the Palestinian suicide terrorism phenomenon, which he has studied in both academic and governmental frameworks in Israel. Col. Fighel knowledge and firsthand experience combines academic and operational knowledge in counter terrorism, Islam, Arab culture, radical Islam groups and ideology, fluent in Arabic language. In recent years his research deals with Global Jihad, suicide terrorism, radicalization and “homegrown terrorism”, the Internet as a tool for propaganda, recruitment and fundraising.
He is also a member of the International Academic Counter Terrorism Community (ICTAC). A media commentator on security issues and counter-terrorism, he has lectured in a number of universities and law enforcement agencies around the world, including the US, India, Italy, Singapore, Turkey, Australia, Spain and Germany. He has also studied the use of the Internet and a tool for propaganda, recruitment fundraising, and as a radicalization catalyst regarding the “homegrown” terrorism phenomenon.
Col. Fighel has published numerous of academic research articles based on analysis and research of primary sources which are being quoted in other academic research and books worldwide.
Col. Fighel served in various operational and field posts of intelligence collection units and research departments at the IDF Intelligence Corps, and as the director’s assistant of the IDF intelligence Production Division. During the 1990’s, Col. Fighel was a member of the steering committee for the implementation of the Oslo Accords and the transfer of powers to the Palestinian Authority. He was also active in obtaining donations from international NGO’s and agencies for the establishment of joint Israeli-Palestinian industrial parks. Col. Fighel is frequently invited for lectures and orientation courses in IDF, Israel National Police, The Border Police, Israeli Security Agency (ISA), FBI, N.Y Police, TSA, Scotland Yard, London police and NATO- COE-DAT center of excellence defence against terrorism in Turkey. Since 2005 Col.Fighel is a permanent lecturer at The Counter-Terrorism Studies Program, offered by the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy and the Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT), at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya.
The Israeli Defense Minister appoints him as a member of academic and governmental research teams on Palestinian suicide bombers and was a consulting member of the Minister of Transportation’s advisory team. Col. Fighel, holds a M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from Tel Aviv University, as well as a teaching diploma, and is a graduate of the IDF Command and Headquarters School. He has been active in many pro bono educational projects, including the establishment and management of the Middle Eastern Studies Department at the Alon High School in the city of Ramat HaSharon.