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Anne Speckhard

Anne Speckhard, Ph.D. psychologist, author and researcher is Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry & of Security Studies in the School of Medicine & the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University.

She has interviewed over 400 terrorists, extremists and in the case of suicide terrorists, their family members, close associates and hostages. She designed the psychological and Islamic challenge portion of the Detainee Rehabilitation Program for the U.S. Department of Defense to be applied to over 20,000 detainees and 800 juveniles held there in 2007. She is the author of six books including Talking to Terrorists and Undercover Jihadi and has consulted to NATO, OSCE, foreign governments and the U.S. Departments of State, Defense, Justice, Homeland Security, Health & Human Services, CIA and FBI and frequently appears in the media. 


Presentation Topics:


Female Terrorists

Terrorism is a man’s game and is a male dominated field. Females make up from fifteen to thirty percent of terrorist groups and often blocked from combat roles. Those that manage to break in rarely land in leadership positions. What roles do female terrorists play and why do they deliver a double dividend to terrorists groups that use them?


Talking to Terrorists

Few persons have ventured into the field to talk to terrorists. Hear what makes up the lethal cocktail of terrorism based on the author’s 400+ interviews of terrorists, their family members, close associates and even hostages.  Her research question was what puts an individual on the terrorist trajectory and what might have prevented that or taken him or her back off it?


Undercover Jihad-Inside the Toronto 18 

18 homegrown terrorists, including two from the U.S., plotted to attack sites in Washington, D.C., place truck bombs around Toronto and to storm and behead politicians in the Canadian Parliament. Hear an in-depth analysis of how they radicalized, became an international terror cell and about the undercover inserted into their group to take them down.


Field Research with Terrorists

Going out into the field to find and talk with terrorists is fraught with danger and it involves winning their trust and getting them to talk.  How does one go about it while also avoiding becoming a hostage or casualty?


Promoting Resilience Before, During and After a Hostage-Taking

Becoming a hostage is increasingly a risk for civilians engaged in business, diplomacy, journalism and travel.  How to avoid being taken hostage and what should one expect if it happens?  What are the risks of trying to escape? How to promote resilience before, during and after being taken hostage?


We Served Too

Civilians who serve in danger zones are increasingly exposed to the front lines.  It used to be military operations had a clearly defined front, not any longer.  What are the dangers civilians endure in conflict zones and how to manage these risks?