John is an internationally recognized specialist on Middle East politics, global terrorism and financial crime. John has been based in Washington D.C. since July 2010. Prior to that, he spent over four years with World-Check as global head of terrorism research and was based in Singapore and London, where he was on attachment with the United Kingdom National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.
John has extensive international experience in more than 50 countries and has conducted fieldwork on the finances of al-Qaeda and other illicit networks, in conjunction with governments and financial institutions, in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Europe. An accomplished author and speaker, he has published widely, including chapters in two critically acclaimed books, The Battle for Yemen and Unmasking Terrorism, as well as articles in Jane’s Intelligence Review, Homeland Security Today and West Point’s CTC Sentinel. He is regularly quoted in global media including the Associated Press, The Times (London), Reuters, Dawn (Pakistan), Haaretz (Israel), The Straits Times (Singapore), Forbes and O Globo (Brazil).
His recent speaking engagements have included U.S. Special Operations Command, the NATO Economic Security Directorate, U.S. Treasury Department, MI5 (British domestic intelligence), FINCEN (US Financial Intelligence Unit), the Singapore Association of Banks, the American Bar Association and the United Nations Technical Group on Counterterrorism and many more.
John is currently pursuing a doctorate in the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, on the logistics and funding of terrorist networks. His other academic and professional associations include:
- Adjunct Fellow, Rajaratnam School for International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 2010-2012
- Member, International Institute for Strategic Studies, London
- Member, Trusted Community “IT for CT,” National Counterterrorism Coordinator of the Netherlands
- Secondee, UK National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, City of London Police, January-March 2010
Proficient in Arabic, he studied at the American University in Cairo for a year as a David L. Boren National Security Education Program Scholar, which is awarded by the U.S. Department of Defense to about 100 out of 2,000 applicants annually. He holds a Masters degree in Middle East and Central Asian Security Studies from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, where he worked with the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, and graduated with honors from the University of Oklahoma in Letters (philosophy, history and classics) and economics. At the University of Oklahoma, he was a Neustadt Fellow with World Literature Today, a participant of the Oklahoma Student-Leadership Education Program, and honors research assistant for Dr. James L. Regens, Bartlett Foundation Chair and Director, OUHSC Center for Biosecurity Research.
He currently serves on the board of the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism in Oklahoma City and is an active alumnus of Casady School and the University of Oklahoma through the President’s Associates.