Analyst, African and Eurasian Affairs
The Jamestown Foundation
The Henry Jackson Society
Director of Research
The Henry Jackson Society
TIME: 1 – 2pm, Tuesday 17th June 2014
VENUE: Committee Room 12, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
View the event summary
Jihadist groups around the world are growing ever more dangerous. Not only are they carrying out terrorist attacks with virtual impunity, as events in Iraq have shown, they are capable of controlling ever more territory and recruiting ever more fighters. The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) continues to strengthen its position, making unprecedented territorial gains, bolstered by the humanitarian disaster that their “successes” in Syria have wrought in the face of the West’s failure to intervene there.
However, it is not just in Iraq that terrorist groups are flourishing. An estimated 2,000 Nigerians have also been murdered by the al-Qaeda linked terrorist group Boko Haram this year, with Nigeria now having the largest displaced population in Africa. While attacks occur on a very regular basis, it took the kidnapping of an estimated 329 school girls from their dormitories in northern Nigeria to place increased international focus on Boko Haram.
By kind invitation of John Glen MP, The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to invite you to a discussion with Jacob Zenn, Analyst of African and Eurasian Affairs at the Jamestown Foundation; Robin Simcox, Research Fellow at The Henry Jackson Society; and Olivier Guitta, Director of Research at The Henry Jackson Society. Surveying the diplomatic, military and intelligence landscape, Mr. Zenn, Mr. Simcox and Mr. Guitta will discuss the latest developments in Iraq and the findings of the latest HJS report, Terrorism in Nigeria: The Threat from Boko Haram and Ansaru.
Jacob Zenn is an analyst of African and Eurasian Affairs for the Jamestown Foundation, author of Northern Nigeria’s Boko Haram: The Prize in al-Qaeda’s Africa Strategy, and a frequent contributor on Boko Haram for the West Point CTC Sentinel. He is also an Associate Fellow at The Henry Jackson Society.
In November 2013, Mr. Zenn provided testimony to U.S. Congress on “The Continuing Threat of Boko Haram and Ansaru” on the day both groups were designated foreign terrorist organisations, and in February 2013 he testified before U.S. Congress on “Islamist Militant Threats to Eurasia.”
Mr. Zenn consults on countering violent extremism in Nigeria and Central Asia and on the international law and best practices related to freedom of association. He received a J.D. from Georgetown Law, with the commendation of a Global Law Scholar in 2011, and earned a graduate certificate in international relations from Johns Hopkins SAIS campus in Nanjing, China in 2007. Mr. Zenn speaks Arabic, Chinese, Indonesian, French, Spanish, and Russian.
Robin Simcox is a Research Fellow at The Henry Jackson Society.
He has written for the likes of The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, New Republic, The Atlantic, Washington Times, World Affairs, CTC Sentinel, Current Trends in Islamist Ideology, Weekly Standard and The Guardian; and comments in the media for the likes of the BBC, CNN, Sky News, al-Jazeera and Fox News. Mr. Simcox has spoken on a variety of platforms, including testifying to the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee, and at the White House, National Counterterrorism Center, British Parliament, US Special Operations Command and the European Parliament.
Mr. Simcox was previously a Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Cohesion, a think tank studying extremism and terrorism in the UK. He has an MSc in U.S. Foreign Policy from the Institute for the Study of Americas, University of London, and a BA in History (International) from the University of Leeds, which included a year at the University of Newcastle, Australia.
Olivier Guitta is the Director of Research at The Henry Jackson Society, responsible for setting the strategic agenda for the research department and overseeing the Society’s academic focus, as well as conducting his own research on geopolitics in the MENA region.
He is an expert on security and counter-terrorism, having briefed the UK Home Office, the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Swedish Foreign and Defence ministries, the European Union, the United States Congress and NATO, as well as US presidential candidates, SOCOM and Europol. He is a regular speaker at international security conferences and has lectured at the National Defense University and the Joint Special Operations University.
His writing on geopolitics and security issues has been published in a range of outlets, including The Times, Le Monde, Weekly Standard, Jane’s Defense Weekly, National Post (Canada), The National (UAE), Valeurs Actuelles (France), and Le Temps (Switzerland). Mr. Guitta has appeared on numerous international broadcast outlets, including the BBC, CNN, Sky News, France 24, Canadian TV, Fox News and NPR.