Seamus Hughes

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Seamus Hughes is the deputy director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University.

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Countering Violent Extremism

An Abridged History of America’s Terrorism Prevention Programs: Fits and Starts

There is an ongoing debate within policy circles on when and where countering violent extremism programs began in the U.S. There is, however, little debate on whether the strategy has been implemented effectively. By every objective measure, it has not.


It’s Not Only Iraq and Syria

Nearly a decade ago, five young men from the Washington, D.C., suburbs disappeared. Confusion about their whereabouts caused a panic within the national security community, which was only made worse by their reappearance a few days later when they were arrested in Pakistan for allegedly attempting to join Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the charity wing of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistani terrorist organization.

Foreign Policy Essay

Trump’s Domestic Countering Violent Extremism Policies Look a Lot Like Obama’s

Editor’s Note: Programs to counter violent extremism seemed under siege in the early days of the Trump administration, with officials questioning their focus and very purpose. Seamus Hughes and Haroro J. Ingram, of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University, argue that far less has changed than most people recognize. Despite a lot of rhetoric, U.S. government CVE programs have a similar orientation as they did under Obama but remain underfunded and inadequate.

Daniel Byman



Sixteen-Year-Old American Islamic State Fighter Reportedly Captured in Syria

On Jan. 9, the People’s Defense Units (YPG) announced the capture of eight individuals, ostensibly foreign fighters for the Islamic State, in a series of operations conducted by the group near the town of Deir-ez-Zor in eastern Syria. Reportedly among the captured are fighters from seven different countries.


The Story of an American Islamic State Member Allegedly Captured in Syria

On the morning of Jan. 6, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced that it had captured five Islamic State foreign fighters in Syria, including two reported U.S. citizens. The SDF identified the American captives as Zaid Abed al-Hamid, a 35-year-old from an undisclosed location in the U.S, and Warren Christopher Clark, a 34-year-old from Houston, Tex. If Clark’s capture is verified, it adds another chapter to years-long efforts to investigate into American Islamic State members.