Launched in March 2014, Downrange is an online forum dedicated to deepening understandings of the organizations and individuals who inspire, fund, plan, and commit acts of Islamic terrorism, with particular focus on the Global Jihad movement. At Downrange you’ll find unvarnished expert insights and analysis of such topics as the history and operations of al-Qa’ida, as well as commentary on various governments’ counterterrorism policies.
For now, this is how we define the terms terrorism and terrorist:
terrorism A term used to describe unlawful, intimidatory, and/or coercive actions, especially the public use of force or violence, or threats of such actions against a government, civilian populace, or any segment(s) thereof, through which the actor (See terrorist) seeks to achieve any array of behavior-modifying psychological effects within specific groups of observers (e.g. fear that fosters accommodation among non-sympathetic elements; reverence that may be used to attract additional support from sympathetic observers) deemed necessary to advance agendas typically characterized by either political, economic, or social (i.e. religious) interests, or any combination thereof.
terrorist One who deliberately engages in unlawful, intimidatory, and/or coercive activities, especially the public use of force or violence, or threats of such actions in an effort to generate widespread behavior-modifying psychological effects deemed necessary to advance an agenda typically defined by either political, economic, or social (i.e. religious) interests, or any combination thereof.
Michael S. Smith II
Michael S. Smith II is a founder of Kronos Advisory. Prior to organizing Kronos, Smith served as a Research Fellow and Government Relations Officer at The NEFA Foundation, a nonprofit research institute devoted to exposing the organizations and individuals who plan, fund, and commit acts of terrorism, with particular focus on radical Islamist elements. Smith began advising members of the United States Congress on terror-related issues during this time, and his work assisting elected officials in Washington with national security issues has continued since his departure from NEFA in March 2011. As a Contributing Expert to the Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus (ATC), Smith provided research and analysis services to nearly 100 members of the US Senate and House of Representatives concerned with improving America’s counter-terrorism posture. Of note, his April 2011 report for the ATC on Iran’s ties to al-Qa’ida titled “The al-Qa’ida-Qods Force Nexus: Scratching the surface of a ‘known unknown’” was included among the source documents distributed to Congress by authors of the Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act of 2012 (signed into law in December 2012). Smith’s work assisting federal officials has been reported on by major media organizations, including The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse (AFP), Fox News, BBC, and Al Arabiya, and Smith has published numerous opinion pieces focused on US foreign policy and terror-related developments with major online and print news publications, including FoxNews.com and The Washington Times. In addition to his work with Kronos, Smith serves as a senior analyst with the geostrategic analysis firm Wikistrat.
Ronald Sandee is Chief Global Jihad Analyst at the strategic advisory firm Kronos Advisory. An international security consultant and counter-terrorism professional, Sandee is recognized by Western governments as a top expert on al-Qa’ida and Affiliated Movements. After finishing his Master’s degree in 1995, Sandee was drafted into the Dutch Army and served in the headquarters of the Defense Intelligence and Security Service (DISS/MIVD) in The Hague (1996-2006). In the nearly eleven years he worked at the DISS Sandee held various high-ranking positions, including Senior Political Strategic Analyst for the Former Soviet Union desk, Lead Senior Political Analyst for the Afghanistan desk (2002-2003), Commander (Lt. Col) of the Dutch Intelligence Unit Kabul, Afghanistan (2003), Senior Political Strategic Analyst for Terrorism and Organized Crime (2003-2004), and Senior Counter Intelligence Analyst for Terrorism (2004-2006). In Afghanistan, Sandee established the Dutch Intelligence Unit attached to ISAF and served as an Intelligence Advisor to ISAF Commander Lt. Gen Norbert Van Heyst. Sandee left the DISS to become Director of Analysis and Research for The NEFA Foundation (2006-2012), a nonprofit research institute devoted to exposing the organizations and individuals who plan, fund, and commit acts of terrorism, with particular focus on radical Islamist elements. In recent years, Sandee has spoken at numerous conferences and seminars, and lectured at universities. He has briefed officials at NATO Headquarters, the French Military Intelligence (DRM) headquarters, Swiss Military Intelligence, and the Dutch National Coordinator for Counter-Terrorism in The Hague. His input on terror-related issues is frequently sought by US defense, intelligence, and law enforcement officials, and he has directly assisted members of the United States Congress and their staffs while serving as a Contributing Expert to the Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus.