3 Dr Sajjan Gohel
Dr Sajjan Gohel

Dr Sajjan Gohel

Guest Teacher and PhD Alumni

Department of International History

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Office Hours
Monday, 2pm to 3pm
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Key Expertise
Counter-Terrorism, International Security,Militant Ideology, Asian Politics

About me

Dr. Sajjan M. Gohel's research interests include looking at the ideology and doctrine that feeds international terrorism, the varying tactics and strategies of transnational terrorist groups, border security challenges, and the role new media plays in strategic communications.

In addition to being a guest teacher at the LSE, Dr. Gohel is the International Security Director for the London-based Asia-Pacific Foundation, a policy assessment think-tank monitoring emerging geopolitical threats. He acts in a consultancy role for law enforcement agencies, foreign ministry and defence departments, and the international media. Dr. Gohel has also provided in-depth reports on security issues to multilateral organizations such as the European Union, UNHCR, NATO, OSCE and INTERPOL.

Dr. Gohel’s research is case-study driven having conducted fieldwork in 23 countries. Dr. Gohel has also provided expert witness testimony to the House of Common’s Foreign Affairs Committee on the evolving challenges and threats in Afghanistan-Pakistan, North Africa and the Middle East.

Dr. Gohel is the Editor for NATO’s first-ever Counter-Terrorism Reference Curriculum (CTRC) which combined the expertise of academia as well as law enforcement and defence practitioners. He is leading NATO’s Defence Education Enhancement Programme’s (DEEP) to integrate the CTRC across the alliance and partner nations.

As part of NATO’s Defence Education Enhancement Programme (DEEP), Dr. Gohel is the Chairman for NATO DEEP’s Global Threats Advisory Group (CTAG), a collaborative research project investigating current transnational security threats and comprises of members from over 30 countries.

Dr. Gohel also serves as a visiting lecturer for military officers and diplomats at the George C. Marshall Center, the NATO Schools in Turkey and Germany as also the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ) and an academic advisory member of the Counter Terrorism Advisory Network (CTAN).

Dr. Gohel has been awarded the LSE International History Department’s ‘Martin Abel Gonzalez Teaching Prize’ on several occasions and is the recipient of the NATO Centre of Excellence – Defence Against Terrorism (COE-DAT) Commendation for contribution to the academic research of terrorism.

Dr. Gohel is the host for NATO’s first ever podcast series, DEEP Dive, where he talks with fellow practitioners on global security issues. He also appears as a guest analyst on CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, BBC, Sky News, CBC, CTV and The Monocle. Dr. Gohel’s commentaries also feature in various print media including Time Magazine, New York Times, Washington Post, Reuters and Associated Press.

Dr. Gohel received his BA (Hons) in Politics from Queen Mary, University of London. He also holds both a Master’s degree in Comparative Politics and a Ph.D. in International History from the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE). His thesis is entitled, 'Insurrection of the Ideologues: The Evolution of Egyptian Islamist Radical Ideological Thought from Hasan al-Banna to Ayman al-Zawahiri'.

Expertise Details

Islamist Ideology and Doctrine; Trans-National Political Violence and Terrorism; Border Security; Role of New Media for Strategic Communications and Protest Movements; Comparative Middle East - South Asia - Central Asia and East Asia Politics


Dr Sajjan Gohel teaches the following course at postgraduate level:

HY435 - Political Islam: From Ibn Taymiyya to ISIS


Dr Sajjan Gohel has won the following teaching awards:

- NATO Centre of Excellence Award - Defence Against Terrorism (COE-DAT) Commendation for contribution to the academic research of terrorism.

- LSE Class Teacher Award - Co-Recipient of the Martin Abel Gonzalez Prize Winner.

- Students’ Union Teaching Excellence Awards commendations.

Publications and papers

Dr Sajjan Gohel’s publications include:


• ‘NATO Counter-Terrorism Reference Curriculum (CTRC)’, NATO Defence Education Enhancement Programme (DEEP), (2020).


• 'The Taliban Are Far Closer to the Islamic State Than They Claim', Foreign Policy, 26 August 2021.

• ‘US withdrawal leaves many Afghans with little hope’, Financial Times, 17 April 2021.

• ‘Deciphering Ayman Al-Zawahiri and al-Qa’ida’s Strategic Imperatives,’ Perspectives on Terrorism, Vol 11, No 1 (2017).

• ‘The “Seventh Stage” of Terrorism in China’, CTC Sentinel, Vol 7 Issue 12, December, 2014.

• ‘Bangladesh: an Emerging Centre for Terrorism in Asia’, Perspectives on Terrorism, Vol 8, No 3, 2014.

• ‘Germany Increasingly a Center for Terrorism in Europe’, CTC Sentinel, Vol 4 Issue 8, August, 2011.

• ‘Iran’s Ambiguous Role in Afghanistan’, CTC Sentinel, Vol 3 Issue 3, March 2010.

• ‘The Internet and its Role in Terrorist Recruitment and Operational Planning’, CTC Sentinel, Vol 2 Issue 12, December 2009.

Book Chapters

• 'The Global-Local Nexus in the Kashmir Insurgency: The Jaish-e-Mohammed, the Pakistani Military and al-Qaeda’ in Exporting the Global Jihad: Critical Perspectives from the Periphery (London: Bloomsbury, 2020), pp.99-122.

• ‘Background Contributing Factors to Terrorism: Radicalization and Recruitment’, [with Francois Heisbourg, Rem Korteweg, Magnus Ranstorp, Rob De Wijk, in Magnus Ranstorp (ed), Understanding Violent Radicalisation: Terrorist And Jihadist Movements In Europe, (New York: Routledge, 2010), pp. 21-49

Written Testimony

• ‘NATO’s Counter-Terrorism Options For Enhanced Cooperation And Collaboration’, British House Of Commons Defence Select Committee Report on Indispensable allies: US, NATO and UK Defence relations inquiry, 19 November, 2017.

• ‘Understanding How The ISIL Ideology Directs Terrorism And The Necessity To Counter Its Narrative’, British House Of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee Report On The fight against ISIL: The UK's Role, 15 December, 2015.

• ‘Libya And The Cyrenaica Blowback’, British House Of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee Report on Extremism and Political Instability in North and West Africa, 29 May, 2013.

• ‘Afghanistan – Pakistan (AfPak): Britain’s Challenges, Dilemmas and Strategic Imperatives’, British House Of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee Report On The UK's Foreign Policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan, Evidence 514, 17 November, 2010.

• ‘The Afghanistan—Pakistan Border Areas: Challenges, Threats And Scenarios’, British House Of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee Report On Global Security: Afghanistan and Pakistan, Evidence 132, 22 January, 2009.

PhD Thesis

• ‘Insurrection of the Ideologues: The Evolution of Egyptian Islamist Radical Thought from Hasan al-Banna to Ayman al-Zawahiri’, Department of International History of the London School of Economics & Political Science, Doctor of Philosophy, London, 2009.

Op-Eds and Contributions

• ‘This Time, Russia Is in Afghanistan to Win’, Foreign Policy magazine, 1 July, 2020.

• ‘A complex tapestry of collusion and cooperation: Afghanistan and Pakistan’s terrorism networks’, South Asia @ LSE Blog, 5 June, 2020.

• ‘The terrorist-crime nexus connecting South Asia to Southeast Asia’, South Asia @ LSE Blog, 2 October, 2019.

• ‘Where Things Stand In Afghanistan’, The Beaver, 8 January, 2018

• ‘How Uzbekistan became ripe recruiting territory for ISIS’, CNN Online, 1 November, 2017.

• ‘Higher education, Afghanistan’s best weapon against extremism’, International Development Blog, 17 July 2017.

• ‘Despite security challenges, Afghanistan’s education system has come a long way’, South Asia @ LSE Blog, 17 July 2017.    

• ‘Afghanistan: losses, setbacks and impending challenges (part 2)’, South Asia @ LSE Blog, 12 May 2017.         

• ‘Afghanistan: losses, setbacks and impending challenges (part 1), South Asia @ LSE Blog, 11 May 2017.         

• ‘The challenges of EU counter-terrorism cooperation’, Europe’s World, 12 December, 2016

• ‘As the Baloch issue continues to be handled militarily rather than politically a peaceful resolution is unlikely’ South Asia @ LSE Blog, 9 Nov 2016.

• ‘As the Taliban increase the tempo of violence in Afghanistan they face new competition from the rising Wilayat Khorasan’, South Asia @ LSE Blog, 2 August 2016.          

• ‘The nexus of local and international extremist networks in Bangladesh’, South Asia @ LSE Blog, 22 July, 2016.

• ‘Paris fallout: Why the West has to recalculate its ISIS strategy’, CNN Opinion, 17 November, 2015.

• ‘Afghanistan: Green-on-blue attacks show there's no easy way out’, CNN Online, 18 September, 2012.

• ‘Pakistan Crucial In The Fight Against Taliban’, CNN Online, 9 August, 2010.

Were Mumbai attacks inspired by al Qaeda?’, CNN Online, 1 December, 2008.

• ‘Pakistan: Creating A Haven For Al Qaeda’, ABC Online, 30 December, 2007.

• ‘Terror Group Thought to be Defeated Now on Attack in Algeria’, ABC Online, 12 December, 2007.

• 'What is going on in Moussaoui's mind?', CNN Online, 28 March, 2006.

• ‘The Two Sides of Pervez Musharraf’, Club de Madrid, 18 August, 2006.

• ‘Tackling the invisible enemy submerged within the UK’, Op-ed, The Scotsman, 20th January, 2005.

• ‘The Consequences Of The Assassination of Rafiq Hariri’, WRITENET & The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 21 March, 2005.

• ‘Political Standoff in Sri Lanka’, Royal United Services Institute, Newsbrief, 21 January 2004.


• Supporting Muslim Students: A Quick Reference Guide for Teachers, Trainers and Lecturers, [with Sheikh Mohammed Abdi Dahir, Angus Dunphy, Paul Fitzpatrick, Hifsa Haroon-Iqbal, Barrie Phillips, Shaykh Asim Yusuf], Getting On Together (GOT) Project, (Melton: John Catt Educational, 2017)


Dr Sajjan Gohel’s presentations include:

‘The Global Terrorism Landscape’, Foreign Law Enforcement Community (FLEC) Meeting, Ankara, Turkey, 31 August, 2018.

‘Addressing The Potential Threats And Challenges of Returning FTFs’, 2018 OSCE Counter-Terrorism Conference, Rome, Italy, 11 May, 2018.

‘The Returnee Foreign Terrorist Fighters’, NATO Defence Against Terrorism Course, Oberammergau, Germany, 25 April, 2018.

‘Security Challenges in Afghanistan (AfPak) & Resurgence of al-Qaeda’, NATO Defence Against Terrorism Course, Oberammergau, Germany, 24 April, 2018.

‘Global Terrorism Overview’, NATO Defence Against Terrorism Course, Oberammergau, Germany, 23 April, 2018.

‘The Current And Emerging Terrorist Challenges In South Asia & Central Asia’, Interpol’s Project Kalkan, Lyon, France, 28 March, 2018.

‘The Changing Face of Terrorism’, Leadership in Counter-TerrorismUK, Scotland,14 March, 2018

‘Countering Violent Extremism: Demystifying the Ideology’, Leadership in Counter-Terrorism, Victoria Police, Melbourne, Australia, 12 December, 2017.

‘After The Fall of the Caliphate: International Terrorism’s On-Going Concerns & Challenges’, Sydney Institute, Sydney, Australia, 7 December, 2017.

‘The Current And Emerging Terrorist Challenges In South Asia & Central Asia’, Interpol’s Project Kalkan, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 21 November, 2017.

‘Tactics, Strategies and Blow-Back: The Current Global Terrorism Challenges’, Calgary Police Service 2017 Counter Terrorism Conference,Calgary, Canada, 18 October, 2017.

‘The Counter-Terrorism Challenges in the UK and Europe’, China Institute of International Strategic Studies (CIISS), Beijing, China, 22 August, 2017.

‘Global Terrorism and Border Security’, NATO Defence Against Terrorism Course, Oberammergau, Germany, 10 July, 2017.

‘Blow-Back, Tactics & Virtual Terrorism 3.0’, PfPC Combating Terrorism Working Group (CTWG), Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, 30 May, 2017.

‘Border Security Challenges & The Blow-Back From Foreign Terrorist Fighters’, Organization for Security & Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Security Committee, Vienna, Austria, 22 May, 2017.

‘European Challenges & Responses To Violent Extremism & Radicalization That Lead To Terrorism’, World Counter Terror Congress, London, United Kingdom, 3 May, 2017.

‘Emerging Challenges In Terrorism & The Blow-Back From Foreign Terrorist Fighters’, SO15 Ports Communication Day, London, United Kingdom, 20 April, 2017.

‘The Changing Face of Terrorism’, Leadership in Counter-Terrorism (LinCT) UK Alumni Annual Conference, Scotland, United Kingdom, 22 February, 2017.

Foreign Terrorist Fighters & Irregular Migration Routes: Prevention & Resilience’, Combating Terrorism Working Group & Albanian Prime Minister’s Office, Durrës, Albania, 14 September, 2016

‘Global Terrorism: Daesh vs Al-Qa’ida’, NATO Defence Against Terrorism Course, Oberammergau, Germany, 23 May, 2016.

The Contemporary Threats & Challenges Of FTF’s To International Security’, Addressing the Foreign Fighters Phenomenon & Counter-Terrorism Strategies, OSCE Border Management Staff College, Dushanbe, Tajikistan, 24 October, 2016.

‘Understanding & Preventing Daesh’s Radical Narrative’, 13th Annual Nursing Conference, London, United Kingdom, 12th May, 2016.

‘The Emerging Challenges in South Asia & Potential Blow-Back to the Five Eyes’, Leadership in Counter-Terrorism (LinCT), New York City, United States, 27 April, 2016.

‘The History & Evolution of Daesh’, National Prevent Practitioners Forum, National Police Chief’s Council, Leicester, United Kingdom, 6 April, 2016.

‘Terrorism & The Migrant Dynamic’, Migration Crisis: Security Challenges & Policy Recommendations, PfPC Combating Terrorism Working Group (CTWG), Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, 2nd June, 2016.

‘Challenges of Identification Of FTF In Mass Migrations Flows’, Transnational Threats Seminar, OSCE Mobile Training Team for Transnational Threats, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, 30th August, 2016.

‘The History & Evolution of Daesh’, SO15 Ports Communication Day, Metropolitan Police, London, United Kingdom, 21st April, 2016.

‘The History of ISIL:  Remaining and Expanding’,National Ports Counter-Terrorism Conference, National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC), Birmingham, United Kingdom, 25th November, 2015.

‘British Foreign Fighters and Potential Impacts on Euro-Atlantic/Eurasian Security’, Terrorism Experts Conference, NATO COE-DAT, Ankara, Turkey, 13th October, 2015.

‘The Ideological Doctrine Shaping Emerging Trends in Trans-National Terrorism’, Counter Terrorism Conference, Calgary Police Service, Calgary, Canada, 16th September, 2015.

‘From Al-Qa’ida To Daesh (ISIL): Assessing the Evolution Of The Ideological Narrative & Violent Extremism’, Combating Terrorism Working Group, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, 28th July, 2015.

‘Countering And Demystifying The Radical Narrative’, National Prevent Conference (Part II), Association of Chief Police Officers, Oxford, United Kingdom, 25th February, 2015.

‘Countering And Demystifying The Radical Narrative’, National Prevent Conference (Part I), Association of Chief Police Officers, Manchester, United Kingdom, 11th February, 2015.

News and media

Dr Sajjan Gohel is regularly consulted and quoted by the international news media. Some of these contributions include:



• 'Afghanistan withdrawal stokes fears of al-Qaeda comeback', BBC News, 7 June 2021 (quoted).


• ‘Saudi Arabia forces Pakistan to repay loans in diplomatic spat’, Financial Times, 13 August 2020.

• ‘La única pista en la misteriosa masacre de la maternidad de Kabul: fueron todos’, El País, 3 July, 2020.

NATO launches Counter-Terrorism Reference Curriculum, NATO, 12 June, 2020.

• ‘Pakistan’s Imran Khan sidelined by military during coronavirus outbreak’, Financial Times, 25 April, 2020.


• ‘U.S. Retreat From Syria Strengthens Russia’s Hand’, US News & World Report, 15 October, 2019.

‘Concerns terror cell in Sri Lanka large and well-connected’CNN, 23 April, 2019.

‘Expert warns political tensions could have contributed to breakdown in intelligence sharing’CNN, 22 April, 2019

‘Born into al-Qaida: Hamza bin Laden’s rise to prominence’Associated Press, 18 March, 2019.

‘Suspect live-streamed New Zealand mosque shootings to spark a race war'CBC, 15 March, 2019.

‘The Partnership for Peace Consortium’s Combating Terrorism Working Group leads the North Africa Regional Tabletop Exercise’Partnership for Peace Consortium (PfPC), 18 July, 2019.


• ‘Haqqani network's loss of hostages raises concerns over possible quid pro quo’, CBC News, 13 October, 2017.

• ‘Britain grapples with ‘new normal’ as subway bomb injures 29’, The Globe and Mail, 15 September, 2017.

• ‘Number of fatal terrorist attacks in western Europe increasing, data show’, Reuters, 12 July, 2017.

• ‘What Might Brexit Mean for Counterterrorism in Europe?’, PBS Frontline, 11 July, 2017.

• ‘Sajjan Gohel: terrorism expert on what next’, Radio New Zealand, 11 June, 2017.

• ‘British authorities overwhelmed with task of monitoring potential threats’, CBS News, 6 June, 2017.

• ‘London attack: Britons should 'brace themselves' for more terror incidents during Ramadan, expert warns’, The Independent, 5 June, 2017.

• ‘London terror attack: 'Brace ourselves' for further attacks, says security expert’, The Evening Standard, 4 June, 2017.

• ‘ISIL's Attack On Marawi A Signal Of Intent In The Philippines’, Euronews, 2 June, 2017.

• ‘Sajjan Gohel on IS: 'NATO needs to put boots on the ground (Part One)’, BBC ‘This Week’, 26 May, 2017.

• ‘Sajjan Gohel on IS: 'NATO needs to put boots on the ground (Part Two)’, BBC ‘This Week’, 26 May, 2017.

• ‘Would a ‘European FBI’ help prevent terror attacks?’, Debating Europe, 22 May, 2017.


• ‘Belgian Federal Police Chief Braces For New ISIS Terror Attacks’, Newsweek, 29 November, 2016.

• ‘Not just ISIS: Terror groups worldwide jockey for power’, CNN, 1 September, 2016.

• ‘Who are the terror groups jostling for influence in Bangladesh?’, CNN, 3 July, 2016.

• ‘Does Bin Laden's death leave a lasting legacy?’, BBC, 2 May 2016.

• ‘Airport Security Can't Start And End With Checking Luggage’, Newsweek, 5 April, 2016.

• ‘Who are the Pakistan Taliban?’, CNN, 30 March, 2016.

• ‘Why Belgium? Five reasons terrorists struck heart of Europe’, CNN, 27 March, 2016.

• ‘Paris Attacker, Europe’s ’Most Wanted Man,’ Caught in Belgium’, U.S. News & World Report, 18 March, 2016.

• ‘Highlighting the Religious Hypocrisy of ISIS’, The Huffington Post, 5 February, 2016.

• ‘ISIS militant ordered Jakarta attack from abroad, police chief says’, CNN, 15 January, 2016.


• ‘Deprived Brussels Neighborhood at Heart of Paris Terror Investigation’, VOA, 18 November, 2015.

• ‘The Rise Of Terrorism Inspired By Religion In France’, FiveThirtyEight, 14 November, 2015

• ‘The Bangkok Bomb Blast’, CNN, 18 August, 2015.

• ‘A Third Road for Xinjiang’, The Diplomat, 25 April, 2015.

• ‘Kenya terrorist attack: 6 things you need to know’, CNN, 2 April, 2015.

• ‘ISIS militant Jihadi John identified’, CNN, 26 February, 2015.

• ‘Yemen Instability Threatens U.S. Terror Fight’, U.S. News & World Report, 15 February, 2015.

• ‘Anger boils in Jordan over ISIS killing of pilot: What comes next?’, CNN, 5 February, 2015.

• ‘Failed suicide bomber takes center stage in Goto hostage negotiations’, Japan Times, 27 January, 2015.

• ‘Paris terror attacks: The importance of Djamel Beghal’, CNN, 15 January, 2015.