Asset Publisher

null Mohammed M. Hafez, Ph.D.


Contact Info

(831) 233-0272
Office Address:
Glasgow Hall, Room 337


Expertise: Islamist Political Violence, Radicalization Processes, and Middle Eastern Politics


Mohammed M. Hafez earned his Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2000. From 2013–2018, he served as the Chair of the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. A specialist in Islamist movements and political violence, his books include Why Muslims Rebel: Repression and Resistance in the Islamic World (2003); Manufacturing Human Bombs: The Making of Palestinian Suicide Bombers (2006); and Suicide Bombers in Iraq: The Strategy and Ideology of Martyrdom (2007). His current book project, The Nearest Enemy: Factionalism and Fratricide in Militant Islamist Networks, investigates inter-rebel wars in Algeria (1992–2002), Iraq (2003–2011), and Syria (2011–2016) using a combination of comparative case analysis and network-analytic methodologies. 

Dr. Hafez is also the author of over 25 journal articles and book chapters on political radicalization, foreign fighters, and Islamist ideologies. He regularly briefs government and military analysts on issues related to terrorism, the war of ideas, and countering radicalization. Dr. Hafez has made several appearances on PBS News Hour, NPR, CNN, C-SPAN, and other national and international media forums.

Teaching Interests:

Islamic Fundamentalism

Comparative Politics of the Middle East

Radicalization and Countering Violent Extremism


Scholarly Impact

Select Publications


Complete List of Publications:



Emily Gade, Mohammed M. Hafez, and Michael Gabbay, “Fratricide in Rebel Movements: A Network Analysis of Syrian Militant Infighting,” Journal of Peace Research 53, no. 3 (2019): 321–335. 

Emily Gade, Michael Gabbay, Mohammed M. Hafez, and Zane Kelly, “Networks of Cooperation: Rebel Alliances in Fragmented Civil Wars,” Journal of Conflict Resolution 63, no. 9 (2019): 2071–2097. 

Mohammed M. Hafez, "Not My Brother's Keeper: Factional Infighting in armed Islamist Movements," Journal of Religion and Violence (November 2019). 



Mohammed M. Hafez, “Fratricidal Jihadists: Why Islamist Keep Losing their Civil Wars,” Middle East Policy XXV, 2 (Summer 2018): 86–99.

Mohammed M. Hafez, “Apologia for Suicide: Martyrdom in Contemporary Jihadist Discourse,” in Margo Kitts, ed. Martyrdom and Self-Sacrifice: Religious Perspectives on Suicide (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018): 126–139.



Mohammed M. Hafez, “Fratricidal Rebels: Ideological Extremity and Warring Factionalism in Civil Wars,” Terrorism and Political Violence (2017): 1–26.

Sean C. Reynolds and Mohammed M. Hafez, “Social Network Analysis of German Foreign Fighters in Syria and Iraq,” Terrorism and Political Violence (2017): 1–26.

Mohammed M. Hafez, “The Curse of Cain: Why Fratricidal Jihadis Fail to Learn from their Mistakes,” CTC Sentinel 10 (November 2017): 1–7.



Mohammed M. Hafez, “The Ties that Bind: How Terrorists Exploit Family Bonds,” CTC Sentinel 9 (February 2016): 15–17.



Mohammed M. Hafez and Creighton Mullins, “The Radicalization Puzzle: A Theoretical Synthesis of Empirical Approaches to Homegrown Extremism,” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 38, no. 11 (2015): 958–975.



Mohammed M. Hafez, “The Origins of Sectarian Terrorism in Iraq,” in Bruce Hoffman and Fernando Reinares, eds. The Evolution of the Global Terrorist Threat: From 9/11 to Osama bin Laden’s Death (New York: Columbia University Press, 2014): 436–460.



Mohammed M. Hafez, “Illegitimate Governance: The Roots of Islamist Radicalization in the MENA,” in Abbas Kadhim, ed. Governance in the Middle East and North Africa: A Handbook (New York: Routledge, 2013): 85–98.



Mohammed M. Hafez, “Martyrs Without Borders: The Puzzle of Transnational Suicide Bombers,” in Marie Breen-Smyth, ed. The Ashgate Companion to Political Violence (Surrey, UK: Ashgate Publishing, 2012): 185–204.

Mohammed M. Hafez and Maria Rasmussen, Terrorist Innovations in Weapons of Mass Effect: Phase II, Defense Threat Reduction Agency (PASCC Report Number 2012 003), January 2012: 1–119.



Mohammed M. Hafez and Marc Andre-Walther, “Hamas between Pragmatism and Radicalism,” in Shahram Akbarzadeh, ed. Handbook of Political Islam (New York: Routledge, 2011): 62–73.

Mohammed M. Hafez, “Debating Takfir and Muslim-on-Muslim Violence,” in Assaf Moghadam and Brian Fishman, eds. Fault Lines in Global Jihad: Organizational, Strategic and Ideological Fissures (New York: Routledge, 2011): 25–46.



Mohammed M. Hafez, “The Alchemy of Martyrdom: Jihadi Salafism and Debates over Suicide Bombings in the Muslim World,” Asian Journal of Social Science 38, 3 (2010): 362–376.

Mohammed M. Hafez and Maria Rasmussen, Terrorist Innovations in Weapons of Mass Effect: Preconditions, Causes, and Predictive Indicators, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Advanced Systems and Concepts Office (Report Number ASCO 2010–019), August 2010: 1–203.



Mohammed M. Hafez, “Jihad after Iraq: Lessons from the Arab-Afghans,” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 32, 2 (2009): 73–94.



Mohammed M. Hafez, “Radicalization in the Persian Gulf: Assessing the Potential of Islamist Militancy in Saudi Arabia and Yemen,” Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict 1 (2008): 1–19.

Mohammed M. Hafez, “Jihad after Iraq: Lessons from the Arab Afghans Phenomenon,” CTC Sentinel 1 (March 2008): 1–4.



Mohammed M. Hafez, Suicide Bombers in Iraq: The Strategy and Ideology of Martyrdom (Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace, 2007), 285 pp.

Mohammed M. Hafez, “Martyrdom Mythologies in Iraq: How Jihadists Frame Suicide Terrorism in Videos and Biographies,” Terrorism and Political Violence 19 (Spring 2007): 95–115.

Mohammed M. Hafez, “Radical Islam” in Robert Wuthnow, ed. Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion, 2nd ed. (Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2007).

Mohammed M. Hafez, “Al-Qa`ida Losing Ground in Iraq,” CTC Sentinel 1 (December 2007): 6–8.



Mohammed M. Hafez, Manufacturing Human Bombs: The Making of Palestinian Suicide Bombers (Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace, 2006), 124 pp.

Mohammed M. Hafez, “Suicide Terrorism in Iraq: A Preliminary Assessment of the Quantitative Data and Documentary Evidence,” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 29, 8 (2006): 591–619.

Mohammed M. Hafez and Joseph M Hatfield, “Do Targeted Assassinations Work? A Multivariate Analysis of Israel’s Controversial Tactic during Al-Aqsa Uprising,” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 29, 4 (June 2006): 359–382.

Mohammed M. Hafez, “Rationality, Culture, and Structure in the Making of Suicide Bombers: A Preliminary Theoretical Synthesis and Illustrative Case Study,” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 29, 2 (March–April 2006): 165–185.

Mohammed M. Hafez, “Moral Agents, Immoral Violence: Mechanisms of Moral Disengagement in Palestinian Suicide Terrorism,” Jeffrey Victoroff, ed. Tangled Roots: Social and Psychological Factors in the Genesis of Terrorism (Amsterdam, Netherlands: IOS Press, 2006): 292–307.

Mohammed M. Hafez, “Dying to be Martyrs: The Symbolic Dimension of Suicide Terrorism” in Ami Pedahzur, ed. Root Causes of Suicide Terrorism: The Globalization of Martyrdom (NY and Oxford: Routledge, 2006): 54–80.



Mohammed M. Hafez, “Political Repression and Violent Rebellion in the Muslim World” in James JF Forest, ed. The Making of a Terrorist: Recruitment, Training, and Root Causes (Westport, CT: Greenwood/Praeger: 2005): 74–91.

Mohammed M. Hafez, “A Tragedy of Errors: Thwarted Democratization and Islamist Violence in Algeria” in William Crotty, ed. Democratic Development and Political Terrorism (Northeastern University Press, 2005): 301–331.



Mohammed M. Hafez, “From Marginalization to Massacres: Explaining GIA Violence in Algeria” in Qunitan Wiktorowicz, ed. Islamic Activism: A Social Movement Theory Approach (Indiana University Press, 2004): 37–60.

Mohammed M. Hafez and Quintan Wiktorowicz, “Violence as Contention in the Egyptian Islamic Movement” in Quintan Wiktorowicz, ed. Islamic Activism: A Social Movement Theory Approach (Indiana University Press, 2004): 61–88.



Mohammed M. Hafez, Why Muslims Rebel: Repression and Resistance in the Islamic World (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2003), 253 pp.



Mohammed M. Hafez, “Armed Islamist Movements and Political Violence in Algeria,” Middle East Journal 54 (Autumn 2000): pp. 572–591.



Mohammed M. Hafez, “Explaining the Origins of Islamic Resurgence: Islamic Revivalism in Egypt and Indonesia,” The Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies 22, 3 (Fall 1997): 295–324.