Nelly Lahoud

I was born in Beirut, Lebanon, where I completed my Baccalaureate. I received my tertiary education in Australia, starting at Monash University (Bachelor of Arts — Honors), then at the Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University (Ph.D. in political science). My research interest in the Islamic tradition combined with world events led me to study al-Qaeda and its relations with other jihadi groups, including the Islamic State. (Needless to say, I’m the life of any party!) 

Over the years, my research benefited from an exchange program with the University of Oxford; postdoctoral studies at St. John’s College, University of Cambridge (UK); Rockefeller Fellowship in Islamic studies at the Library of Congress; and Research Fellowship at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University. I also credit my years of teaching with having improved my knowledge and writing. 

My previous appointments include being Associate Professor at the Department of Social Sciences and Senior Associate at the Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; and Assistant Professor of political theory at Goucher College.

Author website:

Books in order of publication:

Political Thought in Islam: A Study in Intellectual Boundaries – 2004

Islam in World Politics – 2005

The Jihadis’ Path to Self-Destruction – 2010

The Bin Laden Papers: How the Abbottabad Raid Revealed the Truth about al-Qaeda, Its Leader, and His Family – 2022

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