Douglas Weeks is a Research Fellow with the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism working on research and trainings about violent extremism. He is a former firefighter/paramedic from southern California who was reassigned into a counterterrorism role beginning in 1995 and remained in that capacity until his retirement in 2009. Since 2008 he has been an Adjunct Professor in the Emergency Services Administration and Criminal Justice graduate programs at California State University Long Beach where he teaches courses relating to emergency management, research methods, and terrorism. Doug is a seasoned researcher and specializes in developing primary sourced data through ethnography and personalized interviews with individuals considered radicalized extremists, terrorists, and Islamist ideologues.
While pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, Dr. Weeks began interacting with individuals convicted of terrorism related charges, those released from Guantanamo Bay, and those who had traveled to Bosnia and other conflicts around the globe to engage in jihad. However, the biggest communicated threat to British society at the time (and still is today) was said to be from al Muhajiroun, a proscribed radical Islamist group who have been linked to over half of all terrorism convictions and attacks in the UK. Soon, it was al Muhajiroun that Dr. Weeks began to focus on. Committed to the idea that to actually understand radicalized individuals, one has to engage with them, he began an ethnographic study of the group that has continued to this day.
Dr. Weeks has also experienced exploring the world of ‘deradicalization.’ Like his ethnographic work with radicalized extremists and terrorists, he has spent considerable time with those that mentor terror offenders, and the recipients of that mentoring in order to understand what makes for a successful intervention, why interventions fail, and how success is perceived.
Dr Weeks is the author of two books, Al Muhajiroun: A Case Study in Contemporary Islamic Activism (Palgrave, 2020), and Communities and Counterterrorism (Rutledge, 2019), and has written numerous reports, white papers, and peer reviewed journal articles on the topics of radicalization, deradicalization, and counterterrorism policy.