Professor James Forest


International security studies, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, homeland security.


Dr. Forest received his graduate degrees from Stanford University and Boston College and undergraduate degrees from Georgetown University and De Anza College.


James J.F. Forest, Ph.D., is a professor and director of the Security Studies graduate degree program at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and contemporary security studies, and directs the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies. He is also a senior fellow with the Joint Special Operations University, where he conducts research, some of which is classified, on emerging terrorist threats, insurgencies, transnational criminal networks and U.S. Special Forces training.  He is a visiting professor of International Security at Tufts University, teaching a course  entitled “Modern Terrorism and Counterterrorism”.  

Forest is the former director of Terrorism Studies at the United States Military Academy where he taught a variety of courses and directed research initiatives and education programs for the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, covering topics such as terrorist recruitment, training, and organizational knowledge transfer. He has testified before Congressional hearings, served as an expert witness for terrorism-related court cases and has been interviewed by many television, newspaper and radio journalists in the U.S. and other countries. 

He was selected by the Center for American Progress and Foreign Policy as one of “America’s most esteemed terrorism and national security experts” and participated in its annual Terrorism Index studies 2006 to 2011.

He has published 19 books and dozens of articles in journals such as the Terrorism and Political Violence, Crime and Delinquency, Perspectives on Terrorism, the Cambridge Review of International Affairs, the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Contemporary Security Policy, the Journal of Political Science Education, and Democracy and Security.

His most recent books include: 

    Homeland Security and Terrorism (McGraw-Hill, 2013, with Russell Howard and Joanne Moore)
    Intersections of Crime and Terrorism (Routledge, 2013)
    The Terrorism Lectures (Nortia Press, 2012)
    Confronting the Terrorism of Boko Haram in Nigeria (JSOU Press, 2012)
    Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism (McGraw-Hill, 2012, with Russell Howard)
    Influence Warfare: How Terrorists and Governments Fight to Shape Perceptions in a War of Ideas (Praeger, 2009) 
    Handbook of Defence Politics: International and Comparative Perspectives (Routledge, 2008, with Isaiah Wilson)
    Countering Terrorism and Insurgency in the 21st Century (3 volumes: Praeger, 2007) 
    Teaching Terror: Strategic and Tactical Learning in the Terrorist World (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006) 
    Homeland Security: Protecting America’s Targets (3 volumes: Praeger, 2006)
    The Making of a Terrorist: Recruitment, Training and Root Causes (3 volumes: Praeger, 2005)