Skip to main content
Expand AU Menu

AU Experts: Aftermath of Explosions in Brussels

WHO: American University experts available for discussion and analysis

WHAT: Discussion and analysis of the explosions at the airport and a subway station in Belgium, U.S. national security, the Syrian refugee crisis, political reaction in the U.S.

WHEN: March 22 - ongoing

WHERE: Via telephone, email, in-studio, or at American University

Background: Two explosions at the airport and one at the subway station tore through Belgium’s capital on March 22, 2016. These explosions come in the wake of the arrest of Paris terror attack suspect Salah Abdeslam. American University experts are available to provide their insights on the issues of terrorism and U.S. national security, among others.

Terrorism/National Security/Foreign Policy/ISIS

Akbar Ahmed, School of International Service professor of comparative and regional studies, was the Pakistan High Commissioner (Ambassador) to the United Kingdom and Ireland and was the First Distinguished Chair of Middle East &Islamic Studies at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. He is an expert on Islam; Islam in America; mosques; Pakistan; Afghanistan; South Asia; anthropology; comparative and regional studies; terrorism; ISIS and drones.

Dan Arbell, American University Center for Israeli Studies scholar-in-residence, is a 25-year veteran of the Israeli Foreign Service, serving in senior posts overseas in the United Nations, the United States and Japan, in addition to holding senior positions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem. Arbell can discuss issues of Israeli airport security as a potential model for airports worldwide.

Tricia Bacon, School of Public Affairs assistant professor, specializes in terrorism, particularly Al-Qaida, the Islamic State, Lashar-e-Tayyiba, al-Shabaab, and other jihadist groups, counterterrorism policy and tactics, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and East Africa. Bacon worked in counter terrorism for more than 10 years at the State Department.

Chris Edelson, School of Public Affairs assistant professor of government, is an expert in terrorism and national security. He authored Emergency Presidential Power: From the Drafting of the Constitution to the War on Terror and Power without Constraint: The Post 9/11 Presidency and National Security, expected to be released in 2016. Edelson is available to discuss: national security and terrorism; human rights law; and presidential power and emergency power.

Max Paul Friedman, professor of diplomatic history, studies United States foreign policy in Western Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. Friedman can conduct interviews in Spanish, English, German and French. Friedman is available to discuss: U.S. foreign policy; the Syrian conflict, refugee crisis and immigration.

James Goldgeier, dean of the School of International Service, served on the National Security Council Staff and at the State Department during the Clinton administration. Goldgeier's areas of expertise include U.S. national security policy, U.S.-Europe-Russia relations, and NATO.

Stephen Tankel is an assistant professor in the School of International Service at American University and a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. Prof. Tankel specializes in international security with a focus on terrorism and counterterrorism, political and military affairs in South Asia, and U.S. foreign and defense policies related to these issues. Prof. Tankel is on the editorial board of Studies in Conflict and Terrorism and is a senior editor of the web magazine War on the Rocks.

Jordan Tama, School of International Studies assistant professor, specializes in the politics, processes, and institutions of U.S. foreign and national security policy making, including presidential-congressional relations, national security strategy, and blue-ribbon advisory commissions. He is the author of National Security Reform: How Commissions Can Drive Change during Crises. He also advised as a member of the intelligence and counterterrorism expert advisory groups for President Obama's presidential campaign. Tama can discuss foreign policy and national security strategy; terrorism; the intelligence community; and the presidency and U.S. Congress.

Joe Young, School of International Service and School of Public Affairs associate professor, is an expert in cross-national causes and consequences of political violence and extremism. Young is available to discuss ISIS; threat of domestic extremism; domestic surveillance and homeland security.  

Thomas Zeitzoff, School of Public Affairs assistant professor in the department of justice, law, and criminology. Areas of expertise include political violence, exposure to violence, and psychological effects of violence. Zeitzoff can discuss civil wars, terrorism, protests, and riots, particularly in the Middle East.

Cybersecurity/Encryption/Terrorist Use of Communication

Scott Talan, School of Communication professor of public &strategic communication, is an expert in social media, digital media, new media, personal branding and multimedia. He has been a writer, producer, and reporter for numerous media organizations, including ABC News/Good Morning America. Talan can discuss: strategy/branding tactics; ISIS recruitment propaganda; ISIS videos and use of social media; encrypted and disappearing apps.

Andrew Lih is an associate professor of journalism. He is a noted expert in online collaboration and digital news innovation and founded the web-based city guide in 1994. He is a contributor to the weekly PBS MediaShift podcast and has been a speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW), the Online News Association, Wikimania and Wikisym. Lih can discuss secure mobile communications; data security; and encryption.

U.S. Political Response/Impact on Election 2016

Leonard Steinhorn, School of Communication public communication professor, is an expert in American politics, culture and media, strategic communication, the presidency, and recent American history. Since 2012, Steinhorn has served as a political analyst for CBS News. Steinhorn has 15 years' experience as a political consultant and speechwriter. He can discuss immigration and politics; the U.S. states and banning Syrian refugees' entry; and 2016 candidates and U.S. foreign policy.


American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.