Farhana Ali

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Farhana Ali

Farhana Ali, a former CIA analyst[1] is now an Associate International Policy Analyst at the RAND Corporation and as of February 2008 contributor to Counterterrorism Blog. She is a an expert on terrorism, international politics, islam and the Muslim world, and has shown a particular interest in suicide bombers and relations between Pakistan and the Arab countries.


B.A. in political science, Southwestern University
M.A. in security policy studies, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University


From Counterterrorism Blog:

Farhana Ali joined the RAND Corporation

in August 2005 as an Associate International Policy Analyst. Her research is focused on the evolution of global terrorism and political trends in key Muslim countries such as Pakistan. Ms. Ali has published several articles on the strategic U.S.-Pakistan alliance and presented her work to the National Defense University (Islamabad), Pakistan Institute of International Affairs (Karachi), and U.S. military audiences. She frequently visits Pakistan in support of RAND research to examine the current political climate in the country and assess the rise of Islamic extremism and international terrorist groups operating in the northern areas. She is a sought-after lecturer on terrorism and has presented her work to diverse audiences, including John Hopkins University, Oxford University, and the International Institute of Strategic Affairs in London, and has been invited as a guest lecturer to the United Arab Emirates and Switzerland. She also has appeared in numerous media outlets, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, Al-Jazeera television, BBC World News, CNN International and Headlines news, National Public Radio, ABC News, Canadian national television, Bloomberg television, and Voice of America.
Prior to RAND, she worked in the U.S. Government for five years. Her unique understanding of conflicts in the Muslim world as well as Islamic doctrine did not go unnoticed. During her career, she received several Meritorious Awards. Upon her departure, she was recognized for her outstanding service to the U.S. Government at large. Ms Ali is a graduate of The George Washington University with a Master’s in Security Policy Studies and is proficient in French, Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi.[2]


  • "Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism: A US Perspective," in Collection of Expert Opinion on Terrorism in the 21st Century, Institute for Strategic Studies Ljubljana, 2007
  • "Rocking the Cradle to Rocking the World: The Role of Muslim Female Fighters," Journal of International Women's Studies, Vol. 8, No. 1, Nov 2006
  • "London Plot Draws Attention to Potential Female Suicide Bombers," Terrorism Focus, Vol. 3, No. 33, Aug 2006
  • "Inside Pakistan's Madrasas," Terrorism Focus, Vol. 3, No. 1, Jan 2006
  • "Muslim Female Fighters: An Emerging Trend," Terrorism Monitor, Vol. 3, No. 21, Nov 2005


RAND Corporation
Counterterrorism Blog
Central Intelligence Agency, former analyst


  1. The Frederick S. Pardee RAND Graduate School, A - B - C (accessed 9 June 2008)
  2. Counterterrorism Blog, Counterterrorism Blog Contributing Expert Bios: Farhana Ali (accessed 9 June 2008)