Dr. Alastair Reed is an Associate Professor the Cyber Intelligence and Threats Centre (CyTIC) at Swansea University. Previously, he was the Director of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) in the Hague, and a Senior Researcher at Leiden University’s Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA). An expert in (Counter) Terrorism and Insurgency, he has provided policy advice and training to a wide range of government and international organizations. He has a strong background in grass roots field research in conflict affected areas, with a particular regional focus on South and Southeast Asia. He completed his doctorate research at Utrecht University, focused on understanding the processes of escalation and de-escalation in Ethnic Separatist conflicts in India and the Philippines. Prior to this he worked for eight years as a policy advisor and campaign manager in the UK. Since 2017, he has been a member of the Advisory Board for Europol’s European Counter-Terrorism Centre (ECTC).

His main research interests are foreign fighters, radicalization, terrorist and insurgent strategy, propaganda and strategic communications. His current area of focus is on understanding and responding to terrorist propaganda, for which leads the Counter-Terrorism Strategic Communications project (@CTSC_Project) - a collaborative research project that has brought together researchers in the field from across the world. He is also an Associate Professor at TU Delft in the Netherlands and an Associate Fellow at the Kings’ Centre for Strategic Communications (KCSC) at Kings’ College London in the department of War Studies.


  1. Reed, A. An Inconvenient Truth: Countering Terrorist Narratives – Fighting a Threat We Do Not Understand
  2. Reed, A. Global Evaluation of the European Union Engagement on Counter-Terrorism
  3. Reed, A., Dowling, J. The role of historical narratives in extremist propaganda Defence Strategic Communications 4 1 79 104
  4. Reed, A. Countering Terrorist Narratives
  5. Reed, A. Tackling the Surge of Returning Foreign Fighters

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  • LAMM27 Countering Violent Extremism Online

    This module tackles the key societal challenge of countering violent extremism online. The first part of the module introduces students to extremist propaganda, how it is designed, how it works and the role it plays in violent extremist overall strategy. Before exploring the specific threats and challenges that violent extremist propaganda presents in the on-line space, from speed of dissemination to echo-chambers and filter bubbles. The second part addresses the different approaches to countering violent extremism online from disruption, re-direction to counter-narratives. With a particular focus on understanding counter-narrative campaigns, and providing students with a practical introduction to communication strategy and campaign strategy, to be able to design and implement their own counter-narrative campaigns.


  • Ideology and Identity«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /» A framework for analyzing extremist movements«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /» (current)

    Other supervisor: Prof Stuart Macdonald
  • The Online Behaviours of Islamic State Actors in America 2012-2018. (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Lella Nouri
    Other supervisor: Prof Stuart Macdonald
  • The role of historical narratives in Islamic State propaganda (current)

    Other supervisor: Prof Stuart Macdonald
  • The role of historical narratives in extremist propaganda (current)

    Other supervisor: Prof Stuart Macdonald