December 4, 2023
1:15 pm - 2:15 pm


Zoom Webinar

The Middle East Institute (MEI) is pleased to invite you to an expert panel discussing Andrea Manciulli’s special report, The Silent Enemy, Presence and evolution of the jihadist threat in the Broader Mediterranean. The discussion will detail jihadist threats in the “Broader Mediterranean,” which consists of the Balkans, the Caucasus, the Middle East, and North Africa, with a focus on Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and other terrorist organizations throughout the region, and examine opportunities to enhance Transatlantic cooperation on addressing these challenges.

Although Al-Qaeda and ISIS have somewhat receded from international headlines in recent years, both continue to critically undermine regional security.  At the same time, with an increase in warfare between governments and non-state actors, terrorism has become more difficult for countries to combat. How does the evolution of non-state actors in the broader Mediterranean affect the trajectory of cooperation between regional players? What steps must the United States and its partners take to prevent the spread of conflict by these terrorist organizations? In what ways will terrorism evolve in the region? And how does the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas affect the ability of regional states to deal with the jihadist threat?


Emily Blout
Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University, Center for Jewish Civilization

Charles Lister
Senior Fellow, Director of Syria and Countering Terrorism & Extremism programs, Middle East Institute

Andrea Manciulli
Director, Institutional Relations, Med-Or Foundation

Lorenzo Vidino
Director, Program on Extremism, The George Washington University

Brian Katulis, moderator
Vice President of Policy, Middle East Institute

Detailed Speaker Biographies

Andrea Manciulli is the director of Institutional Relations at Med-Or Foundation. He was a member of the Italian Parliament (2013-2018), vice president of the Parliamentary Commission “Foreign and Community Affairs” and president of the Italian Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. While serving in this position, he was appointed as president of the Special Mediterranean and Middle East Group (GSM) of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. While at the NATO Assembly, he curated reports on jihadist terrorism (2015-2017). In 2015 he was the Italian Chamber of Deputies’ rapporteur for the Decree on “Urgent measures to counter terrorism” adopted by the government on February 18, 2015 and converted into law on April 17, 2015. In January 2016 he also presented, together with Stefano Dambruoso, a bill on “Measures for the prevention of radicalization and jihadist extremism." In 2016-2017 he was rapporteur of the Framework Law on International Missions. From 2018 to 2020, he was an executive at Fincantieri S.p.A. and the president of the Fincantieri Foundation. From 2020 to 2021, he was senior vice president in the Strategy & Market Intelligence Office of Leonardo S.p.A. He is the president of the think tank Europa Atlantica and author of several publications on jihadist terrorism, national security, and international politics.

Emily L. Blout is a media scholar and historian. She is the author of Media and Power in Modern Iran: Mass Communication, Ideology, and the State (Bloomsbury, 2023), which examines the political and technological history of media in Iran over the course of more than eight decades and two political regimes, from Imperial Iran to the Islamic Republic. Blout is a Georgetown University faculty member at the Center for Jewish Civilization, a visiting professor at the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at Reichman University in Herzliya, Israel, and a senior research fellow at the Institute for Counterterrorism (ICT).

Charles Lister is a senior fellow and the director of the Syria and Countering Terrorism & Extremism programs at the Middle East Institute. His work focuses primarily on all things Syria and on issues of terrorism and insurgency across the Levant. Prior to joining MEI, Lister was a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution in Qatar and a senior consultant to the multinationally-backed Syria Track II Dialogue Initiative, in which he managed nearly three years of intensive face-to-face engagement with the leaderships of over 100 Syrian armed opposition groups.

Lorenzo Vidino is the director of the Program on Extremism at The George Washington University. An expert on Islamism in Europe and North America, his research over the past 20 years has focused on the mobilization dynamics of jihadist networks in the West; governmental counter-radicalization policies; and the activities of Muslim Brotherhood-inspired organizations in the West. He has held positions at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government, the U.S. Institute of Peace, the RAND Corporation and the Center for Security Studies (ETH Zurich). In 2016, he was appointed by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi as C=coordinator of the National Commission on Jihadist Radicalization. Vidino also is a columnist for the Italian newspapers La Repubblica and La Stampa.

Brian Katulis is a senior fellow and vice president of policy at the Middle East Institute. He was formerly a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress (CAP), where he built the Center’s Middle East program and also worked on broader issues related to U.S. national security. He has produced influential studies that have shaped important discussions around regional policy, often providing expert testimony to key congressional committees on his findings. Katulis has also conducted extensive research in countries such as Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian territories. His past experience includes work at the National Security Council and the U.S. Departments of State and Defense.

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