About the author

Brian Fishman is a leading expert on ISIS. He served as the Director of Research at the United States Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center and began studying the progenitors of ISIS in 2005. In 2008, Fishman first taught an academic course on the Islamic State of Iraq’s turn toward governance, and he predicted the rise of the Islamic State in early 2011, prior to the Syrian civil war. When cadets from that 2008 seminar—now Army officers—reached out in late 2014 asking for an updated course syllabus, Fishman was inspired to write The Master Plan. 

While teaching at West Point, Fishman led a cutting edge program to declassify data captured from al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq. He is the author of numerous groundbreaking studies, focused on jihadi foreign fighters in Iraq and Iranian military and political influence in Iraq. 

Fishman is a Counterterrorism Research Fellow with the International Studies Program at New America, an Affiliate with Stanford University’s Center for International Studies and Cooperation, a Visiting Scholar with UC Berkeley’s Center for Right-Wing Studies, and a Fellow with the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. He has taught courses on terrorism and counterinsurgency at United States Military Academy, Georgetown University, and Columbia University. Fishman regularly appears in national and international media and testifies before Congress on issues related to terrorism. 

Fishman is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.