Congressional Forum on Islam: Orthodoxy and Radicalism in Saudi Arabia

  • Monday, Mar 3, 2008
  • The Saudi government faces threats both from jihadists returning from Iraq and local extremists, and to fight both it has rallied the Saudi religious establishment to its side. The government-led effort to use official religion to stamp out terrorism creates challenges not only for the government, but also for clerics who find themselves under increased scrutiny, and sometimes pressure.


    Thomas Hegghammer is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Princeton University and a Research Fellow at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) in Oslo. Dr. Hegghammer is the author of Jihad in Arabia (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming) and co-author of Al-Qaida dans le Texte (Paris: PUF, 2005). His articles have appeared in the International Journal of Middle East Studies, the Middle East Journal, Middle East Policy, and Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. He has also written about Saudi Arabia for the International Crisis Group and for Oxford Analytica. A fluent Arabic speaker, Dr Hegghammer has conducted extensive fieldwork in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Middle East. He earned his Ph.D. from Sciences-Po in Paris.