Brian Glyn Williams (right)
A website called Major History profiled Professor Williams in March of 2013. There they wrote, “[Brian Glyn Williams’] work has taken him to … Afghanistan to work for the Central Intelligence Agency. Williams was tasked with helping law enforcement and intelligence agencies understand the motivations and behaviors of suicide bombers…” As Williams’ formal education is in history, rather than psychological profiling, this may seem a bit out of the ordinary. “[Williams’] findings about suicide bombings in Afghanistan were informed by his understanding of tribal identities as much as fervor for the Jihadist movement. He came to these conclusions after being sent to Afghanistan by the CIA to perform firsthand research on these types of attacks. This type of fieldwork is unusual for most academics but especially for historians…”
Which version of Brian Glyn Williams are we reading?
In 2008 Williams wrote a Field Report on Suicide Bombers of Afghanistan, for the Middle East Policy journal. No indication was given to readers that his specific trip to Afghanistan was as a CIA operative. That disclosure does not seem to have been made until March of 2013. In the piece, Dr. Williams, a lowly associate professor of Islamic History, said, “…it was my research on Afghanistan’s suicide bombers that had drawn me from the safety of my world to the Pashtun tribal regions…” That may be so, but it is certainly not the entire story.
Williams’ elaborate 2011 defense of the CIA’s drone assassination campaign is an exercise in bolstering the CIA’s policies without fully disclosing his own linkages or self-interests. Writing in the West Point CTC Sentinel, “Brian Glyn Williams is Associate Professor of Islamic History at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. He formerly taught at the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies.” That’s all that Williams discloses in “Accuracy of the U.S. Drone Campaign: The Views of a Pakistani General.”
FrontPage Magazine managed to locate Brian Glyn Williams after the Boston Marathon bombings and noted, “Professor Brian Glyn Williams teaches the only course in the country about the Chechen wars and said Dzokharemailed him questions in the spring of 2011.” No mention of CIA or Jamestown, but was this at all unexpected given Williams’ persistent pattern of non-disclosures?
As Williams is billed as the sole academic in the US worth talking to about the Chechen wars, he should quite know all about the Islamic Jihad that has raged there since the ’90s and which FrontPage describes clearly just further down in the article. “When Osama Bin Laden set up a training campin Chechnya in 1995, he wanted to ‘establish a worldwide Islamic state…’”