Mr. Josh Koontz, Senior Yemen Analyst, tracks al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the Islamic State, and other paramilitary groups on conventional and unconventional social media on behalf of AM.
Mr. Koontz developed strong Arabic language skills and in-depth Middle East cultural knowledge while studying in Egypt (Middlebury), Lebanon (AUB), and Jordan (University of Yarmouk) as a National Security Education Program (NSEP) funded Boren Scholar. His skills as an analyst were honed at The Middle East Institute (Research Consultant to former U.S. ambassador to Yemen, Gerald Feierstein), The Navanti Group (Yemen Analyst), The American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) Critical Threats Project (AQAP/ISIS Research Consultant), and Courage Services (Arabic Linguist). His articles have been featured in The Atlantic, The Cipher Brief, War on the Rocks, MEI’s IranObserved, and AEI’s Critical Threats Project where he used social media to reverse engineer and publish an analysis on AQAP’s Command and Control Structure. He also teaches Social Media & Network Analysis at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
Mr. Koontz holds a Master of Arts in International Relations and Economics with a concentration in Strategic Studies from Johns Hopkins University SAIS. He also holds dual Bachelor degrees with honors in International Relations in the Middle East and Middle East Studies from the University of Kentucky. In addition, he is a graduate of Middlebury College Language School’s Advanced Arabic Language Program.