The Cutting Edge


Dr. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed is an award-winning 15-year investigative journalist, noted international security scholar, bestselling author, and film-maker. He tracks the ‘war on terror’ in the context of what he calls the ‘Crisis of Civilisation.’

He is International Editor at The Canary, ‘System Shift’ columnist at VICE’s science magazine Motherboard, and the creator of INSURGEintelligence, a crowdfunded public interest investigative journalism project. Previously, Nafeez was a weekly columnist at Middle East Eye in London for two years, before which he wrote The Guardian’s ‘Earth insight’ blog between April 2013 and July 2014.

His work has been published in The Guardian, VICE, Independent on Sunday, The Independent, The Scotsman, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Quartz, The New Statesman, Prospect, Le Monde diplomatique, Raw Story, New Internationalist, Huffington Post UK, Al-Arabiya English, AlterNet, The Ecologist, and Asia Times, among other places.

Exclusive stories broken by Nafeez via INSURGEintelligence have been covered by USA Today, Global Post, The Guardian, The Independent, Washington Post, The Metro, The Week, News Corp’s, Discovery News, Channel 4 News, Forbes, Columbia Journalism Review, Gigaom, and FutureZone.

His INSURGEintelligence reporting on the rise of the ‘Islamic State’ (ISIS/IS) made national headlines in Germany, receiving extensive coverage in Die Welt,, General Anzeiger, FOCUS Online, WAZ (Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung), Hamburger Abendblatt, Ostthuringer Zeitung, Junge Welt, German TV news channel n-TV, and Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten. It was also featured in Al Jazeera English’s 2015 feature documentary, Enemy of Enemies: The Rise of ISIL.

In 2015, Nafeez won the Project Censored Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism for his Guardian story on the energy politics of the Ukraine crisis.

The previous year he won another Project Censored Award, known popularly as the ‘Alternative Pulitzer’, for his first ever Guardian article covering the heightened risk of civil unrest due to climate-induced food crises.

In 2010, Nafeez won the Routledge-GCPS Essay Prize for his academic paper on the ‘Crisis of Civilisation’ published in the journal Global Change, Peace and Security.

He also won the Premio Napoli (Naples Prize) in 2003, Italy’s most prestigious literary award created by decree of the President of the Republic.

Nafeez has twice been featured in the Evening Standard’s ‘Top 1,000’ list of most influential people in London, in 2014 and 2015.

His critically-acclaimed feature documentary, The Crisis of Civilization (2011) co-produced with Dean Puckett, was screened at numerous film festivals including the Leeds International Film Festival where it was voted a Festival Favourite; SEE Brighton Documentary Film Festival; Portobello Film Festival; Aldeburgh DocFest Fringe; the International Human Rights Film Festival in Buenos Aires; Cinema Planeta in Mexico; Oslo Dokumentarkino; Crossroads Festival in Graz; and Elevate Festival in Graz; among others. The Crisis of Civilization has received over half a million views online.

Nafeez was an associate producer for Puckett’s 2013 feature documentary, Grasp the Nettle, which was also widely exhibited in official selections across the film festival circuit.

Nafeez is the author of five non-fiction books on international security: A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilisation: And How to Save It (Pluto/Macmillan, 2010); The London Bombings: An Independent Inquiry (Duckworth, 2006); The War on Truth: 9/11, Disinformation and the Anatomy of Terrorism (Interlink, 2005); Behind the War on Terror: Western Secret Strategy and the Struggle for Iraq (New Society, 2003) and The War on Freedom: How + Why America was Attacked, September 11, 2001 (Progressive, 2002).

The latter, Nafeez’s first book, is archived in the ‘9/11 Commission Materials’ Special Collection at the US National Archives in Washington DC – it was among 99 books made available to each 9/11 Commissioner of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States to use during their investigations. It was also the first book used by members of the 9/11 Family Steering Committee to help set the lines of inquiry for the 9/11 Commission. In 2005, Nafeez testified in US Congress on Western security policy toward al-Qaeda. That testimony was televised nationally on C-SPAN, and can be read via the Congressional Record.

His fourth book, The London Bombings, was launched in the House of Lords by Lord Rea and supported by two 7/7 survivors, John Tulloch and Rachel North. The London Bombings was the basis of Nafeez’s special 7/7investigative report sponsored and launched by Britain’s leading human rights law firm, Garden Court Chambers, with the support of Baroness Helena Kennedy QC. The report was mandatory reading for all legal counsel in the Coroner’s Inquest into the London Bombings of 7 July 2005.

Nafeez’s sixth book, ZERO POINT (Curiosity Quills Press, 2014), is a science fiction thriller inspired by true events.

A recovering academic, Nafeez holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Sussex, where he taught politics and history. He is currently working on his seventh book under contract with the global science publisher, Springer – a monograph on the socio-systemic causes of civil unrest in environmental, energy and economic crises.

Since 2015, Nafeez has been Visiting Research Fellow at the Global Sustainability Institute at Anglia Ruskin University’s Faculty of Science and Technology.

Nafeez has advised the British Foreign Office, the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the UK Defence Academy, the Metropolitan Police Service on delivery of the Home Office’s Channel Project, and the UK Parliamentary Inquiry into UK counter-terrorism strategy – which extensively cited his written evidence in its final report and recommendations to government.

A sought after media commentator, Nafeez’s appearances include BBC Newsnight, BBC’s The Big Questions, BBC News 24, BBC World Today, BBC World News with George Alagiah, BBC Radio Five Live, BBC Asian Network, Channel 4 News, Sky News, CNN, ABC News (Australia), FOX News with Sean Hannity, Bloomberg, PBS Foreign Exchange with Fareed Zakaria, and many others worldwide.

Nafeez once had a verbal spat with the late Christopher Hitchens on the pages of Vanity Fair about Gore Vidal. This culminated in Nafeez’s widely-shared longread take-down of Hitchens in the Independent on Sunday.

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Featured in Evening Standard’s 2015 ‘Progress 1000’ most globally influential Londoners

Featured in Evening Standard’s 2014 ‘Power 1,000’

Winner, Project Censored Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism, 2015

Winner, Project Censored Award, 2014

Winner, Routledge-GCPS Essay Prize, 2010

Winner, Premio Napoli (Naples Prize created by decree of President of the Republic), 2003

“International security analyst and consultant who has spent much time looking at how environmental risks and terrorism threaten our eco-security and well-being.” — The Evening Standard’s Progress 1000: London’s most influential people 2015

“Yes, yes, I know he is one of Them. But they often know things that we don’t – particularly about what we are up to” — Gore Vidal, The Observer

“Ahmed is that rare breed of journalist who finds stories everyone else either misses or chooses to overlook; he regularly joins up the dots in a global system of corporate pillage… a voice from the genuine left, and one too independent to control” — Jonathan Cook, former Guardian columnist and foreign desk editor

“If you still need something to worry about, how about a grand conflagration of climate, financial, energy, food, and civil-liberties crises, which might destroy the world as we know it before the century is out?… Forceful and well sourced” — Steven Poole, The Guardian

“Lucid and persuasive account of how our security mandarins talked themselves into believing we could make quiet, backroom deals with terrorists” — Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times

“Disturbing and clearly evidenced… Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed traces the unholy games played with Islamist terrorists by the US, and through acquiescence by the UK, flirting with them when it suited and then turning against them” — Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, The Independent

“Respected terror analyst Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed pulls apart the official narrative of 7/7, pointing out its gaps and contradictions… The authorities seem to be unable to answer many of the most basic questions about the 7/7 bombings … it has taken a study by an academic outsider, Ahmed, to assess the extent of the bombers’ international terrorist connections.” — Editorial, Independent on Sunday

“One of the most illuminating voices in the British media” — Rob Hopkins, founder, Transition Towns movement

“Nafeez Ahmed’s understanding of the post 9/11 power game, its lies, illusions and dangers, is no less than brilliant. Everyone should read this wise and powerfully illuminating book.” — John Pilger, Emmy and BAFTA award-winning journalist

“A very worthwhile read for policy-makers everywhere” — Michael Meacher MP, UK Minister of State for the Environment (1997-2003)

“A risible individual wedded to half-baked conspiracy-mongering” — Christopher Hitchens, Vanity Fair


Deep politics
“posits that in every culture and society there are facts which tend to be suppressed collectively, because of the social and psychological costs of not doing so.”
Deep political analysis digs
“beneath public formulations of policy issues to the bureaucratic, economic, and ultimately covert and criminal activities which underlie them.”
(Peter Dale Scott, University of California, Berkeley)

On this blog, I engage in deep political analysis in the context of the Crisis of Civilisation – the convergence and escalation of environmental degradation; species extinctions; climate change; energy depletion; food crisis; water shortages; economic instability; inequality and poverty; religious and political extremism; moral confusion; mental illness; and finally, philosophical and epistemological vacuity.

As these crises systemically converge and accelerate, Civilization continues to respond largely with denial, potentially guaranteeing a business-as-usual trajectory toward worst case scenarios. The only viable alternative is to respond through direct confrontation with that which has been suppressed.


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