Stephen Caughlin

Mr. Coughlin, Esq., is an attorney, decorated intelligence officer and noted specialist on Islamic law, ideology and associated issues as they relate to terrorism and subversion. Mr. Coughlin integrates experience in international law, intelligence, strategic communications and high-level project management in both the national defense and private sector to develop unique perspectives, assessments and training packages relating to the intersection of national security and Islamic law. He emphasizes evidentiary-based analysis.

In September 2001, Coughlin was mobilized from his private sector career and assigned to the Directorate for Intelligence, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Targeting (JCS-J2T). Over time, his responsibilities evolved into intelligence support to information operations and strategic communications from a targeting perspective. Other assignments included the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center, the National Military Joint Intelligence Center, and the National Security Council’s Interagency Perception Management Threat Panel before demobilizing in 2004.

In 2006, Coughlin was sought out “by name” and requested to support the Joint Staff J2 in counterterror threat analysis as a lead consultant. In 2007, Coughlin was awarded a Master of Science of Strategic Intelligence from the Joint Military Intelligence College / Defense Intelligence Agency on the threat analysis aspects of Islamic law and related doctrines. As a Major in the United States Army (res.), Coughlin was later assigned to USCENTCOM where he served in both an intelligence and strategic communications / information operations role. He has since retired from the Reserves.

Until recently, Coughlin also supported Irregular Warfare Support activities.

Recognized as the Pentagon’s leading expert on Islamic law as it relates to national security, Coughlin was in demand as a lecturer at leading senior service staff institutions, including the National Defense University, the Army and Navy War Colleges, Marine Corps HQ-Quantico, the Joint Forces Staff College, and others, as well as at the FBI (the Counterterror and the Behavioral Analysis Units for example) and associated agencies and private sector groups. 

Coughlin’s private sector career focused on international law, competitive intelligence and the development and provision of open source, classified and proprietary commercial data and information products and programs at leading information publishing houses.

Stephen Coughlin is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Policy and a Lincoln Fellow at the Claremont Institute. In Spring 2015, his book Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad will be released.