Guido Steinberg

German Institute for International and Security Affairs

Dr. Guido Steinberg was a DAAD/AGI Research Fellow at AGI in Fall 2017.

In Germany, Guido Steinberg works for at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, SWP) in Berlin. An Islamicist by training, he has worked as a research coordinator at the Free University of Berlin and an advisor on international terrorism in the German Federal Chancellery (2002-2005).

Since 2006, he has served as an objective expert witness in all major trials against Islamist terrorists in Germany, and has also testified in Austria, Denmark, the Czech Republic, and the United States. He regularly comments on Middle East affairs and terrorism on German and international media, most frequently on Deutsche Welle TV in German, English, Arabic, and Spanish.

In his academic work, Guido Steinberg focusses on Saudi Arabian and Gulf history and politics, Islamism and Salafism as well as Islamist Terrorism. He has published widely on these topics, including: German Jihad. The Internationalization of Jihadist Terrorism (New York: Columbia University Press, 2013).

At AGI, he will work on the research project “Countering the Islamic State: German and U.S. Policy Options.” He will give an overview of the threat posed by Islamist terrorists to Germany, analyze the measures invoked by the German government and its allies to counter the threat, and offer his views on additional efforts to improve the effectiveness of counter-terrorism on both sides of the Atlantic.

Recent Content


Syrien-Krieg: “Diplomatische Erfolge nicht in Sicht”

Featuring former fellow Guido Steinberg via Tagesschau on April 16, 2018.

Breitscheidplatz Police, Berlin, Germany

Islamist Terrorism in Germany: Threats, Responses, and the Need for a Strategy

Policy Report 66 One year after Germany’s largest jihadist terrorist attack, and only two years after Angela Merkel’s decision to open the country’s borders to nearly a million refugees and …

Refugees, Terrorism, and a Failing Security Architecture: Germany’s Domestic Security after the Elections

In 2016, the domestic security situation in Germany deteriorated to a degree unknown since the “German autumn” in 1977, when the Red Army Faction or RAF began its campaign to …

O, Brother, Where Art Thou? The SPD Must Return to Transatlantic Politics

Guido Steinberg and Nicole Renvert of the Berlin-based Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik detail the rise and  — more recently — fall of SPD transatlanticism. The NSA debate has uncovered a …

German Jihad: Reading the History of al-Qaeda through a German Lens

A new book by Guido Steinberg Whenever American counterterrorism officials met with their German colleagues in 2004 and 2005, the radicalization of European Muslims was one of the main subjects …

From Ron Arad to Gilad Shalit: Germany’s Role in the Middle Eastern Prisoner Exchanges

On October 18th, 2011, after five years in captivity, Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was released by Hamas in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners. Behind the negotiations between Israel and Hamas stood an unexpected third party: Germany. In his essay From Ron Arad to Gilad Shalit: Germany’s Role in the Middle Eastern Prisoner Exchanges, Dr. Guido Steinberg, Researcher at the Division for Middle East and Africa at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik and a terrorism advisor in the German Federal Chancellor’s Office from 2002 to 2005, examines the history of German mediation in the long line of prisoner swaps in the Middle East.

Counter-Terrorism and German-American Relations: A German Perspective

Issue Brief 26 German-American relations reached a historic low point during the years of the second Bush administration. Many argued that this was mainly due to widespread disagreements and a …