September 20, 2004 | Press Release

Terror Prosecutor, Arab Media Expert Join FDD

Senior Fellows Andrew McCarthy and Avi Jorisch Add to Expertise in Terrorism Studies

Washington, DC (September 20, 2004) — The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies announced that Andrew McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor who led the prosecution of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and related terrorist activities, and Avi Jorisch, a terrorism expert and author with a focus on Arab media, have joined the foundation as senior fellows.

“Andrew and Avi are innovative thinkers and clear communicators who understand the stakes in the global struggle against terrorism and the ideologies that drive and justify terrorism,” said FDD President Clifford May.  “They bring much to the policy debate about how best to defeat terrorism and promote freedom for all people.”

As senior fellows, they will have access to FDD staff and resources as they continue their research and writing on issues of importance to national security and promoting freedom in the Middle East.  Both appear frequently in the media and are available through FDD for interviews or as resources for journalists.

FDD is a non-profit, non-partisan policy institute founded immediately after September 11 to conduct research and education on terrorism and democracy.  For more information, please visit

Below are biographies of Andrew McCarthy and Avi Jorisch:

McCarthy Bio
Andrew C. McCarthy is a former federal prosecutor and a Contributor at National Review Online.  From 1993 through 1996, while an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, he led the prosecution against the jihad organization of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, in which a dozen Islamic militants were convicted of conducting a war of urban terrorism against the United States that included the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a plot to bomb New York City landmarks.  Mr. McCarthy also made major contributions to the prosecutions of the bombers of the United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the Millennium plot attack Los Angeles International Airport. 

Following the September 11 attacks, Mr. McCarthy supervised the U.S. Attorney's Anti-Terrorism Command Post in New York City, coordinating investigative and preventive efforts with numerous federal and state law enforcement and intelligence agencies.  From 1999 through 2003, he was the Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District's satellite office, responsible for federal law enforcement in six counties north of New York City.

Mr. McCarthy is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Justice Department's highest honors: the Attorney General's Exceptional Service Award (1996) and Distinguished Service Award (1988).  He has served as a Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense, and as an Associate Independent Counsel in the investigation of a former cabinet official.  He has also been an Adjunct Professor of Law both at the Fordham University School of Law and at New York Law School.  

Currently, Mr. McCarthy practices law in the New York area.  He writes extensively on a variety of legal, social and political issues for National Review and Commentary, among other publications, as well as providing commentary for various television and radio broadcasts.  He also does consulting work for the Investigative Project, a private counterterrorism research organization in Washington, D.C.

Jorisch Bio
Avi Jorisch brings to FDD expertise in Arab media, terrorism, and Arab and Islamic politics.  From 2001 to 2003, Mr. Jorisch was a Soref fellow at the Washington Institute for Nearly East Policy.  More recently, he served as an Arab media consultant for the Department of Defense.

His book, Beacon of Hatred: Inside al-Manar Hizballah Television, is scheduled to be published by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in October, 2004.

Mr. Jorisch holds a bachelor's degree in history from Binghamton University and a master's degree in Islamic history from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. From 2000–2001, he studied Arabic and Islamic culture through the Center for Arabic Studies Abroad program at the American University in Cairo. He also earned a certificate in Arabic after participating in an intensive summer program at al-Azhar University, the preeminent institution of Sunni Islamic learning.

Mr. Jorisch has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, including Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Gaza, the West Bank, Egypt, Qatar, Turkey, and Morocco. In addition, he has written at length about Hizballah, al-Manar, and related subjects, with articles appearing in prominent publications such as the Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Jerusalem Times, and Middle East Quarterly.




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