Magnus Ranstorp ’85 Receives Distinguished Alumni Citation

Posted on November 7th, 2008 by

Magnus Ranstorp ‘85

Magnus Ranstorp ‘85

Magnus Ranstorp, an internationally renowned expert on terrorism and counter-terrorism and a 1985 alumnus of Gustavus Adolphus College, received a Distinguished Alumni Citation from the College Thursday, Nov. 6. Ranstorp also spoke to members of the Gustavus community at a luncheon Friday, Nov. 7.

Ranstorp is currently the Research Director of the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defence College where he directs a project that focuses on strategic terrorist threats to Europe. As a member of the European Union’s Expert Group on Violent Radicalization, he regularly briefs the governments of Sweden and Denmark on the issue of terrorism, and lectures around the world.

His experiences with radical groups in practically every corner of the world have earned him international respect. In 1990 during the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ranstorp participated in nine extensive dialogues on counter-terrorism with Western European and Soviet colleagues, including generals from the KGB and several European nations. He later spent time in the South American jungles with anti-kidnapping units of the Colombian military. Ranstorp also spent three years serving as a secret back channel between Lebanon’s radical Hizballah movement and the Israeli government. His work in the Middle East during that time caused the Israeli media to single him out for his role in the Israeil decision to remove its troops from southern Lebanon in 2000.

He is recognized as a leading expert on Hizballah, Hamas, al-Qaeda and other militant Islamic movements. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, CNN named Ranstorp its principal terrorism expert. Two years later, the 9/11 Commission invited him to come to the United States and present his evaluation of the future of the global terrorist threat and his advice for initiatives in response.

Ranstorp was named the recipient of a Distinguished Alumni Citation in 2006, but was only able to accept the award in person this November after traveling to the United States to report on the Presidential election for Swedish television.

The Distinguished Alumni Citation recognizes outstanding and exceptional professional achievement, such as to bring unusual honor to the individual in his or her field of endeavor. Criteria appropriate to selection include the difficulty of accomplishment; quality, creativity, and distinctiveness of performance; recognition by professional peers; and lasting contribution to the world of ideas and affairs.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad


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