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David Wells

David Wells was formerly a Research Associate at the Lowy Institute for International Policy.

David worked for UK intelligence agency GCHQ between 2005 and 2013, including two years as a UK intelligence liaison officer to Australia. As a counter-terrorism specialist, he led and managed complex international investigations with a range of partners. He returned to the UK in 2016 and currently works for S-RM, a leading London-based business intelligence and investigations firm.

David has a first class degree in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds.

Articles by David Wells (23)

  • Stripping citizenship: Information gaps and unforeseen consequences

    It's now three weeks since the Abbott Government introduced a bill into parliament that would see dual-national terrorists forfeit their Australian citizenship. But is popularity (as evidenced by public support for extending these powers to sole nationals) the rationale behind the pursuit of citizenship-stripping measures, even at the expense of cabinet solidarity? Or does analysis of how the intelligence agencies could use the new powers offer other reasons for their introduction?
  • Attribution is key to broader ISIS strategy

    The suicide bombing of a Shia mosque in Kuwait, shooting of Western tourists in Tunisia, and a beheading and attempt to blow up a chemical factory in France. Three continents, three different attack methodologies and three different targets, but ultimately the same result. The death of innocent civilians in a brutal, horrific manner that dominates the news agenda.
  • How our quest for perfect security makes us more vulnerable to terrorism

    Australia's intelligence agencies are busier than ever. Twenty-three people have been charged with terrorist offences since September 2014, 288 people have been prevented from leaving Australia to fight in the Middle East, and in the last three months 18 Australians have had their passports cancelled. For Australia's intelligence agencies, preventing current or future travel doesn't free up resources. Investigation of those individuals will continue and potentially increase.