Mahmut Cengiz

Photo of Mahmut Cengiz
Titles and Organizations

Research Assistant Professor, Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC)

Contact Information
Arlington Campus, Van Metre Hall, Room 706
3351 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
MSN: 3B1


Dr. Mahmut Cengiz is an Assistant Professor and Research Faculty with Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC) and the Schar School of Policy and Government.

Dr. Cengiz has international field experience where he has delivered capacity building and training assistance to international partners in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. He also has been involved in the research projects for the Brookings Institute, European Union, and various U.S. agencies.

Dr. Cengiz regularly publishes books, articles and Op-eds on Syrian conflict, terrorism, transnational crime, and corruption issues in the Middle East. His recent 2019 book, “The Illicit Economy in Turkey: How Criminals, Terrorists, and the Syrian Conflict Fuel Underground Economies,” analyzes the role of criminals, money launderers, and corrupt politicians and discusses the involvement of ISIS and al-Qaida-affiliated groups in illicit economy.

Dr. Cengiz holds two masters and two doctorate degrees from Turkey and United States. His Turkish graduate degrees are in sociology. He has master degree from the School of International Service Program of American University and PhD degree from the School of Public Policy program of George Mason University. He is teaching Terrorism, American Security Policy and Narco-terrorism courses at George Mason University.

Areas of Research

  • Terrorism
  • International Security
  • Turkey-U.S. Relations
  • Middle Eastern Politics
  • American Security Policy
  • Conflict Zones Security Policy
  • Syrian Refugees
  • Transnational Crime
  • Narco-terrorism
  • Corruption
  • WMD trafficking
  • Human Trafficking
  • Antiquities Smuggling
  • Human Smuggling
  • Drug Trafficking