Eden Intelligence organises small scale, high impact gatherings on counter-terrorism and security related issues in a strictly closed environment that encourages debate and sharing of insights. We target practical delivery in our dialogues to action, always seeking to answer the question: “So, What are we going to do?”
Our goal is to facilitate dialogue and develop collaborative projects amongst the security and counter-terrorism community's leading experts. Our aim is to deliver these experts as speakers, panelists and audience participants and to support our publications series.
We direct resources into academic research in the field to address the severe shortage of trained specialists and host the leading transatlantic counter-terrorism and intelligence gathering each year, linking public and private sectors with academia.
Eden Intelligence runs events, conferences and workshops for public and private sector and academia on terrorism, security intelligence and energy security matters. The company specialises in its conferences being 'off-the-record' with top level speakers from both academic and professional organizations. These are not sales events but rather non-promotional opportunities for high quality, high level discussion and networking prospects for attendees and sponsors.
Eden Intelligence aims to be a thought leader in the constantly developing terrorist studies and counter-terrorism agenda. It raises awareness on particular issues and dilemmas through presentations, analyses and lectures. On top of this a long running objective is to co-ordinate round table meetings to gather players of specific fields or areas of concern to enable a dialogue in an information sharing conducive environment.
Who Are We?
Gavin McNicoll, Director and Founder
Gavin has been studying National Security, Terrorism and Intelligence for 20 years, and has an M.A. Honours in International relations and Philosophy from St Andrews University with majors in Comparative Intelligence Systems, Terrorism, U.S. Foreign Policy and the Middle East.
Since 2001 he has established a body of research, conference and consulting work which has partnered with major academic institutions such as St Andrews, Cambridge, MIT and Georgetown. These projects have been serviced by an outstanding network of senior consultants, senior and former senior serving officials, and senior business leaders specialising in counter-terrorism and security related issues. He is responsible for the International Terrorism and Intelligence programme, now in its 8th year as a landmark event in the counter-terrorism calendar, bringing together the leading counter-terrorist minds from around the world.
He also ran a highly successful and unofficial not-for profit conference marking the passing of the Centenary of the Security and Intelligence Services in 2009. In 2010 he has overseen the creation of the agenda for the upcoming celebration of release of the Official History of Mi6, while other colleagues have taken more responsibility for the running of the event.
Further major government level projects have included running a G8 Plus conference on financial intelligence cooperation at the behest of the UK government with assistance form the Home Office, Her Majesty’s Treasury, The Foreign & Commonwealth Office, The National Criminal Intelligence Service and The Metropolitan Police, and a project focussing on terrorists targeting of energy involving MIT and Cambridge.
Gavin has also worked in governmental lobbying and previously headed up Strategic Communication Laboratories US business development strategy, employing his network of senior figures to these efforts, and to the delivery of SCL’s target audience analysis and influence work.
In 2009 he co founded a cyber security and intelligence business where he was responsible for strategy, business plans and was responsible for raising the finance for the start up. Having secured funding of £7.9million for the firm and seen its first major clients signed he left the board in 2012 while maintaining his support for the company.
In late 2012 he was approached to join the consulting team at Hanson Asset Management and he is now responsible for business development within the firm.
Phil O'Brien, Director and Shareholder of EI, Managing Director Concise Group Ltd.
Concise Ltd., founded in 1994, is a professional and innovative, £3.5m turnover company with a solid financial record, extensive resources and a 35 strong team of responsive and highly skilled industry specialists. Concise is a creative consulting and IT services organisation focused on the Financial Services and Media sectors. As the founder and Managing Director of Concise Ltd., Phil is responsible for Concise's major accounts, strategy and the future direction of all companies within the Concise Ltd. Group, including wholly owned subsidiaries in Hong Kong and New York. His unrivalled knowledge of the events industry spans 20 years. Phil has a unique talent for building loyal, high-quality teams. He continuously explores new technologies and methods to ensure Concise Ltd. retains its position at the forefront of the industry. Phil facilitates and assists in the technical planning and resourcing of the Eden Intelligence events programme.
Afzal (Affi) Ashraf was brought up and educated in London. His first degree was a BSc in Aeronautical Engineering, following which he worked on military aircraft design research and development for British Aerospace.
In 1982, he was commissioned in the Royal Air Force and reached the rank of Group Captain during which time he filled a variety of operational and staff appointments. He was on the Multi National Force Iraq staff, based in Baghdad, where he contributed to the development of a political, military and economic strategy for Iraq, and with ISAF in Kabul. On his return UK based appointments he advised government at a senior level.
Ashraf has a Masters in Defence Studies from Kings College London, a PhD at St Andrews University (CSTPV) in Al Qaeda’s ideology and has completed advanced management studies with Manchester Business School.
The Right Honourable Sir John Wheeler, JP, DL
The Right Honourable Sir John Wheeler, JP, DL, was the Chairman of the UK government review into airport security with particularly with reference to the role of the police. In 2005 he was Head of the Review into Airport Security and Policing for the Australian Government. Deputy Secretary of State, Northern Ireland Office 1993 – 1997; he was Minister of State for Security and for the Criminal Justice System and Finance Minister. He served as a Member of Parliament 1979 - 1997 and on the Home Affairs Select Committee from 1979 – 1992, as Chairman 1987 – 1992. During this time 67 reports were produced including several inquiries into criminal justice and police policy issues, and in 1988 he delivered the recommendation to set up the National Criminal Intelligence Service.
He was Chairman of The Service Authorities for the NCIS and the National Crime Squad from 1997 - 2002. He was appointed a Member of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council in 1993 and a Member and Trustee of the Chapter General of the Order of St John and St John’s Ambulance in 1990 and has served as Chancellor from 2002.
Dr. Magnus Ranstorp
is Chief Scientist at the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defence College and a Senior Honorary Research Associate and former Director of CSTPV. He is internationally recognised as a leading expert on Hizballah, Hamas, al-Qaeda and other militant Islamic movements. Magnus regularly advises governments, security organisations and the armed services of many nations on issues including the drafting of legislation. Among other major achievements, he has been credited with persuading the Israeli Government to withdraw from Lebanon in March 2000. He was CNN's principal consultant on terrorism before and after 9/11.Neal A. Pollard
Neal A. Pollard serves as Director for Counterterrorism on the staff of the US Commission on the Prevention of WMD Proliferation and Terrorism. He is also Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University. Previously, he was Board Director and General Counsel of the Terrorism Research Center, a corporation he co-founded in 1996, and now strategic partner with Total Intelligence Solutions LLC. He was also Vice President of Hicks & Associates, Inc., where he managed its homeland security and counterterrorism programs. He was an International Affairs Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations (2005-2006), and is a Term Member of the CFR. He is admitted to the Virginia Bar, and is a native Oklahoman.
Professor Paul Wilkinson
Professor Wilkinson was the founder and chairman of the advisory board of Eden Intelligence and was instrumental in guiding the agenda for the company until his sad death on the 11th August 2011. He was professor of International Relations and Chairman of the Advisory Board of the CSTPV. From 1979 to 1989 he was Professor of I.R. at Aberdeen and was visiting Fellow at Trinity Hall, Cambridge 1979 - 1998. Publications include: Political Terrorism (1974); Terrorism and the Liberal State (1977/1986); The New Fascists (1981/1983); Contemporary Research on Terrorism (as co-editor, 1987); Aviation Terrorism and Security (as co-editor, 1999) and Terrorism versus Democracy: The Liberal State Response (2001). His latest publication, co-authored with Joseph S. Nye Jr. and Yukio Satoh is Addressing The New International Terrorism; Prevention, Intervention and Multilateral Co-operation, a report to the Trilateral Commission, (May 2003). He was co-editor of Terrorism and Political Violence, and director of an ESRC project on domestic management of terrorist attacks in the UK. He served as Adviser to Lord Lloyd of Berwick's Inquiry into Legislation Against Terrorism, and authored vol. two, the Research Report for the Inquiry (1996). He is sadly missed. You can read his obituary here: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/obituaries/article3137460.ece