Alastair Crooke

Alastair Crooke CMG, sometimes erroneously referred to as Alistair Crooke, (born 1949) is a British diplomat, the founder and director of the Conflicts Forum, an organisation that advocates for engagement between political Islam and the West.Previously he was a ranking figure in both British intelligence (MI6) and European Union diplomacy.

Crooke was a Middle East advisor to Javier Solana, High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union (CFSP) from 1997 to 2003,[3] facilitated a number of de-escalations of violence and military withdrawals in the Palestinian Territories with Islamist movements from 2000 to 2003 and was involved in the diplomatic efforts in the Siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.[2][4] He was a member of the Mitchell Committee into the causes of the Second Intifada in 2000.[2][4] He held clandestine meetings with the Hamas leadership in June 2002. He is an active advocate of engagement with Hamas to whom he referred as "Resistants or Resistance Fighters".

Crooke studied at the University of St Andrews (1968–1972) in Scotland, from which he obtained an MA in Politics and Economics. His book Resistance: The Essence of the Islamist Revolution, provides background on what he calls the "Islamist Revolution" in the Middle East, helping to offer strategic insights into the origins and logic of Islamist groups which have adopted military resistance as a tactic, including Hamas and Hizbollah. Tracing the essence of the Islamist Revolution from its origins in Egypt, through Najaf, Lebanon, Iran and the Iranian Revolution up to the present day, unlocking some of the thorniest issues surrounding stability in the current Middle East landscape.