Velko Attanassoff


Velko Attanassoff is an experienced diplomat, research scholar and professor, advanced analyst, former operational Deputy Director and former Director of the Bulgarian Defense Intelligence Service. He is an area specialist on the Middle East, Western Balkans and Central Asia.
Velko Attanassoff has a PhD (2012) in International Relations and International Law from
Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridsky” and is a Senior Research Associate with the Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS) in Sofia.
He earned (2004-2006) a dual master degree (with honors) – Master of Arts in National
Security Studies (Middle East Regional Studies) and Master of Science in Defense Analysis (Low Intensity Conflict) from the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, CA, USA.
Velko Attanassoff served as the Deputy Head of the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Beirut, Lebanon (2011-2016). He was Deputy Director and Acting Director of the Bulgarian Defense Intelligence Service (2019-2021). In his latter capacity he chaired the NATO Military Intelligence Committee throughout 2020.
He is a member of the United Nations Counter Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate’s Global Research Network and an Agora Strategy Fellow, whereas working on his associate professorship.
Fluent in English, Serbo-Croatian, and Russian languages; working knowledge in Arabic and French.

Selected Publications:

• Velko Attanassoff, “Bosnia and Herzegovina—Islamic Revival, International Advocacy Networks and Islamic Terrorism”, Strategic Insights, Volume IV, Issue 5 (May 2005)

• “The Case of Afghanistan” in Plamen Pantev (ed.) [in Bulgarian], Sofia University Press, pp. 72-115, 2008

• The Religious Radicalism and Its Impact on the Security Development in Bosnia and Herzegovina in: Predrag Jureković et. al (eds.). – Bosnia’s Year? the Challenge of Reaching Self Sustainability in a Post-war Environment, National Defence Academy and Bureau for Security Policy, in co-operation with: PfP-Consortium of Defence Academies and Security Studies Institutes, Vienna, 2009.

• Rehabilitation and Multi-stakeholder Partnerships on Security in Post-Conflict Situations: the Case of Afghanistan and the Consequences for the European Union, co-authored with Plamen Pantev (Sofia University Press, 2010)

• “Disbandment of Illegal Armed Groups in Afghanistan : DIAG District Implementation” , co-authored with Plamen Pantev in Multi-Stakeholder Security Partnerships, ed. Michael Brzoska, Hans Georg Ehrhart, Jens Narten, 2011 , Nomos Verlag, Baden-Baden, pp.204-250. /9783845231334/multi-stakeholder-security-partnerships?hitid=0

• “Islamic Activism in Bulgaria as a Socio Political Construct”, Balkans and Islam: Encounter, Transformation, Discontinuity, Continuity, ed. AZ Furat, H Er, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012, pp.174-190. I6

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