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A student relaxes outside on the Cal U campus.A student relaxes outside on the Cal U campus.

Dr. Aref M. Al-Khattar


  • B.A.: Arabic Language and Literature, University of Jordan
  • M.A.: Criminology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • Ph.D.: Criminology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania


Dr. Aref M. Al-Khattar  a professor of criminology and criminal justice at California University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches courses on terrorism, intelligence, research methods, crime theories  and other courses in that field. He has previously been employed by Saint Paul’s College and Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). He earned his Master’s and a Ph.D. in Criminology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a B.A in Arabic language and literature at the University of Jordan. Furthermore, Dr. Al-Khattar is a multi-year honoree in Who’s Who Among American Teachers & Educators.  

Dr. Al-Khattar has received a grant from of the Fulbright Specialist Program.  And he has been selected and placed on the Fulbright Senior Specialist Roster  in the area of social sciences/sociology. In addition, he is a member of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, the American Society of Criminology, and the World Society of Victimiology. He currently serves as a consultant to the National Institute of Justice / Department of Justice;  reviewer to the  following Journals Criminology and Public Policy, Journal of  Iinternational   Criminal Justice , Jordan Journal of Social Sciences, International Journal of Security and Terrorism, Criminal Justice Studies,  and Criminal Justice Policy Review.

Dr. Al-Khattar is a retired law enforcement officer (Lieutenant Colonel, General Intelligence Department) in the Kingdom of Jordan. He received the Medal of Independence from late King Hussein in 1992, in person, for his distinguished role in protecting the security of Jordan.  

Dr. Al-Khattar is the author of Religion and terrorism: An interfaith perspective published by Greenwood publishers in 2003. As research for this book, Dr. Al-Khattar interviewed religious leaders from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to study the issue of religious-based terrorism in these three religions. With the collected data and from his own extensive knowledge of terrorism, Dr. Al-Khattar presents an explanation to this issue from an authoritative perspective. Moreover, according to the Journal of the American Society of International Law (October 2003),  this book “is a must for any collection, public or private, where readers seek a succinct and authoritative overview of the religious undertones associated with the contemporary terrorist threat.”

Finally, Dr. Al-Khattar  has presented a number of papers at international and national conferences on terrorism - related issues in the United States and overseas. He has appeared on ABC World News, Nightline, C-SPAN and has been interviewed by a number of newspapers, radio and TV stations in the United States, Canada, France, Ireland, and Jordan on issues relating to terrorism in the Middle East.   


  • Terrorism
  • Intelligence
  • Research Methods
  • Crime Theories

Selected Publications

  • Religions and Terrorism: An Interfaith Perspective, 2003


  • Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences
  • American Society of Criminology
  • World Society of Victimology
  • National Institute of Justice/Department of Justice
  • Journal of Criminology and Public Policy
  • Journal of International Criminal Justice
  • Jordan Journal of Social Sciences
  • World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh
  • South Hills Interfaith Ministries

Academic Department(s)

  • Department of Criminal Justice

Academic Program(s)

  • B.S. Criminal Justice
  • M.A. Social Science in Applied Criminology

Contact Information



Azorsky Hall 117