The NEFA Foundation, short for "Nine Eleven Finding Answers", describes itself as "a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, charitable organization created after the attacks of September 11, 2001. The Foundation strives to help prevent future tragedies in the U.S. and abroad by exposing those responsible for planning, funding, and executing terrorist activities, with a particular emphasis on Islamic militant organizations." Based in Charleston, South Carolina, it does documentary and field research with a small number of paid researchers.
It is not among the best-known private organizations, but has produced interesting reports, such as a 2009 report on Anwar al-Aulaqi,  and a compilation of documents from the U.S. v. Holy Land Foundation trials.
When asked by a reporter, neither Daniel Byman of the Brookings Institution nor Michael Radu of the Foreign Policy Research Institute knew of NEFA. Radu said it did not have significant new information, but it presented it usefully: "In a way, they're doing a good job because they are offering people access to direct sources...Participation should always be encouraged."
Its President and CEO, M. T. Hayes, is a generalist in non-profit organizations and communications. She told a reporter that she had been approached, in 2004, by some of the families of 9/11 victims, to help create a repository of terrorist information more speedily accessible than from the government.
David Draper, a banker and real estate developer, was co-founder. He saw his expertise as useful for making financial intelligence analyses. Several blogs indicate that Hayes was his first wife.
According to SpinProfiles, NEFA listed only two paid investigators in 2004: Douglas Farah and a company D2 LLC. Farah was paid $94,031 and D2 LLC was paid $170,913. The website of the Veromi Business Index lists a D2 LLC as being co-owned by NEFA Director David Draper.
In its 2006 accounts NEFA listed D2 LLC, Evan Kohlmann, and IBI Consultants, a company headed by Douglas Farah. In October 2007 Evan Kohlmann closed his website Globalterroralert.com and redirected traffic to NEFA.
Additional staff currently listed include Dutch-born Ronald Sandee, Director of Analysis and Research, who "specializes in analyzing terrorism in Africa and the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, as well as studying the radicalization process in Europe and the U.S." Mr. Sandee studied History and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Nijmegen and received his MA in History in 1995. Over the past decade, he held a variety of positions within the Dutch Ministry of Defense, most recently acting as Senior Analyst in the Counter Terrorism branch of the Dutch Defense Intelligence Service's Counter Intelligence Department. After coming to the U.S. in 2006, he has spoken at the the American Enterprise Institute, the Hudson Institute, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and the Transatlantic Institute.
Claudio Franco, a consultant, NEFA Foundation. Focusing on investigative journalism and documentary production, Franco conducts in-depth, investigative research for as much as half the year in the regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan, where he has has been a regular visitor since approximately 1999. He is currently working on a book on the Talibanization process in Pakistan.
Madeleine Gruen is currently a Senior Analyst, specializing in radicalization and domestic terrorism, for the NEFA Foundation and is a contributor to the Counterterrorism Blog. As an intelligence analyst with the New York City Police Department’s Counterterrorism Division, she supported the mission to prevent future terrorist attacks by analyzing terrorist and extremist-group capabilities and intentions. Her research on extremist and terrorist-group radicalization and indoctrination tactics has been published extensively, and she has presented lectures at numerous conferences, including those hosted by NATO; the Center for Policing Terrorism; the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point; and the Hudson Institute.
Josh Lekowitz is an analyst for NEFA. He is former Assistant Director of Terrorism Research at The Investigative Project on Terrorism and an Intelligence Analyst in the New York City office of New York State Homeland He has also assisted in preparing testimony delivered before The 9-11 Commission and various Congressional committees. His focus is on terrorist networks within the United States, particularly the exploitation of charitable front groups, and he compiled the set of the exhibits released in U.S. v. Holy Land Foundation
- NEFA About Us, NEFA Foundation]]
- Anwar al Awlaki: Pro Al-Qaida Ideologue with Influence in the West, NEFA Foundation, February 5, 2009
- Selected Government Exhibits & Documents from U.S. v. Holy Land Foundation, NEFA Foundation
- Greg Hambrick (20 February 2008), "NEFA works under the radar to interview terrorists, analyze data", Charleston City Paper