He joined the WTOP family on March 11, 2004, the same day of the Madrid bombing by al-Qaida. In the years since then he has traveled extensively investigating, reporting and analyzing the U.S. war against terrorism and has interviewed the leadership of all the key national security components of the U.S. government and many security and foreign government officials around the world.
He hosts the weekly program "The Hunt," which goes in-depth with experts on al- Qaida, the Taliban and emerging terror threats. He has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, Central Asia, Europe and Africa covering national security matters.
He's been embedded with the U.S. military in the war zone in Afghanistan three times and has reported from Kandahar, Zabul province and Kabul. He's traveled to Israel, the Golan Heights, Israel's borders with Syrian and Lebanon, and Gaza. As a part of his travels in the Middle East, he's interviewed Israeli intelligence and military officials; and Palestinian political officials about the conflict there and the prospects for peace, and the roadblocks. He saw the weaponry Hamas and Hezbollah use, visited Israel's military headquarters for briefings on their challenges and approaches to dealing with them.
He is the recipient of a National Edward R. Murrow Award (2009) for "Hidden Hunter," his reporting aboard a nuclear powered, Los Angeles Class submarine in the Atlantic Ocean. He also won the prestigious Associated Press Douglas S. Freeman award for his investigative series, "Dignity Denied," which explored decades of neglect at America's hallowed Arlington National Cemetery.
He has also won more than a two dozen regional and local awards since he started working at WTOP. In 2012, he was honored by the University of Maryland, University College as their commencement speaker, in recognition of his broad body of national security reporting accomplishments. He's also been recognized by top national security officials for his deep knowledge of international affairs and ability to succinctly analyze complex issues.
While embedded with the U.S. Air Force in 2006, during the height of the Iraq War, he traveled with the military 18,000 miles, to 10 countries in 31 days, covering the wars in Iraq, Africa and Afghanistan.
In addition to his work at WTOP, JJ lectures regularly at universities and colleges on national security issues and speaks often to U.S. government, military and national security organizations. He is also a contributor to Jane's Intelligence Review magazine
Before joining team WTOP, he traveled to and reported on the events, issues, people and places of Africa, Latin America and Europe for the six years on public and international television. He began his career in Washington 1989 at WMAL radio. In the mid-1990s he was trained as a TV correspondent at ABC News' "Nightline." Later he worked as a general assignment part-time correspondent at CNN. In the late 90s he was brought on at CSPAN as weekend host of the Washington Journal. In 1998, JJ began working as a correspondent for the Voice of America Television on Window on America and as host and correspondent of Africa Journal while traveling extensively until he joined WTOP in 2004.
JJ graduated magna cum laude from Hampton University. He's fluent in Spanish, speaks working level French and Korean and is studying Arabic. An avid athlete, he is an accomplished speed skater, a regular runner, swimmer, cross trainer and is an expert kickboxer.