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Counter Terrorism and Defense

The “T” Word – America’s Terrorist Dilemma After Charleston

Last week, there was yet another ideologically motivated attack in America, complete with a manifesto and racist, symbol-laden photos posted to the Internet. The shooting at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston is a textbook example of homegrown violent extremism (HVE).

Why is South Carolina Shooting a Hate Crime and Not Terrorism?

On Wednesday, a shooter entered the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, killing 9 people who had gathered for Bible study. The FBI has classified the attack as a “hate crime.” Why has this horrific attack been immediately characterized as a hate crime and not as an act of terrorism?

Understanding ISIS Through the Lens of Early Islam

By Dr. Doron Pely
Those following the evolution and expansion of ISIS over the past few years find themselves often bewildered by the pace and rate of success demonstrated by a supposedly young, inexperienced band of ideologues. Yet, the similarity is uncanny between what is happening now with ISIS and what happened 1,400 years ago, as Mohammad founded Islam and set about consolidating and expanding the power and reach of the new religion.

AFDI’s Mohammed Cartoons are a Threat to U.S. Security

On Sunday, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) hosted a “Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest,” and two gunmen opened fire on the event. Violence is never OK, and this kind of inflammatory activity actually perpetuates the threat from violent extremism. AFDI is not blameless in their rhetoric.

The New Star Wars: Why the Pentagon is Setting Up Shop in Silicon Valley

Fans of the space epic Star Wars are eagerly awaiting the release of the next installment in the film, but there is already a real-life battle in space, and the U.S. government is looking to the private sector for help. Defense Sec. Ash Carter recently spoke of a “GPS of Things.” What is that and what does it mean for the future of warfare and commerce?

White House to Nominate Admiral Neffenger to Lead TSA

Rumors have been swirling around the homeland security community for the past three weeks that U.S. Coast Guard Vice Admiral Pete Neffenger would be named to lead the Transportation Security Administration. Today, the White House made it official.

Uncle Sam Wants Tech Talent…and So Does Everyone Else

The infamous Tommy-gun toting John Dillinger was once asked why he robbed banks. He responded, “Because that’s where the money is.” That simple logic is similar to the thinking of government leaders, like DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, who are looking to California as a vault holding a priceless commodity—a high-tech workforce.

New DHS-Sponsored Study Reveals ISIS Recruitment in Minnesota

Given the growing threat of ISIS recruitment, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate sponsored a field study to reveal the terrorist group’s actions in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. Lead investigators Dr. Erroll Southers and Justin Hienz present the results from their fieldwork in a new study, “Foreign Fighters: Terrorist Recruitment and Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Programs in Minneapolis-St. Paul.”

Understanding ISIS ‘Peer-to-Peer’ Terrorist Recruiting in the Somali Diaspora

U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger recently announced the arrest of six individuals who conspired to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State. There is a persistent recruitment threat in the Somali community in Minnesota. Why is ISIS so effective in recruiting there?

Customer Service and Homeland Security Can Be Complimentary

Homeland security is paramount, but facilitating trade should not be far behind and a part of this is customer service. Homeland security and good customer service should be considered complimentary and result in an even safer travel environment.