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Counter Terrorism and Defense

One Year After Westgate Terrorist Attack

September 21 marks the one-year anniversary of the Nairobi Westgate Attack in Kenya. The brutal terrorist and hostage attempt carried out by al-Shabaab terrorists killed 65 people and included a standoff that lasted four days. Kenya has turned a corner in the global battle against terrorism, and there are lessons here for the United States.

A Reason to Remember 9/11

Last week was yet another anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack. I dread the coming of this day every year. There have been so many days I have wanted to forget about that day. Erase it from memory and go on with life as if it never happened. But as time passed, I realized the recognition of the anniversary served a function.

Recalling the Unforgetable and Adapting Every Day After

It’s hard to believe it’s been 13 years since the September 11 attacks. Every generation witnesses horrors but in recording those experiences and sharing them with others we impart the painful lessons learned to lead us to ways to stop them from ever occurring again.

Modern Threats to Airliners and the World at Large

By Kevin McCarthy
Less then a month ago, a second massive tragedy struck Malaysia Airlines – the shoot down of MH17 over Ukraine. Was MH17 targeted specifically, an indiscriminate act of violence, or a major tactical error with global consequences? Is this a new global threat that should keep us up at night?

The ISIS Fight – Do We Have Your Attention Yet?

There are no words to describe the horror of the video showing the execution of American journalist James Foley at the hands of ISIS. Today, radicalization is spreading, and religious, civic, and cultural leaders on every continent have a responsibility to step forward to address it. Sadly, those voices don’t seem to be as loud or as savvy as the video we all saw last week.

How Should the U.S. Respond in Iraq?

The self-titled Islamic State (aka ISIS) continues its push against targets in Iraq, Syria and even Lebanon, while U.S. airstrikes begin to degrade their capabilities. Is it enough? Here are some important questions we should be asking about the situation in Iraq and the threat from ISIS.

The Stupid Reporting on Security Threats

Recent reporting has reached new levels of stupidity, threatening public confidence and understanding and perhaps even the very security of the traveling public. Terrorists will always try to find ways around aviation security, but media headlines continue to report this as breaking news – when it is not.

Who is Supplying Terrorists with US-Made Technologies?

While ISIS is capturing national concern, Iraq is not the only place where terrorist activities are happening this month. Earlier in June, Tarheek-e Taliban attacked the Karachi, Pakistan airport. What is striking is the terrorists were found with a gunshot wound U.S. military technology called XStat, which had only just been approved by the FDA. How did terrorists get this new technology?

Good Idea, Bad Idea – Bioterrorism and UACs

Good Idea, Bad Idea is a weekly recap of the brilliant and stupid things America’s homeland security community does every day, because sarcasm is good for the soul. This week, a cat catches the tongue of OHA’s Dr. Kathy Brinsfield and Sen. Chuck Schumer gets a paper cut.

Deals with the Devil – The Release of Sgt. Bergdahl

The release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the last American POW in Afghanistan, ends a more than dozen-year American conflict in Afghanistan. The five senior Taliban leaders exchanged for Sgt. Bergdahl, however, will continue to set off debates on the left and right sides of the political aisles.