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Notes from the Editor Volume XIV

The December 2018 Issue of Homeland Security Affairs features a research article proposing a system for detecting terrorist-deployed nuclear weapons in American cities, an essay reviewing the literature on the causes of suicide terrorism, and an essay exploring the creation of performance metrics for deterring threats to critical infrastructure. In “Defending Cities against Nuclear Terrorism: Analysis

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Defending Cities Against Nuclear Terrorism: Analysis of A Radiation Detector Network for Ground Based Traffic

By Edward Cazalas Abstract This article describes a specific, promising concept for a traffic-based radiation detector network concept deployed on roads/highways/stoplights/etc. The detector network concept is intended to help defend urban areas against nuclear attack by adversaries. The network has two potential functions: to detect and localize the covert transport of nuclear materials or weapons

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Causes & Explanations of Suicide Terrorism: A Systematic Review

By Vanessa Harmon, Edin Mujkic, Catherine Kaukinen, & Henriikka Weir Abstract The frequency of suicide terrorist attacks has increased dramatically since the year 2000, creating a renewed interest in this area of study, as well as an increase in the importance of understanding individual and organizational motivations behind engagement in suicide terrorism. The following is

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Risk-Based Performance Metrics for Critical Infrastructure Protection? A Framework for Research and Analysis

By Eric F. Taquechel & Marina Saitgalina   Abstract Measuring things that do not occur, such as “deterred” or “prevented” terrorist attacks, can be difficult. Efforts to establish meaningful risk-based performance metrics and performance evaluation frameworks based on such metrics, for government agencies with counterterrorism missions, are arguably in a nascent state. However, by studying

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Learning From H.I.M. (Harvey, Irma, Maria): Preliminary Impressions for Supply Chain Resilience

By Phillip J. Palin [The observations and analysis offered reflect the author’s best judgment as of late 2017. The essay is intended to encourage more detailed research and deeper consideration.] Abstract The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season challenged critical infrastructure and key resources across a wide area. Harvey, Irma, and Maria each exposed different aspects of

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Operator Driven Policy: Deriving Action From Data Using The Quadrant Enabled Delphi (QED) Method

By Lilian Alessa, Sean Moon, David Griffith & Andrew Kliskey   Abstract To close the gap in operator-driven policy for the homeland security enterprise, we argue for a bottom-up policy process that acknowledges operator knowledge and opinions. We propose a practical approach to enable policy-makers to incorporate operator knowledge and experience, or operator driven policy

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SCADA Fusion With Commercial Fission

by Matthew Horner Abstract Nuclear power plants rely on digital components, like supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) devices, to perform daily operations. These devices can contain software vulnerabilities. To address SCADA and other cyber threats, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued directives for licensed operators to submit cybersecurity plans for their facilities.

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Book Review: Illusions of Terrorism & Counter-Terrorism by Richard English

reviewed by Scott Romaniuk Suggested Citation Romaniuk, Scott. “Book Review: Illusions of Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism by Richard English (Ed.). Oxford: (Oxford University Press, 2015). 174pp., £40.00 (h/b), ISBN 9780197265901.” Homeland Security Affairs 14, Article 5 (April 2018). https://www.hsaj.org/articles/14313   Terrorism, counter-terrorism, and their intersection have produced painful experiences for peoples and communities in many societies.

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Defected from ISIS or Simply Returned, and for How Long?– Challenges for the West in Dealing with Returning Foreign Fighters

by Anne Speckhard, PhD., Ardian Shajkovci, PhD., & Ahmet S. Yayla, PhD. Abstract Many of the 38,000 foreign fighters ISIS has managed to attract to Syria and Iraq will return home. As increasing numbers of ISIS cadres flee the battlefield, some as defectors and others as returnees still aligned with ISIS’ goals and ideology, the challenges

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Improving Maritime Transportation Security in Response to Industry Consolidation

by Nick Monacelli   Abstract Containerized cargo is the single largest security vulnerability in maritime shipping. Recent consolidation in the maritime shipping industry, along with freefalling shipping rates and increased vessel sizes, combine to cause concern for the future of containerized shipping security. Maintaining security in the maritime shipping industry is critical. Programs including the

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Book Review: Preventing and Countering Extremism and Terrorist Recruitment: A Best Practice Guide by Hanif Qadir

reviewed by Caitlin Ambrozik   Suggested Citation Ambrozik, Caitlin. “Book Review: Preventing and Countering Extremism and Terrorist Recruitment: A Best Practice Guide by Hanif Qadir (Melton, Woodbridge: John Catt Educational Ltd, 2016).” Homeland Security Affairs 14, Article 3 (January 2018). https://www.hsaj.org/articles/14267         A parent logs into a child’s computer and a chat

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Cyber Border Security – Defining and Defending a National Cyber Border

by Phillip Osborn Abstract Concerns stemming from the convergence of border and cyber security threats are nothing new to those involved in both disciplines. Criminals and foreign actors have been exploiting computers and cyber methods to circumvent physical border security for decades. Today nearly every crime or homeland security threat that once required some physical

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Applying an Organizational Framework to Examine Jihadi Organizations as an Industry

by Michael Logan, Gina Ligon, and Douglas Derrick Abstract The Leadership of the Extreme and Dangerous for Innovative Results (LEADIR) project, funded by The Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate, Office of University Programs (DHS S&T OUP) since 2010, uses an industrial and organizational psychology approach to assess the characteristics of violent extremist

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Incorporating Prioritization in Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Programs

by Duane Verner, Frederic Petit, and Kibaek Kim Abstract Protecting critical infrastructure, especially in a complex urban area or region, should focus on identifying and prioritizing potential failure points that would have the most severe consequences. Such prioritization can inform targeted planning and investment decisions, such as what infrastructure should be hardened or relocated first

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A Right-Brained Approach to Critical Infrastructure Protection Theory in support of Strategy and Education: Deterrence, Networks, Resilience, and “Antifragility”

By Eric F. Taquechel and Ted G. Lewis Abstract How is the theory behind critical infrastructure/key resources (CIKR) protection evolving? Practitioners who implement strategies should be confident their strategies are based on sound theory, but theory evolves just as strategy evolves. Many theories, techniques, and models/simulations for CIKR protection have been proposed and developed over

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The Roots of Community Resilience: A Comparative Analysis of Structural Change in Four Gulf Coast Hurricane Response Networks

by Thomas W. Haase, Gunes Ertan, and Louise K. Comfort Abstract Despite the emphasis on resilience, disasters continue to challenge the response capacities of communities around the United States. These challenges are generated by the complexities and uncertainties present in the post-disaster environment. This article presents the findings of an exploratory investigation into the development

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Unpacking and Exploring the Relationship between Crisis Management and Social Media in the Era of ‘Smart Devices’

by Eric K. Stern Abstract The rise of social media and the broad diffusion of ‘smart devices’ in contemporary society have profound implications for crisis management. The emergence of social media and smart devices pose both major challenges and major opportunities to crisis managers (c.f. Palen, 2008; Veil et 2011). These social practices and technologies

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The Cold War on Terrorism: Reevaluating Critical Infrastructure Facilities as Targets for Terrorist Attacks

by David Riedman Portions of this article are excerpted from the author’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security master’s degree thesis “How Critical is Critical Infrastructure?” The full document is available in the Homeland Security Digital Library.1 Countries are inverted pyramids that rest precariously on their strategic innards–their leadership, communications, key production, infrastructure, and population.

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Cognitive Defense: Influencing the Target Choices of Less Sophisticated Threat Actors

by Jesse Wasson & Christopher Bluesteen Abstract With the emergence of non-state threats and new operating environments since the end of the Cold War, the relevance of deterrence as a security tool has repeatedly been called into doubt. Modern adversaries often lack territory, militaries, economies, or even identities to threaten and retaliate against. Their motivations are

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Coordination in Crises: Implementation of the National Incident Management System by Surface Transportation Agencies

by Nicholas B. Hambridge, Arnold M. Howitt, & David W. Giles Abstract For more than a decade, the National Incident Management System (NIMS) has served in the United States as the mandated framework for coordinated organization, operational command, and implementation of response to emergencies nationwide. This article examines whether surface transportation agencies are developing the capabilities

911 and The Area Code From Which You Call: How To Improve The Disparity In California’s Emergency Medical Services.

Jeffrey Covitz EXECUTIVE SUMMARY There are 33 separate local emergency medical services (EMS) authority agencies serving the 58 counties in California.1 A local EMS authority (LEMSA) in California governs either EMS providers in a single county or several counties combined. Each LEMSA dictates widely different treatment and transport protocols for its paramedics.2 The medical director for

Career Paramedic-Firefighter Staffing Problems: Is Recruiting Women Part of the Solution?

Juan Byron EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This case study analyzes the shortage of applicants for career paramedic-firefighter positions and its relationship to the paucity of female firefighters. The research explores causes of the shortage, examines four case fire departments, and suggests how fire departments and communities can address these staffing challenges by including women and girls in

Applying the THIRA to Special Events: A Framework for Capabilities-Based Planning Adoption in Local Governments

Daniel Bradley EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Local officials planning for disasters at the local level must make risk-informed judgments about what capability is needed to defend against known threats and hazards while remaining adaptable to address the unforeseen. However, risk assessment tools are imperfect and sometimes not available to local governments. Presidential Policy Directive 8 (PPD-8) and

Safe Seas: Protecting America’s Ferries against Criminal Mass-Casualty Incidents

Steven Blindbury EXECUTIVE SUMMARY America has entered the era of the active-shooter phenomenon, and empirical evidence supports a rising national trend that creates a risk for all mass-gathering public venues. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) defines an active shooter as “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined

Implementation of Active Cyber Defense Measures by Private Entities: The Need for an International Body to Address Disputes

Ike Barnes EXECUTIVE SUMMARY News reports about cyber-attacks against corporations are commonplace. A search of Google News on July 31, 2017, for cyber-attacks yielded eight articles from the same day on the first page of the search return. To address this problem, organizations such as George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security and

Reconsidering CVE: The Unintended Consequences of Countering Violent Extremism Efforts in America

Nabeela Barbari EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Between September 12, 2001, and December 31, 2016, there were eighty-five violent extremist attacks in the United States, which resulted in over 225 fatalities.[1] Tragically, this number became outdated almost immediately after it was reported; at least five attacks killed a dozen more people between January 2017 and November 2017. These incidents