Turning the Eagle’s Head: Polish Nationhood and the Global War on Terror

Timothy Borden EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This thesis explores the intersection of nationhood and global terrorism by examining the responses of Poland’s political leaders to a series of terrorism-related events during the last decade. In doing so, this work demonstrates the crucial importance of analyzing Poland’s contemporary experience with terrorism through a particularly Polish sense of nationhood,

U.S. Counterterrorism Narrative: A Way Forward

Madeline Kristoff EXECUTIVE SUMMARY While it seems to be widely agreed upon that the U.S. counterterrorism narrative is failing, little empirical evidence is available describing the U.S. counter-narrative strategy since 9/11 or an analytical framework for measuring its success or failure. This research is designed to contribute toward filling that gap by investigating the effectiveness

The Watchlist: Improving the Transparency, Accuracy, Efficiency, and Accountability of the Terrorist Screening Database

David Park EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The United States has used terrorist watchlists for over 30 years to identify, track, and screen terrorists. At first, these watchlists evolved to meet the specific requirements of individual agencies’ missions. Subsequent investigations into the failure to detect, deter, and defeat the 9/11 terror attacks revealed weaknesses in the design of

Imagining a Shift toward Serial Terrorism

Christopher Pedrini EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The U.S. government—including the military, intelligence agencies, law enforcement, and homeland security communities—and its allies have helped neutralize many threats posed by Al-Qaeda and ISIS. However, these groups, as well as other global and national terrorist organizations, are far from being eliminated, and many still pose a significant challenge. Seeking new

Weapons of Mass Distraction: Strategies for Countering the Paper Terrorism of Sovereign Citizens

Terri March EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In “Guidelines for Implementing Best Practices in Court Building Security,” Fautsko et al. observe that courthouses may be seen “as an important symbolic target” for terrorists.[1] Not all assaults on courts and their personnel involve physical violence. “Paper terrorism,” a strategy employed by an anti-government group known as the sovereign citizens,

Fire as a Weapon: High-Rise Structures

Adrian Sheppard EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Pyro-terrorism, the purposeful ignition of fire with the intention of causing harm, can make firefighting so complex that it eventually stretches the resources of a firefighting department to the limit. The need to preempt terrorist attacks on buildings has forced fire departments to create counter-terrorism units on an unprecedented scale. This

The Black Flags of Their Fathers: The Islamic State’s Returning Foreign Fighter Youths and the Implications for U.S. Domestic Security

John Tani Jr. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Islamic State has sent young children to their deaths on the battlefield and in suicide attacks. For the most part, the carnage inflicted by these youth terrorist fighters has been contained to the areas where the Islamic State has held territory. Fortunately, this phenomenon has not yet manifested in

Crisis Leadership and Complex Crises: A Search for Competencies

Michael Saltz EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In today’s fast-paced and interconnected world, law enforcement officials are confronted with seemingly more frequent and exponentially more complex crises. These crises often span multiple jurisdictions, requiring a multidisciplinary response and the collaborative efforts of state, local, and federal agencies, as well as private stakeholders. Crises are fraught with uncertainty and

A Framework for Violence: Clarifying the Role of Motivation in Lone-Actor Terrorism

Jacob Hallgarth EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Preventing domestic terrorism continues to be a major goal for homeland security practitioners. Yet many of our traditional counterterrorism techniques have proven inadequate to prevent one particular manifestation of terrorism: the lone actor. No network exists to infiltrate the lone-actor threat—there are no communications to intercept, no information to task informants,