Author: Carly Laywell

Country Reports on Terrorism 2015: Fewer Attacks, Fewer Deaths

The State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism released “Country Reports on Terrorism 2015” earlier this month.  According to the report, total terrorist attacks and overall deaths due to terrorist attacks decreased for the first time since 2012.  Organized by geographic region and specific terrorist group, the Report...

Terror Gone Viral :Overview of the 75 ISIS-Linked Plots Against the West

Since 2014, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has plotted 75 attacks against the West.  Whether simply inspired by ISIS ideology and carried out by lone actors or centrally organized and directed ISIS leadership, plots have grown increasingly frequent and more violent.  In “Terror Gone Viral”, the House...

Islamic State Attacks in Europe: New Tactics in Terrorism

The European Union’s First Response Network (FRN) recently convened to discuss the evolving methods of Islamic State (IS) terrorists in Europe.  Comprised of counter-terrorism experts from every EU member state, the FRN met in response to the series of coordinated attacks that took place on November 13, 2015 in Paris...

Answering San Bernardino:Defining Terrorism and Home Grown Extremism

As details of the mass shooting in San Bernardino continue to emerge, America is once again confronted with difficult questions. In the immediate aftermath, many wondered: was this a terrorist attack or a personal grievance? What differentiates the events of San Bernardino from last week’s attack on Planned Parenthood in...

Paris and the Threat of the Islamic State: Background and Context

The gruesome acts of violence perpetrated against innocent civilians in Paris last Friday night have fixed the world’s attention on the Islamic State.  With an estimated 129 killed and nearly three times as many injured, the international community has responded with grief, outrage, and shows of solidarity with the people...

2015 National Drug Threat Assessment Summary

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) released the 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment Summary earlier this morning.  The annual assessment details the threats posed by drug use, drug trafficking, and relevant criminal organizations. According to the report, more Americans die from drug overdose than from motor vehicle or firearm-related accidents annually. ...

Security Preparations for Pope Francis’ Visit

Pope Francis’ visit to the US next week poses significant security challenges.  The Secret Service has committed an unprecedented amount of time and manpower to ensuring the Pope’s security during his five-day tour, even going so far as to declare his visit a National Special Security Event (NSSE).  A recent...

Screening Gaps for Foreign Shipments DamageUS Security and Economy, Study Says

Picture two packages.  They contain identical contents, were purchased from the same independent online retailer in Canada, and are shipped to the same US address. One distinguishing factor, however, is likely to determine whether or not they will be screened by US Customs and Border Protection. Copenhagen Economics recently unveiled...

Strengthening Domestic Counterterrorism:Private Sector Solutions for Public Safety

Business Executives for National Security (BENS), a nonpartisan organization that applies best business practice solutions to national security issues, recently released a report detailing its recommendations for domestic counterterrorism efforts.  The national security landscape has changed drastically in the fourteen years since 9/11, and the attacks at Fort Hood and...