Author: Jason Altwies

Terrorist 2.0 – Terrorist Commandos

A new classification for a terrorist has entered our lexicon – “terrorist commandos.” When the word “terrorist” comes to mind, some may think of guerilla-style warfare containing fast-moving attacks. However, recent attacks: Mumbai (2008), Nairobi (2013), Paris (November 2015), and Brussels (March 2016) have displayed an organized and well-trained form...

Nine Lessons for Navigating National Security

The Center for a New American Security published their report regarding new Presidential administrations and National Security. Through this report, having a foundation built upon historical insights, steps are given “in logical though not necessarily priority order,” for the next administration in 2017. It is important to note that the months between...

START’s Review – 25 Years of Ideological Homicides (1990-2014)

The Research Brief titled Victims of Ideological Homicides, 1990-2014 was published by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), and presents data relating to victims of “al-Qa’ida and affiliated movements (AQAM) and the extremist far-right (FRE – Far-Right Extremists) in the United States from 1990 to...

2016 Annotated Worldwide Threat Assessment – Interactive Website

On February 9, 2016, National Intelligence Director James R. Clapper presented the Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community to the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee. This Threat Assessment is noted to be, “the most informative top-level products of the U.S. Intelligence Community that is publicly available[.]” Recently, the Center for Homeland Defense...

Terror Threat Snapshot: March 2016

The House of Representatives’ Committee on Homeland Security Committee released the 2016 Terror Threat Snapshot, a monthly newsletter focusing on data and the statistics regarding terrorism. This issue illustrates ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) and the related arrests happening in the United States, homegrown jihadist cases, the converts who travel to become...

2016 – The Year Ransomware Holds America Hostage

2016 – The year of Ransomware. The Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology (ICIT) released their report regarding the new hostage taking tactic for cyber-criminals. The new form of cyber-hostage-taking, “is less about technological sophistication and more about exploitation of the human element.” The origins of Ransomware stem from the 1989...

ISIL and al-Qaeda: “Protagonists in Today’s Deadliest Crises”

On March 14, 2016, the International Crisis Group (ICG) released a report regarding the roots and expansion of two deadliest extremist groups, ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] (also known as ISIS [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] or IS [Islamic State]) and al-Qaeda. Groups like ISIL and al-Qaeda (like Boko Haram and...

Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community

On February 9, 2016, the Director of National Intelligence, James R. Clapper, Jr., issued a comprehensive report to the Senate Armed Services Committee regarding the United States’ interest in the protection of American lives against Global and Regional threats. The threats that were outlined in this report were: ‘Cyber and...

Is Your State Safe? States At Risk published America’s Preparedness Report Card.

There is a change in the weather, and the world needs to be ready. Prepared by Climate Central and ICF International, the States At Risk website published, “America’s Preparedness Report Card” – a letter-graded report regarding each state’s preparedness on five key threats: drought, extreme heat, wildfires, inland flooding, and coastal flooding. The National Summary can be found...

“A Penny For Your Thoughts”…How About (up to) $100,000?

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate has stated that they will open a National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan, Kansas in the year 2022. This “Think and Do Challenge” gives you the chance to throw your ideas (and approaches) into the ring for a chance to win...