Category: On the Homefront – the HSDL Blog

Terrorism and the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit

The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University recently published a report, Preventing Nuclear Terrorism: Continuous Improvement or Dangerous Decline? The report discusses the potential outcomes of the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit beginning March 31st in Washington D.C. The report paints two extreme potential paths to be taken at the end of...

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...

EO 12333, More Questions Than Answers

The Brennan Center for Justice has released a report, Overseas Surveillance in an Interconnected World, which discusses the many aspects of Executive Order (EO) 12333. This presidential directive from Ronald Reagan, deals with the National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance operations overseas. Though there has been constant debate about domestic surveillance, there has...

What Can We Learn from Sandy?

When Superstorm Sandy hit, there were many restoration challenges to the electric grid. Though the differences between Sandy and a sophisticated cyber attack may be many, they can all be traced back to the importance of existing mutual assistance agreements. These agreements can be between utilities, government partners and others. “The study...

Firearms Assaults Against Law Enforcement

Understanding Firearms Assaults Against Law Enforcement Officers in the United States, attempts to connect law enforcement policies, procedures, training, and agency characteristics to reducing firearm assaults. The publication includes a review of 50 years of literature written about situations that can lead to assaults. There is also data from a current...

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...

Are Americans IED Ready?

“As seen by the explosive attacks in the United Kingdom, Spain, France, and recently Turkey; the IED [improvised explosive device] is a weapon that continues to be used very successfully by terrorists and violent extremists. All around the globe explosive attacks are in news reports. Terrorists have made the IED...

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...