Category: On the Homefront – the HSDL Blog

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...

It’s Here! The 2016 National Preparedness Report

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), have released the 2016 National Preparedness Report. The report “evaluates and measures gains individuals and communities, private and nonprofit sectors, faith-based organizations, and all levels of governments have made in preparedness and identifies where challenges remain.” Specifically,...

Countering the Biases of Big Data: The Challenges and Opportunities of Technological Innovation

In 2012, the Obama Administration launched the “Big Data Research and Development Initiative”, with the goal of transforming the nation’s “ability to use Big Data for scientific discovery, environmental and biomedical research, education, and national security.” Harnessing the power of big data, though useful, does come with its challenges.  Specifically...

Take Some Time this Weekend to Remember the Fallen

On most American calendars Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer. Common celebrations include taking advantage of the long weekend to visit with friends/family and participating in barbeques (weather permitting). If not already on your agenda, the Center for Homeland Defense and Security would like to remind all Americans to...

Countering Violent Extremism: A New Joint Strategy

  The Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have released the “Joint Strategy on Countering Violent Extremism.” In a press conference on May 25, 2016, Justin Siberell, Acting Coordinator for Counterterrorism, discussed the international climate in which violent extremism has taken hold. “Even as...

Disaster Recovery and the Private Sector: New Roles and New Challenges

“From 2000 to 2014, the number of U.S. disaster declarations has increased dramatically – 65 major declarations per year on average and a total of 1,907 declarations overall. And during the peak of such increases in 2011, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued the largest number to date (90...

How Urbanization is Affecting Natural Disaster Risk Assessment

The United Nations Population Fund predicts that by the year 2050 86% of the population in developed nations (64% in developing nations) will live in urban areas. This ongoing migration from rural areas to more densely inhabited cities catalyzes urban sprawl, which subsequently makes a greater portion of the population...

President Obama’s Interest in Big Data Analyses

The President has expressed interest in how analyses of big data (also known as big data analyses or BDA) can improve emergency preparedness and overall national security. As a result, the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC) drafted a Report to the President on Big Data Analytics. The report first...

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...